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On and off the field, the influence of legal professionals increasingly impacts final scores and bottom lines for sports organizations. Clark Hill’s roster of attorneys advises sports clients in a variety of transactions and legal disputes, including contract litigation, Title IX issues, and private/public partnerships.

We work with governing bodies and leagues/conferences, regional and national sports teams, arena operators, high school and collegiate institutions, athletic foundations, local governments, and athletes. Our attorneys provide value-added services to our sports clients in a variety of transactions and legal disputes, including in the following areas:

Contract Litigation

Clients rely on our guidance in a variety of contractual disputes related to force majeure clauses, leases, agent/player agreements, and other contractual relationships. Now more than ever, parties are assessing what obligations and rights are subject to renegotiation or may be excused from performance. Undoubtedly, parties will seek legal redress to either define the terms of the contract or enforce various provisions to remain flexible in the short and long term. Our experience includes assisting clients in pre-litigation assessments of contractual rights and obligations under existing contracts as well as prosecuting and defending disputed or breached contractual claims, including issues and provisions exacerbated by Covid-19.

Governance/General Counsel

In representing governing bodies and foundations for sports-related entities, we draft and revise bylaws, supervise dispute resolution procedures, monitor compliance with the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act, and address labor and employment issues.

Title IX Issues and Sensitive Abuse Investigations

To determine Title IX compliance, we counsel K-12 and higher education clients in a variety of Title IX issues and conduct audits of athletic departments. We investigate claims of past and current sexual/physical/emotional abuse and represent clients in lawsuits throughout the country on these topics. We counsel clients in background screening requirements and draft/revise policies addressing sexual/physical/emotional misconduct, hazing/harassment, one-on-one interactions, and social media and electronic communications.

COVID-19/Return to Play Issues

Our attorneys address COVID-19 issues, including the preparation of return-to-play policies for governing bodies, local associations and leagues/conferences, contract negotiation and release language related to participant registration and large-scale athletic events, and employer/employee policies.

Concussion Litigation

Plaintiffs and defendants are equally aware of the value placed on claims for concussions and traumatic brain injuries. We have successfully defended such claims and can guide you through the process of establishing a strategic and successful defense.

Private/Public Partnerships

As infrastructure costs rise and revenues drop, government units nationwide are increasingly experiencing revenue shortfalls. One solution is for governments to forge private/public partnerships (P3) where private sector companies contract with governmental entities to fund and run specific projects. Our attorneys work on both sides of these partnerships, representing the interests of both the private and public sectors in a wide variety of situations.