August 2011 - Meet Members of the New Entertainment, Sports & Marketing Law Section at Anaheim Stadium
by John Hueston
In January, the OCBA created the Masters Division to establish the first countywide elite bar organization dedicated to mentorship as well as evolving leadership and practice opportunities for attorneys with a minimum of 25 years of experience. The OCBA Board continues to seek new ways to engage its membership with the launch of the Entertainment, Sports and Marketing Law Section. This new section will provide a unique resource for Orange County’s growing entertainment and sports law practice areas as well as the presently under-served community of attorneys focused on legal issues related to marketing. The first meeting will be held in the Diamond Club of Anaheim Stadium on August 22, 2011.
Michael Baroni, General Counsel of Palace Entertainment and founder of the new section, describes a focus “on an array of cutting-edge issues, including video game licensing, film production and finance, musical recording contracts, sports agent representation, TV production and syndication, children’s advertising, celebrity endorsements, athlete and spectator liabilities, social media, ‘green’ advertising, and toy manufacturing,” among other areas. The section will focus on cutting edge entertainment, sports and marketing law topics, host programs on profile cases such as the Mets litigation with the Madoff Trustee, and create networking opportunities for practitioners in these growing and overlapping fields.
Over 50 attorneys to date have expressed interest in joining the section. This initial core group includes corporate counsel, veteran entertainment practitioners, and attorneys from a diverse cross-section of law firms as well as solo specialists.
Eager for a quick and profile start, the section has already planned a program which will feature Mets litigator Carla Varriale and David Cohen, Head of Legal and Risk Management for the Angels. Entitled “Hot Dog Toss” Liability & Risk Management from the Stadium Trenches, the speakers will address the wide range of liabilities and risk management issues that can arise from the operation of large entertainment venues. Topics will include legal issues related to alcohol sales, patron injuries from stumbles on stairs to falls from balcony seats, and altercations between players and fans. They will also describe how they have handled more unusual litigation from fans who claim injuries from hot dogs shot into the stands by team mascots and lawsuits from patrons who allege bladder injuries due to long restroom lines. Finally, the panelists will discuss efforts of the Mets to disentangle themselves from the Madoff Trustee and address the possibilities for similar legal issues for other large sports and entertainment franchises.
David Cohen of the Angels has generously agreed to host this program and first section meeting at the Diamond Club of Anaheim Stadium on August 22, 2011. The meeting is open to any member of the OCBA who wishes to join the section. Initial section dues have been set at an estimated break-even price of $35 per year. If you would like additional information about the section, please contact Michael Baroni at email@example.com, or 949.797.9746.
John Hueston is 2011 President of the Orange County Bar Association and a partner with Irell & Manella LLP specializing in white collar criminal defense and business trials. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.