Elon Law hosts annual Sports and Entertainment Law panel

The Elon Law Sports & Entertainment Law Society, together with the law school's Office of Career Services, hosted a Sports & Entertainment Law panel on Oct. 10. The event was moderated by Visiting Professor of Law David Maraghy, CEO of Sports Management International, Inc.

Participants in Elon Law’s 2011 Sports & Entertainment Law panel, from left, C. Christopher Clark, David T. Miller, and Stokely Caldwell

Participants in the panel included Stokely Caldwell, David T. Miller, and C. Christopher Clark.

Caldwell is a partner at Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. in Charlotte, N.C., and a recognized industry leader in sports law who has provided legal counsel to a variety of motorsports teams, drivers, owners, sponsors, agents, crew members, licensors and licensees.

Miller also is a partner with Robinson Bradshaw. He advises clients in professional golf and collegiate athletics on endorsements and general legal matters.

Clark is a partner in the Charlotte law firm of Tillman Wright, PLLC, who represents clients in a wide range of business and intellectual property matters, including a number of clients in the film, television and music industries. He is also Vice President and General Counsel at consumer product development company Edison Nation.

“You’re in a field where everyone wants in, you have to be able to put yourself in a position to be discovered,” explained Maraghy. “If you want to rely on luck, that’s okay. But otherwise, you need to figure out how to get yourself in the right position to make a difference.”

The panelist discussed how the rules of professional responsibility for lawyers restrict sports lawyers from soliciting sport clients, how to navigate the ever-involving world of sports and entertainment, common conflicts of interest that arise when representing clients and different entities, as well as, technical differences between a sports lawyer and an agent.

“It’s actually best not to be a fan if you go into a career in sports law,” confessed Caldwell. “Clients really want their representative to keep the business side separate from the fan side.”

The panelist shared experiences about gaining access in the sports and entertainment industry, as well as insight into best practices.

“It’s important to understand how the industry works and the different perimeters involved within the sports and entertainment industry,” explained Caldwell. “You need to commit the time and effort to learn the market. So it’s important to get that knowledge any way possible.”

“We want to thank the North Carolina Bar Association Sports and Entertainment Law Section for its assistance in assembling this special panel of experts,” said Maraghy.

Maraghy is teaching Sports Law at Elon Law this semester. He is a sports attorney with more than 20 years in the sports business (Williams College ’74 and Wake Forest University School of Law ’77). Maraghy received his start in sports serving as the General Chairman of the PGA TOUR Tournament, the1986 Greater Greensboro Open (GGO), which realized that year a record profit for charity in excess of $600,000. Presently, he is the CEO of Sports Management International, Inc., a Richmond-based professional sports management and marketing firm specializing in golf.

By Danielle Appelman ‘12