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September 29, 2021

ABA Entertainment and Sports Forum to host annual conference, Oct. 7-15

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2021 – The American Bar Association Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries will host its 43rd annual conference virtually over five days during a two-week period, with programming scheduled for Oct. 7-9 and 14-15.

43rd Annual Conference of the Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries
Sponsored by ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries with the Section of State and Local Government Law and the Section of Intellectual Property Law

Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 7-9; and Thursday-Friday, Oct. 14-15


Allan “Bud” Selig, Major League Baseball commissioner from 1998-2015, will be featured in a conversation with Arizona State University law professor Don E.N. Gibson on Oct. 14 at 2:45 p.m. EDT. They will discuss a variety of issues, including the evolution of the role of baseball commissioner, race and gender issues in baseball, labor/management relations, globalization of the game, and the state and future of baseball.

Former ABA president and diversity expert Hilarie Bass will lead a discussion, “Elimination of Bias in Entertainment and Sports Law,” on Oct. 9 at 5:15 p.m. EDT. Joining her will be Neeta Ragoowansi, chair of the Diversity Task Force, Forum on the Entertainment & Sports Industries, and Jaia A. Thomas, founder/president of Diverse Representation.

Other featured speakers for conversation-style sessions include St. Louis Cardinals President William “Bill” DeWitt III (Oct. 15, 2:30 p.m. EDT) and Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford (Oct. 15, 6 p.m. EDT).

Other notable programs include:

“Endorsement & Licensing Deals in the Cannabis Industry” — This session will outline the legal and business considerations that go into executing a cannabis endorsement and/or licensing deal with entertainment and sports clientele. Speakers: Theresa Conduah, partner, Haynes and Boone LLP, Orange County, California; Michael Cooper, managing member, MadisonJay Solutions, New York City; and Daniel Shapiro, associate general counsel, Greenlane Holdings Inc., Boca Raton, Florida. Lead facilitator will be Marco Ciarlariello, associate, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Ontario, Canada.
Oct. 8, 4-5 p.m. EDT

“Running Up the Score with the First Amendment: Rights of Publicity, Intellectual Property and Social Media in 2021” — The panel will examine developments involving the right of publicity, the use of third-party trademarks in video games, and the rights of social media providers to suspend or remove accounts. Speakers: Marc Mayer, partner, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, Los Angeles; Ben Sheffner, senior vice president and associate general counsel, Motion Picture Association, Los Angeles; and Joshua Simmons, partner, Kirkland & Ellis, New York City.
Oct. 9, 1:15-2:15 p.m. EDT

“Anatomy of a Title IX/Harassment Investigation” — What happens when claims of sexual misconduct or abuse are made against employees/officials in educational institutions (including athletic departments) that receive federal funds? The panel will address best practices for handling sexual harassment/misconduct and discrimination investigations, public sector peculiarities, investigation pitfalls to avoid, and practical steps to minimize risk exposure/litigation. Speakers: Maria F. Dwyer, member, Clark Hill PLC, Detroit; Mary Kay Klimesh, general counsel, Douglas County School District RE-1, Castle Rock, Colorado.
Oct. 15, 10:30-11:30 a.m. EDT

The complete conference program can be found online. For media registration, please contact Barbranda Walls at [email protected].

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