Athletes as Clients

September 21, 2015 | 6/28/18 12:10 pm - 6/28/18 1:15 pm | Drinko Room 244

Get insight into the issues that arise in representing athletes as clients (including the lawyer/athlete-client relationship and the agent/athlete-client relationship) from a panel of lawyers that includes Moritz College of Law Dean Alan Michaels, who spent three years in private practice representing the Major League Baseball Players Association, and Moritz alumni Luke Fedlam, a sports and entertainment attorney at Kegler Brown Hill & Ritter, and Brandon Mitchell, Senior Counsel, Corporate Transactions for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and former Buckeye football standout and NFL player. The panel will be moderated by another Moritz alumna, Julie Vannatta,  Senior Assistant General Counsel & Senior Associate Athletic Director, The Ohio State University. Co-sponsored by the Moritz College of Law Sports and Entertainment Law Association and the Business Law Society. Lunch provided.

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Panelists Biographies

Luke Fedlam, ’13, is an associate at Kegler Brown where he focuses on educating, advising and protecting athletes and entertainers on their complex business and personal needs. He also assists clients with emerging business issues, merger and acquisition transactions. Before joining the firm in 2013, Mr. Fedlam spent nine years in finance and investments, serving four years as a wealth manager for professional athletes. He was a financial advisor for professional athletes and so understands the unique and complex lives of athletes and entertainers. He advises sports and entertainment clients on the personal and professional challenge, from intellectual property and estate planning to foundations and contract analysis. Mr. Fedlam serves on the Board of Commissioners for the Greater Columbus Sports Commission and the Board of Trustees for the South Side Learning and Development Center. He is a frequent presenter to various sports teams at The Ohio State University and has spoken on financial and legal topics that impact individual professional athletes at conferences across the country.  He was recently invited by Emerald Group Publishing to contribute a chapter to the book “Black Males and Intercollegiate Athletics: An Exploration of Problems and Solutions,” which is the most recent edition of the “Diversity in Higher Education” academic series, published in June 2015.  He received his J.D. from the Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law, and his B.A. from Wake Forest University.

Alan C. Michaels is Dean and Edwin M. Cooperman Professor of Law of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Dean Michaels spent three years in private practice representing the Major League Baseball Players Association and then served for four years as a prosecutor in New York County before joining Ohio State in 1995. From 2001 to 2003, he served Moritz as associate dean for faculty and also has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan. Following graduation from law school, Dean Michaels clerked for Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court. Dean Michaels graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude in 1983 and from Columbia University School of Law in 1986.

Brandon Mitchell, ’12, currently serves as Senior Counsel – Corporate Transactions for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. He specializes in Mergers, Acquisitions, and Capital Markets Transactions. Mr. Mitchell is a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Council, where he serves as Treasurer and Relationship Manager to the National Bar Association. He is a participant in Nationwide’s Reverse Mentoring Program, which allows senior leaders to get to know the talent and emerging trends across the organization, and for the participants to have the opportunity to interact with senior leadership. Prior to his current role, Brandon was a participant in Nationwide’s Legal Rotational Program, where he spent six months each in the Property & Casualty Compliance, Corporate Investments Legal, and Financial Retirement Plans Legal Practice Groups. Mr. Mitchell is on the Board of Trustees for the Bexley Public Library and Standing Room Only Theatre Company, and is a member of the Steering Committee for the United Way of Central Ohio Key Club. Mr. Mitchell was an American football safety for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League, played college football at Ohio State and was signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2007. Mr. Mitchell earned his J.D. and B.A. from The Ohio State University.

Julie D. Vannatta, ’87, is Senior Assistant General Counsel, Senior Associate Athletic Director in the Office of Legal Affairs at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the University in 1992, she worked at Thompson, Hine and Flory focusing in the area of commercial litigation. Julie has spoken on numerous topics including Title IX, Legal Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, Coaches’ Contracts, Coaches’ Compensation Systems, Equipment/Apparel Contracts, Tax Aspects of Corporate Sponsorships in Athletics and Legal Issues in NCAA Bowl Games. Ms. Vannatta has spoken regularly to local law school classes and at Ohio’s Annual Conference of Public College and University Attorneys, the Annual Conference of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the NCAA Convention. She earned her J.D. from The Ohio State University and her B.A. from Miami University. She was a member of the Ohio State Law Journal and received the Rebecca Topper Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to the Law Journal.


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