Sports and Entertainment Law Association Produces Fifth Annual Symposium
Web Editor - Published: February 25, 2010
“We’re really delighted to have a great panel of experts,” said Widener Law adjunct professor Alexander Murphy, who teaches Entertainment Law and serves as advisor to the Sports and Entertainment Law Association, in his opening remarks at the Fifth Annual Sports and Entertainment Law CLE Symposium on Wednesday, February 24. Professor Murphy and SELA President Ryan Carlson both thanked Dean Ammons and Special Programs Coordinator Connie Sweeney before the daylong program got underway.

Professor Murphy joined Mary Cavallaro, Esq., of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP on the first panel, which covered TV and film. Cavallaro spoke first on “TV Personality Agreements.” Throughout her remarks, she urged anyone negotiating contracts for a client to “Know what is possible and what is not possible.” Professor Murphy’s presentation, “Globalization & Trends in Film Financing” looked at emerging trends in how the money to make films is gathered. After the conclusion of Professor Murphy’s remarks, both panelists fielded questions from the audience.

Following a short break, the program continued with a music panel. Professor Marcy Rauer Wagman, Esq. of Drexel University presented on “Digital Licensing in New Media,” and Bob Donnelly, Esq. of Lommen Abdo in New York spoke on “The Art of Negotiating 360 Agreements.” Following the music panel, conference attendees enjoyed lunch in the Barrister’s Club.

The afternoon portion of the program kicked off with a sports panel examining the upcoming collective bargaining for 2011 that faces both the National Football League and Major League Baseball. Len Schiro, Esq. of Mets Schiro McGovern LLP presented an engaging breakdown of the impending NFL collective bargaining negotiations, casting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association Director DeMaurice Smith as the quarterbacks of two opposing teams. Appropriate football music accompanied his power point presentation as he broke down each side’s primary goals, including the desire of owners to cut the percentage of revenue going to the players and the NFL PA’s desire to broaden free agency and combat the NFL’s desire for capped rookie salary slots.

Following, Mr. Schiro’s talk, Professor Marc Edelman of the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law spoke about the labor situation in Major League Baseball, noting the differences between the ways that collective bargaining is handled in Major League Baseball as compared to the other major sports. He discussed how the MLB Players Association’s adherence to “free market principles has been very successful at the bargaining table.” He also touched on revenue sharing disagreements between small and large market clubs and the historic issue of collusion between owners. Both Edelman and Schiro then fielded questions from the audience.

The event concluded with an ethics panel to close out the day. Jill Whitelaw, Esq. of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP presented “Finders Agreements and Security Placement Offerings,” while Robert Davis, Jr., Esq., and adjunct at Widener Law’s Harrisburg campus, spoke about “Multi-Jurisdictional Practice.”