By Joseph V. Sebelin Jr.
Combining one’s personal interests into the practice of law is often a difficult pursuit. For attorney David Kaufman, incorporating 38 years of experience in the martial arts into his law practice has led to a unique niche practice like no other—martial arts law. Beginning in May of 2002, Kaufman sensed a need for a martial-arts-based practice. While attending a martial arts tournament promoted by a personal friend, Kaufman mentioned that he was a lawyer. That offhand statement produced inquiry from several martial artists, school owners, and promoters asking for counsel and advice about numerous legal issues. Within a few weeks, Kaufman Law had been consulted or retained by several martial arts schools, three martial arts promoters, and several athletes. The Martial Arts Center of the Kaufman Law Office soon followed.
Holding a sixth-degree black belt in Mu Duk Kwon Tang Soo Do, and fourth-degree black belts in Kendo and Iaido (two weapons-based martial arts), Kaufman possesses intimate knowledge of the legal issues and problems that face the martial arts enthusiast. As an owner and operator of a Dojo for ten years, Kaufman is well acquainted with the concerns facing martial art business owners. Incorporating this experience into his legal practice, Kaufman provides legal counsel to martial artists and martial arts business owners in a variety of legal matters, including business and contract issues, complex civil and criminal cases, as well as appearing as an expert witness in martial-arts-related cases. Kaufman has also given numerous presentations on the law of self-defense, contract law, liability issues, and other issues of interest to martial arts organizations, promoters, and the owners and operators of martial arts schools and trade associations.
Though the Martial Arts Center is based in Fairfax Virginia, Kaufman has appeared in courts throughout the country in martial-arts-related cases. His aim is to provide a full service to martial arts clientele. Some cases concern business matters—the negotiation and drafting of releases, tournament hosting contracts, competition agreements, as well as litigating defamation and intentional/negligent interference with contract claims. Other cases involve insurance and liability issues arising when students are injured during participation in tournaments or classes.
Interested persons may wish to view the Martial Arts Center’s website, Karatelaw.com. There, visitors can find information about the Martial Arts Law Center, a general glossary of martial arts terms, as well as links to martial arts related sites and detailed information about Kaufman. Kaufman may be reached c/o Kaufman Law Office, 10625 Jones Street, Suite 201A, Fairfax, VA 22030; telephone (703) 764-9080; via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph V. Sebelin, Jr. is an associate with William G. Schwab & Associates, a general practice firm in Lehighton, Pennsylvania. Sebelin’s interests outside the law include weightlifting and mountain biking. He may be reached at email@example.com.