41st Annual Conference: Playing the Game


Pacific Time (PT)

Download the 2019 Conference Brochure

Friday, October 11, 2019

Conference activities occurring on Friday, October 11, 2019 will take place at the University of Nevada Las Vegas - William S. Boyd School of Law, 4505 S Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154.

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM | Breaking into the Industry (Non CLE/CPE)

Sponsored by the ABA Young Lawyers Division and Law Students Division

Lead Facilitator: Mark Tratos, Founding Shareholder | Greenberg Traurig, Las Vegas, NV


  • Peter Ajemian | Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber and Schreck, Las Vegas, NV
  • Anat Levy | Anat Levy and Associates, Beverly Hills, CA and Las Vegas, NV
  • Mark Tratos | Founding Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Las Vegas, NV
  • Thomas Reich, Senior VP and General Counsel| Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas, NV

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM | Speed Mentoring

Group A - Entertainment Mentors:

  • Leonard Glickman | Cassels Brock and Blackwell, Toronto, Canada
  • Henry Root | Lapidus, Root, Franklin and Sacharow, Santa Monica, CA
  • Peter Strand | Mandell Menkes, Chicago, IL
  • Travis Life | Swanson, Martin & Bell LLP, Chicago, IL
  • Judy Tint | New York University, New York, NY

Group B - Sports Mentors:

  • Laura Warren | DePaul University, Chicago, IL
  • Daniel Werly | Nashville Soccer Club, Nashville, TN
  • Meghan Kane | Varsity Brands, Dallas, TX
  • Melissa Altman | Senior Counsel, AMB Group LLC (Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC), Atlanta, GA

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM | Concurrent Sessions

  • Mock Negotiation: eSports Related Agreement

    Join us for an insider’s perspective on how to negotiate and close a high-profile eSports agreement, as teams of in-house and outside counsel and executives join forces in a mock negotiation to battle for bragging rights to the ultimate client partnership opportunity. Witness firsthand how industry experts will role play their best strategies and priorities for advocacy, term negotiation, and conflict resolution.

Lead Facilitator: Seth Steinberg | Digital Arts Law, San Francisco, CA

  • Chris Carvalho, former COO Kabam and Board Member | Roblox,  San Francisco, CA
  • Krista Hiner | ESG Law, Los Angeles, CA
  • Scott Rupp | BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, San Francisco, CA
  • Roger Quiles | Quiles Law, New York, NY
  • Hot Trademark, Copyright and Advertising Issues in the Entertainment and Sports Industries
    Leaders of the Intellectual Property and Advertising Law bars will examine and discuss the latest cases and hottest issues in the entertainment and sports industries including topics such as the USPTO’s recent proposal to require all foreign pro se applicants to have a U.S. attorney to file a U.S. application (including an overall discussion regarding filing strategy), the USPTO’s pilot programs to clear away dead and fraudulently obtained marks from the federal trademark registry, the USPTO’s guidelines on registerability of marks in the cannabis space, the In re Brunetti case involving registerability of “derogatory” or “scandalous” trademarks, the Rimini Street, Inc. v. Oracle USA, Inc. case clarifying the definition of “full costs” to a prevailing party in a copyright infringement case, the Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC case dealing with timeliness of copyright registrations prior to filing a lawsuit, and the EZ Pedo vs Mayclin Dental Studio case involving trade dress.

    Lead Facilitator:
    Timothy C. Matson, Counsel | Fox Rothschild, Minneapolis, MN
    • Emeka Igbokwe, Corporate Counsel | UFC, Las Vegas, NV
    • Michael Adlin, Judge | Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, Alexandria, VA
    • Stephen Coates, Senior Counsel | CoatesIP.com, Seattle, WA

3:00 PM – 3:15 PM | Break

3:15 PM – 4:45 PM | Concurrent Sessions

  • Tips From the Battlefield: The Zealous Representation of Clients in the Modern World and Avoiding Missteps
    From his perspective as a premier trial attorney, Neville Johnson will present an entertaining and informative survey of the hot-button issues facing transactional, litigation and in-house entertainment counsel including potential liability for demand letters, landmines in talking to the press, potential liability when there is dual representation of clients or conflicts, insuring that fee agreements (percentage, oral) are compliant with law, lawyers soliciting employment and negotiating deals under California Talent Agencies Act, failure to advise clients of the risks of litigation, insuring that referral fees are paid, arbitration agreements, profit-participation litigation, copyright registration, bankruptcy, bond requirements for independent producers, and new media issues/distribution methods not anticipated/streaming.

    Lead Facilitator: Emily Evitt | Mitchell Silberberg and Knupp, Los Angeles, CA

    Speaker: Neville Johnson | Johnson and Johnson, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Legal Issues in Developing and Protecting an Athlete’s and Entertainer’s Brand
    As more and more, high-profile entertainers, artists and athletes take on social activism and business endeavors, and broadcast to the world their personal likes and dislikes, they become a personal brand unto themselves. This session will explore the legal issues involved in protecting their brand, including intellectual property, sponsorship and social media related issues, but also from a business perspective, how one establishes and monetizes their personal brand, including aligning and connecting with other brands and capturing potential revenue streams.

    Lead Facilitator: Jennifer Ko Craft , Member | Dickinson Wright, Las Vegas, NV

    • Brad Griffiths, Senior Director | The Marketing Arm, Los Angeles, CA
    • Perry Rogers, CEO | PR Partners, Las Vegas, NV
    • Alan Friedman, Partner | Fox Rothschild, New York, NY

4:45 PM – 5:00 PM | Break

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM | Keynote Address (Non CLE/CPE)

Opening Remarks: Patricia Lee Refo, ABA President-Elect | American Bar Association

Fireside Chat with Seth Krauss
Chief Legal Officer | Endeavor, New York, NY

Interviewer: Len Glickman, Immediate Past Chair, ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM | Opening Reception at UNLV Law School

10:00 PM - Midnight | Nightcap at the Four Seasons, Palm Room & Lounge, 1st floor

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Conference activities occurring on Saturday, October 12th and 13th will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Meeting Space Wi-Fi Services - Sponsored by Fox Rothschild

7:00 AM - 8:30 AM | Continental Breakfast

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM | Concurrent Sessions

  • Ethics: Considerations in Representing Talent
    Representing athletes and entertainers presents a unique set of ethical considerations that must to be taken into consideration by practitioners. This panel will explore the ethical considerations and dilemmas that may arise. It will also take a look at the differences in representing entertainers and athletes and how those differences might impact ethical considerations.

    Lead Facilitator: David Lisko, Associate | Holland & Knight, Tampa, FL
    • Christian Dennie, Partner | Barlow Garsek & Simon and General Counsel | RG Sports, Fort Worth, TX
    • Layth Gafoor | Lucentem Sports & Entertainment Law, Toronto, Canada
    • Chris Vlahos, Partner | Ritholz Levy Fields LLP, Nashville, TN
  • The Mindful Practice of Law
    In order to provide the best possible client service, staying healthy—mentally and physically—should be a top priority for attorneys. But research regularly shows that substance abuse, anxiety and stress are more prevalent among lawyers, compared to other professions. Nixon Peabody associate Jennifer Cormano has a strategy for managing this demanding career: yoga and mindfulness. In “The Mindful Practice of Law”, Jennifer, who is also a yoga instructor, takes a practical look at how emotional stress can impact an attorney’s performance, and explores using meditation, mindfulness and yoga to combat the unique pressures of practicing law and achieve a healthier and happier legal practice.

    Speaker: Jennifer Cormano, Associate | Nixon Peabody, Los Angeles, CA

9:30 AM – 9:45 AM | Break

9:45 AM – 11:15 AM | Concurrent Sessions

  • Sports Gambling: Overview and Update
    After the U.S. Supreme Court's Murphy ruling, legal sports betting has been the hot topic in several state legislatures. With the enactment of legal sports betting, what are the consequences for teams, athletes, and consumers in this quickly changing environment? Industry experts will provide an update on current legislation efforts, forthcoming legal battles, and best practices to maintain in-game integrity.

    Lead Facilitators: Woodie Dixon, General Counsel and SVP of Business Affairs | Pac-12 Conference, San Francisco, CA

    Aalok Sharma, Associate | Stinson LLP, Minneopolis, MN

    • A.G. Burnett, Partner | McDonald Carano and former Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Las Vegas, NV
    • Matthew Holt, President | U.S. Integrity, Las Vegas, NV
    • Jennifer Roberts, Associate Director | International Center of Gaming Regulation, Las Vegas, NV
  • Digital Platforms Roundtable
    Prominent attorneys, each experienced in their respective practice areas, will interview experts in each of the Video Gaming, Television (including so-called Subscription Video On Demand platforms, such as Netflix and Hulu), and Music Publishing and Recording (including the Music Modernization Act and the Music Licensing Committee being established thereunder) platforms in a round table manner for an in-depth review of the evolution of digital platforms and the current status of exploitation methodologies and an examination of licensing trends and new and developing revenue sources, culminating in a panel-wide “state of the digital entertainment industry” discussion.

    • Video Games:
      • Azar Koulibaly | Senior Attorney, Microsoft,  Redmond, WA
      • Seth Steinberg | Digital Arts Law, San Francisco, CA
    • Recorded Music:
      • Michael Olsen, EVP Operations and Business and Legal Affairs | Entertainment One, Nashville, TN
    • Digital Music:
      • Bill Colitre, VP Business and Legal Affairs | Music Reports Inc., Los Angeles, CA
      • Henry Root | Lapidus, Root, Franklin and Sacharow, Santa Monica, CA
    • Streaming:
      • Peter Dekom | a Law Corporation, Los Angeles, CA
      • Elke F. Suber, Assistant General Counsel | Microsoft, Redmond, VA

11:15 AM – 11:30 AM | Break

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM | Concurrent Sessions

  • Motion Picture and Television Profit Participations
    Steven Sills will facilitate a panel of four experts who will discuss the Motion Picture and Television Audit and Litigation process with focus on current audit issues as well as the following:
    • Bob Getman | Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein, Los Angeles, CA
      Transactional Attorney – Negotiating the deal for talent; upfront and backend compensation; historical participations versus streaming buyouts
    • Teena Munroe, EVP Participations | Lions Gate Films, Los Angeles, CA
      Studio Executive – Negotiation with talent; negotiating with co-financiers; competing with streamers
    • Ilan Haimoff | Green Hasson Janks, Los Angeles, CA
      Participation Auditor – The process of deciding when to audit: studio queues and audit timing; allocating fees amongst multiple clients; audit costs; converting from a percipient witness to an expert witness when litigation ensues
    • Ron Nessum | Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg, & Rhow, Los Angeles, CA
      Litigator – The litigator’s involvement in the audit process, including settlement; studio arbitration clauses; mediation vs. arbitration vs. litigation; recent cases
  • Legal Issues Facing Professional Sports Teams
    In representing high-profile businesses, professional sports team lawyers face increased legal risks and the related public relations concerns that come with operating in the spotlight. Join our expert panel to learn more about the legal issues that face teaam lawyers on a day-to-day basis and some of the most pressing legal trends in the industry.

    Lead Facilitator: Dan Werly | Nashville Soccer Club, Nashville, TN
    • Melissa Altman, Senior Counsel | AMB Group LLC (Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC), Atlanta, GA
    • Tamara Daniels, VP and General Counsel, | Vegas Golden Knights, Las Vegas, NV
    • Marissa Meli, Corporate Transactions Counsel | Green Bay Packers, Greenbay, WI 

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM | Luncheon and Keynote Address: Merck Mercuriadis (Non CLE/CPE)
CEO and Founder | Hipgnosis Songs Ltd., Los Angeles, CA

Interviewer: Mark Barondess, Partner | Miller Barondess, Los Angeles, CA

Sponsored by J.P. Morgan Securities

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM | Plenary (Non CLE/CPE)

Leading Entertainment & Sports Lawyers of the Next Generation

Please join a very special Forum Plenary session featuring a select group of the leading Entertainment and Sports lawyers of the next generation. As nominated by their peers and colleagues from across the country, these lawyers have practiced between five and fifteen years and have distinguished themselves as leading lawyers within the entertainment and sports industries. In a panel moderated by former NPR Correspondent Sonari Glinton, these accomplished lawyers will discuss their practices, professional paths, emerging trends, and outlook for the future of their industries. Join us in recognizing these lawyers for their fine achievements!

Lead Facilitator: Sonari Glinton, Former NPR Correspondent | Founder of DeLite Media, West Hollywood, CA

  • Alana Kirkland, Associate | GreenbergTraurig, Atlanta, GA
  • Julian Petty, EVP and Head of Business and Legal Affairs | Warner Bros. Records, Los Angeles, CA
  • Noah McPike, Senior Counsel | Loeb & Loeb, Nashville, TN
  • Maacah Scott, Associate General Counsel | Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix, AZ
  • Aalok Sharma, Associate | Stinson LLP, Minneapolis, MN

4:30PM - 6:00 PM | Behind the Scenes: Tournament of Kings (Tickets Required)

Las Vegas live performances used to regularly feature animals in performances.  Today, few do.  In an exciting behind-the-scenes glimpse of one of Las Vegas’ longest running shows with more than 12,000 performances, we’ll learn how performers and horses are trained to perform difficult stunts involving falls and jousting and how the performers and animals must work together for the audience’s safety, excitement and pleasure.

$25 / $30 after September 27th
Location: Excalibur Hotel & Casino, 3850 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

4:30PM - 6:00 PM | Behind the Scenes: Sweets Things at Sara’s (Tickets Required)

Michael Symon’s homage to the swinging Rat Pack era of Las Vegas 1960s is a hidden restaurant within a restaurant that provides remarkable ambiance and sophisticated service.  Enjoy Cherries Jubilee, Bananas Foster, or Crepes Suzette prepared in front of you, together with a couple of glasses of sparkling wine or a fancy mixed cocktail created by one of Las Vegas’ exceptional mixologists.

$75.00 per person – with limited availability
Palms Hotel, 4321 W. Flamingo Road

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM | Sports Business Leadership Association Reception 

The   Sports   Business   Leadership   Association   (SBLA)   invites   all   conference   attendees  to  join  them  for  an  evening  of  fun  and  networking.  The  SBLA  is  a  non-profit  charitable  organization  that  provides  underprivileged  children  the  opportunity  to  participate  and  engage  in  sports.  Complimentary  hors  d’oeuvres  will be provided.

Location: Four Seasons Hotel, Palm Room & Lounge, 1st floor

10:00 PM - 1:00 AM | Octavius (Ted) Reid Reception 

Ted Reid of Morgan Stanley invites you to join your conference colleagues for complimentary spirits and relaxed networking. Your ABA badge will be required to gain entrance to the reception.

Location: Chateu, Paris Las Vegas Hotel, 3655 Las Vegas Blvd, South

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Meeting Space Wi-Fi Services - Sponsored by Fox Rothschild

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM | Breakfast

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM | Concurrent Sessions

  • Sports and Entertainment General Counsels
    What are the key legal issues facing in-house legal departments in the sports and entertainment industries? How are those issues similar and different to each other and to other industries? Join our expert panel of General Counsels for an insider’s look at the current legal landscape of the sports and entertainment industries.

    Lead Facilitator: Benjamin Lipman, VP of Legal Affairs and General Counsel | Las Vegas Review Journal, Las Vegas, NV
    • Tanja Olano, General Counsel and VP | Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2028, Los Angeles, CA
    • Pamela Parker, Senior Vice President, Business Affaris | Sony Pictures Television, Culver City, CA
    • Kelvin Smith, Executive Commissioner and General Counsel | Big 12 Athletic Conference, Dallas, TX
  • Come From Away – The Journey from Nonprofit Theater to Broadway
    Come From Away opened on Broadway in 2017 and has since garnered dozens of best musical awards, including the 2019 Best New Musical at the Olivier Awards (UK).  Creator, Producer, and Lawyer, Michael Rubinoff, traces the life cycle of the production - from workshops at the Canadian Music Theatre Project to the La Jolla Playhouse/Seattle Repertory Theater to Broadway. This Q & A presentation will include a specific focus on the milestones and primary deal points for theatrical production develoPMent, financing, and commercial enhancement.

    Lead Facilitator: Ari Solotoff | Bernstein Shur, Portland, ME
    Speaker: Michael Rubinoff, BA, LLB – Producing Artistic Director | Canadian Music Theatre Project, Toronto, Canada

10:45 AM – 12:15 PM | Concurrent Panels

  • Is Blockchain the New Internet for Sports and Entertainment?
    Join us for an expert presentation on everything you didn’t know you needed to know about cutting edge blockchain technology. Our industry experts will define and explain the technology and its applications, how it will impact your clients’ future business and your legal practice, and affiliated risk management and legal issues. Jump ahead of your competitors with this insider’s view of the future tech landscape.

    Lead Facilitator: Caren Yeamans, SVP and General Counsel | Fanatics, Philadelphia, PA
    • Amy Caiazza, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, Washington, DC
    • Andrew Maxwell Hinkes, General Counsel | Athena Blockchain and Adjunct Professor | NYU Law, New York, NY
    • Adi Sideman, CEO | YouNow, New York, NY
  • Death, Taxes, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Part 2: Valuations of Creative Intellectual Property and Legacy Entertainment Estates
    This session will explore the factors and considerations that underpin the valuation of legacy entertainment estates, including intellectual property assets and rights of publicity, particularly at time-of-death.  Topics will include tax implications, valuing rights of publicity, commercialization strategies, and ongoing estate planning/administration considerations.

    Lead Facilitator: Derek Crownover, Partner | Loeb & Loeb, Nashville, TN
    • Bradford S. Cohen, Partner | Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell, LLP, Los Angeles, CA
    • Nancy Fannon, CPA, ASA, MCBA, Business Valuation and Litigation Services Leader | Marcum, LLP, Portland, ME
    • Mark Roesler, Founder, Chairman and CEO | CMG Worldwide, Los Angeles, CA
    • Chuck Fleckenstein, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer | “Roy’s Boy’s” Still and Working Music, Nashville, TN

12:15 PM – 12:30 PM | Break

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM | Concurrent Sessions

  • Litigation Round-up
    This last year has seen landmark decisions on a variety of issues in Entertainment Law–Sports, Music, Film and Television, and other key areas. A panel of litigation experts will run down some of the major developments in Court cases during the past year. This must-see event for all attendees will present practice tips and lessons learned from the litigation during the past year. The panel will also talk about discernable trends and cases likely to be a major factor in Entertainment Law in the coming year.

    Lead Facilitator: Ken Freundlich | Freundlich Law, Encino, CA
    • Julie Gerchik, Partner | Glaser Weil,  Los Angeles, CA
    • Gabriella Nourafchan | Mitchell, Silberberg and Knupp, Los Angeles, CA
    • Tim Warnock | Riley, Warnock and Jacobson, Nashville, TN
  • The Intersection of Cannabis/CBD and the Entertainment and Sports Industries
    As of 2018, 33 states plus D.C. and our neighbor to the north, Canada, now regulate recreational cannabis use.  Coupled with emerging research regarding the positive health benefits of cannabis and CBD products, the cannabis industry now more than ever significantly impacts the entertainment and sports industry.  This panel will discuss various legal issues, including regulatory restrictions affecting the sale of cannabis and CBD as well as sponsorship and endorsement related concerns given the CSA (Controlled Substance Act), and how those in the entertainment and sports industry are handling and overcoming these legal hurdles.

    Lead Facilitator: Alicia Ashcraft, Partner | Ashcraft and Barr, Las Vegas, NV
    • Christopher Sabec | Fox Rothschild, San Francisco, CA
    • Andy Mendelsohn, Music Manager | Full Stop Management, Los Angeles, CA
    • Russell Greenman | Weinberg Gonser, West Hollywood, CA

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM | Lunch on your own

3:00PM - 4:30 PM | Behind the Scenes: Cirque du Soleil - (Tickets Required)

We will join the stage managers of one of Cirque du Soleil’s most difficult technical shows, , and most technically sophisticated stages to learn how the technology enhances the performance, making Cirque du Soleil’s shows consistent sellouts on the Las Vegas strip.

$25 / $30 after September 27th
Location: MGM Grand, 3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

4:30PM - 6:00 PM | Behind the Scenes: Sweets Things at Sara’s (Tickets Required)

Michael Symon’s homage to the swinging Rat Pack era of Las Vegas 1960s is a hidden restaurant within a restaurant that provides remarkable ambiance and sophisticated service.  Enjoy Cherries Jubilee, Bananas Foster, or Crepes Suzette prepared in front of you, together with a couple of glasses of sparkling wine or a fancy mixed cocktail created by one of Las Vegas’ exceptional mixologists.

$75.00 per person – with limited availability
Location: Palms Hotel, 4321 W. Flamingo Road