2014 Schedule and Speaker Bios

Shifting Landscapes: New Approaches to Entertainment and Sports Law

September 12, 2014

*** The TRESL symposium is accredited for 5.50 TX MCLE Hours from the State Bar of Texas

8:30-9:00 a.m. – Registration and Breakfast

9:00-9:10 a.m. – Opening Remarks

9:10-10:45 a.m. – Issues of Ownership: How will Streaming Change the Industry?

Panel: Adam Mandell, Ed Fair, Lisa Normand, Amy Mitchell

10:30-10:45 a.m. – Break

10:45-11:45 p.m.  – Legal and Business Aspects of Sports in 2014: Andrew Brandt

12:00-1:00 p.m – New Technologies, Sports and the FCC–The Role of Communications Policy Shapes the Business Models: Mark Conrad, Fordham School of Business

1:00-1:30 p.m. – A Perspective in Sports Management, Business and Law: Red McCombs

1:30-1:45 p.m.  Break

1:45-2:45 p.m. – Balancing Legal Ethics in a Non-Stop Media World

Panelists: Carla Varriale, Holt Hackney

3:00-4:00 p.m – The Evolving Landscape of College Athletics

Panelists: Gregg Clifton, Ben Tulis, Brian Cooper, Robert Latham

4:00 p.m. – Closing Remarks

Speaker Bios (Alphabetically)

Andrew Brandt provides unique insights and perspectives in all forms of national media. On the print side, Andrew provides a weekly column to the new football web site from Sports Illustrated headlined by Peter King, theMMQB.com. Brandt provides a signature weekly column for the site as well as providing regular contributions to Sports Illustrated Magazine.

On the television side, Brandt joined ESPN as an NFL business analyst in February 2011. Brandt provides unique and differentiated insight from the point of view of a former agent and team executive, and appears regularly on all ESPN studio shows and platforms such as SportsCenter, NFL Live, First Take, Outside the Lines, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio and more.

Brandt was also named Director of the Moorad Center for Sports Law at Villanova University Law School in 2012. Brandt is leading a destination program for students interested in working in sports, using his vast practical and real-world experience to guide and inspire students. At Villanova, Brandt is developing courses – both on-ground and online – creating symposia, hosting a Speaker Series, etc.

Mr. Gregg Clifton has extensive experience in the collegiate and professional sports world. He has advised numerous professional franchises on general labor and employment issues, including Title III ADA regulatory compliance and wage and hour issues. He serves as lead counsel for several Major League Baseball teams in their salary arbitration matters and has represented NCAA and NAIA collegiate clients regarding rules compliance, investigatory matters and in disciplinary hearings. In addition, he has handled Title IX investigations and compliance issues for NCAA and NAIA member institutions. Mr. Clifton has also worked extensively in the area of agent regulation and enforcement in professional and college sports and regularly provides counsel on issues relating to NCAA and NAIA amateurism issues and athlete eligibility questions.

Mark Conrad is Associate Professor of Law and Ethics at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, where he directs its sports business program. Professor Conrad joined the Fordham faculty in 1987 and, in addition to teaching sports law he has also taught courses covering contracts, business organizations, and media law. In addition to his full-time responsibilities at Fordham, Professor Conrad has served as adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Sports Management Program, New York Law School and, most recently, at St. John’s University/Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia (ISDE) LL.M program in International and Comparative Sports.

Ed Fair practiced for twenty-eight years as an entertainment attorney including seven years with the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills firms of Bloom, Hergott, Deimer and Cook and Greenberg Glusker and over twenty consecutive years in solo practice. Early practice involved music production legal services for the firm’s film production clients. Specifically handled music legal work on numerous major motion pictures including Ghostbusters II, Twins, Days of Thunder and Thelma and Louise and Muppets from Space. Represented film composers in connection with such films as Kindergarten Cop, The Fisher King, Dangerous Liaisons, Lonesome Dove, The Hunt for Red October, My Cousin Vinnie, Look Who’s Talking, and Beethoven. Currently providing music legal services in connection with the proposed animated film presently entitled OZI. Current and recent clients include Grammy-winning and multi-platinum recording artists, Los Lonely Boys (Playing in Traffic Records); platinum recording artist and Grammy winner, Chamillionaire (Universal Records); Grammy-winning guitarist, Eric Johnson; Texas artists the Gourds, Carrie Rodriguez, and SPEAK; world-renowned and Grammy-nominated choral group, Conspirare; Grammy-nominated recording artist, Marcia Ball (Alligator Records); Grammy-winning harmonica player, James Cotton (Alligator Records); Scott Szabo, composer for Fox Television’s series “Divorce Court”, “Texas Justice” and “Judge Alex”; and Shawn Sahm and the Tex-Mex Experience (as well as the estate of Doug Sahm); the estate of Davy Jones (the Monkees); Nashville music publisher, Bluewater Music; and Texas-based independent record labels, Dope House Records (Fontana Distribution) and Playing in Traffic Records (RED Distribution).

In his 30 years as a trial lawyer, Robert P. (Bob) Latham has tried significant cases in numerous jurisdictions involving a broad range of subject matter. He has developed nationally recognized expertise in the areas of media law and intellectual property litigation and chairs both practice areas at Jackson Walker.

His media law practice has involved the representation of international, national, and local media clients in matters involving the defense of libel, invasion of privacy, and newsgathering tort claims, at both the trial court and appellate court level, as well as counseling clients in matters of access, prior restraint, newsgathering, right of publicity, and prepublication review.

His intellectual property cases have involved patent, copyright, trademark, unfair competition, and trade secret disputes in jurisdictions from California to Massachusetts, including the international Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., in addition to those filed in the four federal districts within Texas.

His varied trial practice has involved complex commercial disputes as well as unfair competition, securities, probate, employment, professional negligence, banking, construction, real estate, product liability, telecommunications, energy, international, and class action matters. He maintains offices in Dallas and Houston.

Adam Mandell is a senior associate attorney at the law firm of Millen, White, Zelano & Branigan, P.C..  Adam represents clients in entertainment, trademark and copyright matters. He has particular experience in music business deals, including transactions relating to distribution, touring and live events, recording, publishing, production, merchandising and employment.  Adam has been involved in the music business for more than 20 years as a performer, teacher, songwriter, band member and producer.

Adam also regularly assists clients in trademark clearance, prosecution, maintenance, enforcement and licensing, and proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).  He has filed hundreds of copyright applications for registration of all manner of works, and has been successful in requests for reconsideration at the U.S. Copyright Office.  Adam advises clients on global protection of brands on the Internet, such as proceedings under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), domain name acquisitions and keyword advertising.

In addition, Adam has experience litigating copyright and trademark infringement cases, including in connection with search engines, e-commerce and social media. Adam’s clients include record labels and artists with records debuting on the Billboard 200 albums chart, start-up companies and websites featuring social networking and user-generated content.

Mr. Red McCombs is former owner of the NFL Minnesota Vikings, where he received the NFL Owner of the Year award during his second year in the league. He has also owned the NBA Denver Nuggets and the San Antonio Spurs, which he secured for San Antonio in 1973. At age 25, he purchased his first professional sports team, The Corpus Christi Texas Clippers, in the Big State Baseball League. The University of Texas dedicated Mr. McCombs’ statue at the north entrance to Darrell Royal Memorial Football Stadium in August 2010.

Mr. McCombs has been in the energy business since the early 1960’s and headquartered the business to Houston in 1965. McCombs Energy continues to grow and operates throughout the U.S. and has ventures in Italy, Belize, Colombia and Mexico. Mr. McCombs has always been active in real estate  development and sales, including numerous joint ventures, with over a billion dollars in developed projects. In 1972 Mr. McCombs and business partner Lowry Mays founded Clear Channel Communications by purchasing one radio station in San Antonio and grew the company to be the largest in the world in numbers of radio stations and numbers of outdoor billboards. He is lead investor in the new Circuit of the America’s Formula 1 Grand Prix and is excited about the annual race and other ongoing events at the Circuit of the America’s track and amphitheater near Austin.

Amy E. Mitchell is a transactional lawyer based in Austin, Texas, who practices entertainment law with a focus on music, television, and film law issues. She has been licensed to practice law in Texas since 2004 and represents emerging artists and entrepreneurs as well as established professionals.

From 2007 to 2012, Amy worked with Christian L. Castle, Attorneys on music industry talent representation, online retailers, digital distribution, content licensing, and public policy matters.  In 2009, Amy was elected to serve on the Council of the State Bar of Texas Entertainment and Sports Law Section and currently holds the Treasurer and Webmaster positions. In 2011, Amy expanded her film and television practice to include production counsel services; she is currently of counsel to Deena Kalai, PLLC.  In 2013, Amy successfully spearheaded efforts to charter an entertainment law section for theAustin Bar Association and is currently serving as Chair.   In addition, Amy writes frequently on entertainment law topics and maintains the educational siteAskaMusicLawyer.com, which receives thousands of visitors each month.

Lisa Normand is an associate with the law firm of Haynes and Boone, where she represents clients in intellectual property, social media, and entertainment matters.  Lisa’s keen understanding of the creative process is essential to how she approaches copyright counseling and enforcement. She recognizes that counseling clients on copyright issues requires that authors’ personal connections to their creative works be taken into account. This means crafting agreements to avoid ownership conflicts at the outset, developing practical solutions when conflicts do arise, and, if necessary, litigating ownership and infringement matters to protect her clients’ rights.

Her experience extends not only to traditional trademark and copyright concepts, but also to emerging branding and content-sharing issues – especially with respect to domain names, mobile device apps, and social media – which play a role in virtually all aspects of trademark and copyright law, whether it be counseling clients regarding securing their brands’ rights in the latest social media outlet or leveraging administrative “notice and takedown” and domain name recapture procedures to tackle infringement from all angles.

Lisa’s experience counseling Fortune 100 companies as well as emerging businesses informs her flexible and creative approach to brand management, tailored to meet each client’s unique business objectives. She conducts international trademark clearance searches and trade dress review prior to a product’s launch, both to assess infringement risks and to develop a trademark protection and registration strategy, and manages the prosecution and maintenance of clients’ portfolios of intellectual property assets.

Professor Meg Penrose is a member of the American Law Institute.  She is also a member of the United States Supreme Court bar, Texas Bar Association, the federal bar for the Northern District of Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She has been a constant member of the Texas Bar Association’s pro bono College – requiring over 75 hours of pro bono representation each year.  She is a volunteer attorney for the Women’s Sports Foundation.  Her dedication to Title IX stems from her time as a Division I basketball player for the University of Texas – Arlington.  She continues to pursue athletic endeavors, as well as has written several sports-related legal publications, and names as her proudest non-legal accomplishment qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon in 2008-09.

Ben Tulis is an associate in the Los Angeles office of Jackson Lewis P.C., a nationwide labor and employment law firm. Mr. Tulis’s current practice focuses on employment litigation, labor matters, benefits litigation, transactions, matters involving competition and restrictive covenants, and advice and counsel within the labor and employment law sector. Mr. Tulis is a member of the firm’s Collegiate & Professional Sports Industry practice group and in that capacity has litigated sports-related matters for the firm. Before joining Jackson Lewis, Mr. Tulis practiced for three years in New York representing accounting firms and related financial professionals in connection with all aspects of their businesses. He was involved in complex litigation, commercial transactions, government investigations, mergers and acquisitions, employment disputes and advising on best practices for accounting and financial professionals.

Carla Varriale is a litigator who has represented Major League Baseball teams and players, minor league teams and clients in the recreation and sports industries. Carla writes and lectures on various issues of interest to sports, recreation and entertainment venues, including water parks and amusement parks. She has appeared as a legal commentator on Court TV Radio and FoxNews’ Cases and Cops.

Carla, who is a member of the Sports Lawyers Association and the International Amusement & Leisure Defense Association, is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut, and before United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits.


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