Athletes Needing Legal Representation in Olympic-Related Disputes

For situations where athletes need legal counsel and/or individual representation, the Athlete Ombudsman Office has compiled a list below of attorneys who have expertise in Olympic-related issues, and who have expressed an interest in working with athletes. The areas of expertise and summary of experience is offered as the attorneys have described in their own words. Athletes, however, are responsible for investigating, making an independent determination, and hiring their own legal counsel. The Athlete Ombudsman, nor the USOC, has done any investigation of the qualifications, credentials, ethical conduct, qualities will not be held liable for any information represented on this list, or any recommendation to an athlete. The fees for each attorney should be explored directly between the athlete and the attorney, although many on this list have suggested that they would be willing to represent athletes on a sliding fee basis, depending on resources available to the athlete. 

Contact Information  

 

Areas of Expertise

 

Summary of Experience 

Brian J. Barrido
Barrido Law
Lynnwood, WA
(425) 405-3990
brian@barridolaw.com
www.barridolaw.com
  Anti-Doping
Athlete Agent
Criminal Cases
NGB Issues
Sponsorship Contracts  

  Mr. Barrido has been involved with either the USOC or USADA since 1996 and has been a trial lawyer since 2001. His clients have ranged from Olympic gold medal winners to minor league baseball players and his work has ranged from agent representation to USADA hearings.





Lindsay Brandon
Law Officer of Howard Jacobs
Westlake Village, CA
(206) 200-2356
lindsay.brandon@athleteslawyer.com
www.athleteslawyer.com
  Anti-Doping
Conduct
SafeSport
Team Selection 
  Ms. Brandon is an associate at the Law Office of Howard L. Jacobs.  With a focus on Olympic-related disputes, Ms. Brandon has helped represent some of the most prominent athletes in sport.  Prior to joining Howard Jacobs’ firm, Ms. Brandon worked in criminal defense. 
         
Scott M. DeWolf
Irving, TX
(214) 953-0182
sdewolf@qeo.com
  Conduct
Governance
SafeSport
Team Selection
 
Mr. DeWolf has represented athletes and coaches in disputes relating to eligibility, conduct and SafeSport matters. He has an extensive commercial background that can assist with sponsorship and related issues.

       
Kevin B. Duff
Rachlis Durham Duff
Adler & Peel, LLC
Chicago, IL
(312) 733-3390
kduff@rdaplaw.net
www.rdaplaw.net
  Conduct
Governance
Litigation
NGB Rules and Bylaws
Team Selection


  Mr. Duff is a commercial litigation trial lawyer. He has represented and advised Olympic athletes in disputes with NGBs and the USOC for more than 15 years before arbitrators, federal courts, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.


         
John Dwyer
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Denver, CO
(303) 298-5710
jdwyer@gibsondunn.com 
www.gibsondunn.com
  Anti-Doping
Governance
Team Selection



  Mr. Dwyer has represented Olympic-movement athletes in several selection-related arbitration hearings, and in anti-doping matters. His firm has substantial experience representing athletes in a variety of sports-related disputes.

         

Timothy Liam Epstein, Esq
Duggan Bertsch, LLC
303 W. Madison, #1000
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 263-8600
tepstein@dugganbertsch.com
www.dugganbertsch.com

  Anti-Doping
Associations
Athlete Rights
Contract Drafting
Eligibility
Governance/NGB Issues
Litigation
Sponsorship 
  Mr. Epstein and Duggan Bertsch have represented hundreds of athletes and coaches in disputes relating to amateurism, eligibility, conduct, anti-doping, and governance.  They also have an extensive background in commercial, corporate, and estate work, and can assist with company formation, contracts, negotiations, buy/sell agreements, trusts/estates, and other legal issues relating to a variety of athletic-related matters.

 

         
M. Antonio Gallegos
Greenberg Traurig LLP
Denver, CO
(303) 685-7489
gallegosa@gtlaw.com
www.gtlaw.com
  Anti-Doping
Conduct
Team Selection



   
         
Mark R. Gaylord
Ballard Spahr LLP
Salt Lake City, UT
(801) 531-3070
gaylord@ballardspahr.com  
www.ballardspahr.com
  Anti-Doping
Discrimination Claims
Governance
NGB vs. Athlete Disputes
Team Selection  

  Mr. Gaylord has represented clients in both doping cases and in the right to participate in protected competitions with success.



         
Paul J. Greene
Global Sports Advocates, LLC 
Portland, ME
(207) 747-5899
pgreene@globalsportsadvocates.com 
www.globalsportsadvocates.com
  Anti-Doping
Conduct
SafeSport
Sponsorship
Team Selection

  Mr. Greene's legal practice is dedicated to the protection of athletes' rights. He has successfully represented many athletes in the U.S. and abroad.



         
Howard Jacobs
Law Offices of Howard L. Jacobs
Westlake Village, CA
(805) 418-9892
howard.jacobs@athleteslawyer.com
www.athleteslawyer.com
  Anti-Doping
Governance
SafeSport
Team Selection


  Mr. Jacobs has represented more athletes in Olympic-related disputes than any attorney in the United States, with consistently good results over an extensive time period. He is available to speak to any athlete whose career depends on the absolute best legal representation.
         
Jeffrey Kessler
Winston & Strawn LLP
New York, New York
(212) 294-4698
jkessler@winston.com
www.winston.com
  Anti-Doping
Athlete Rights
Competition
Contract Drafting and Negotiation
Disciplinary Issues
Eligibility
Gender Pay Discrimination 
 

Mr. Kessler is the Co-Chairman of Winston & Strawn LLP and one of the most prominent sports lawyers in the country.  He has represented scores of collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes, and also routinely serves as counsel for the National Football League Players Association and the National Basketball Players Association.  In connection with these representations, Mr. Kessler has secured some of the most significant legal victories in history on behalf of athletes.

 
         
James P. Moorhead
Moorhead Law Group, LLC
Chicago, IL
(312) 445-6262
jmoorhead@moorhead-law.com
www.moorhead-law.com
  Anti-Doping
Code of Conduct
SafeSport
Sponsorships


  Mr. Moorhead has represented athletes in rule infractions, doping matters, and safe sport matters. His background is in professional cycling, and he has experience with sponsor agreements, athlete contracts, and ancillary athlete concerns.

       
Mark Muedeking
DLA Piper LLP
Washington, DC
(202) 799-4240
mark.muedeking@dlapiper.com
www.dlapiper.com
  Conduct
Eligibility 
Governance
Sponsorship
Team Selection

  Mr. Muedeking was the former General Counsel of the United States Olympic Committee. He is also an Arbitrator at CAS and AAA for sport matters.


         
Kevin Mueller
Mueller Legal
Columbus, OH
(614) 271-6987
kmueller@muellerlegal.com


  Governance
Sponsorship/Endorsement
Team Selection    
Trademark/Likeness




  Mr. Mueller has represented affected athletes in world team selection dispute. He routinely negotiates and drafts sponsorship agreements (representing both sponsors and athletes). He also routinely enforces likeness rights and other intellectual property rights of athletes and spokespersons.

         
Eric Neuburger
Neuburger Law, LLC
Bloomington, IN
(812) 269-8615
eric@neuburgerlaw.com

  Athlete Rights
Conduct
Governance
SafeSport
Team Selection

  Mr. Neuburger is an Indiana licensed attorney and registered civil mediator located in Bloomington, Indiana. He is an accomplished athletics administrator with experience as an athlete, coach, employee, and volunteer within the United States Olympic governance structure.
         

Laura Peeters
Colorado Springs, CO
(719) 424-5553
macpeetlaw@gmail.com 

  Anti-Doping
Code of Conduct
Right to Compete
SafeSport
Sponsorship
Team Selection 
  Ms. Peeters has represented the USOC, athletes and national governing bodies of sport in the Olympic and Paralympic movements in a broad range of legal matters, including code of conduct, anti-doping, team selection, safe sport, right to compete and sponsorship issues.  She routinely negotiates and drafts intellectual property agreements (licensing, right of publicity, etc.) and is a trained mediator. She is available to consult with any athlete to discuss options and help them determine the best avenue through which to pursue their intended resolution. Ms. Peeters was a USFSA (figure skating) gold medalist in freestyle and figures and a collegiate athlete (rowing). 
         

Jill Pilgrim
Pilgrim & Associates
New York, NY
(347) 949-2287
jpesq@pilgrim-associateslaw.com
pilgrim-associateslaw.com

  Athletes' Rights 
Contracts
Corporate Governance
Eligibility
NGB Rules & Bylaws
Mediation/Arbitration
SafeSport
  Ms. Pilgrim is a long-established athlete advocate with a 360 degree perspective in sports; having been an elite athlete, athlete representative, NGB in-house counsel,  and professional sport in-house counsel.  She is or has been an arbitrator for NGBs, the USOC, the NCAA, AAA, NYS Gaming Commission and in the finance industry.  Ms. Pilgrim wrote the proposal resulting in the creation of the USOC Athlete Ombudsman position, and successfully represented an athlete before the first Ad Hoc CAS in 1996.  Ms. Pilgrim has substantial expertise in the drafting and interpretation of sports rules & regulations, as well as contract drafting and negotiation. 
         
Mark W. Sniderman
Sniderman Nguyen LLP
Indianapolis, IN
(317) 361-4700
mark@snlawyers.com
www.snlawyers.com
  Anti-Doping
Governance
Team Selection
Whistleblowing


  Mr. Sniderman has represented athletes in team-selection and doping disputes. He has also formerly served as a national team programs director charged with implementing national team selection procedures.

         
Michael S. Straubel
Valparaiso University Sports Law
Clinic 
Valparaiso, IN
(219) 465-7955
Mike.Straubel@valpo.edu
www.valpo.edu/law
  Anti-Doping
Governance
SafeSport
Team Selection



  The Valparaiso University Sports Law Clinic has represented athletes in anti-doping, team selection, governance, and related cases for over ten years. Cases are handled by legal interns under the supervision of Professor Michael Straubel who has over thirty years of legal experience.

         
Steven J. Thompson
Nixon Peabody LLP
Chicago, IL
(312) 977-4396
sjthompson@nixonpeabody.com
www.nixonpeabody.com
  Anti-Doping
Citizenship
Immigration
NGB Support Issues
Team Selection


  Mr. Thompson has represented athletes in Olympic selection disputes in virtually every Olympic Games since the late 1990's.  His firm, Nixon Peabody LLP, has the resources and knowledge to mount a successful challenge under the right circumstances, and the experience in expedited proceedings to react quickly to any such case.
         
Carla Varriale
Havkins Rosenfeld Ritzert & Varriale, LLP
New York, New York
(646) 747-5115
carla.varriale@hrrvlaw.com
www.hrrvlaw.com
  Arbitration
Athletes' Rights
Contracts
Mediation
SafeSport 
  Ms. Varriale is a litigator, athlete advocate (with an interest in LGTBQ rights) and an adjunct professor of Sports Law and Ethics at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. She has represented teams, venues and athletes as part of her practice. Ms. Varriale has substantial expertise in Alternative Dispute Resolution, as well as contract drafting and negotiation. Her firm offers sliding scale representation where appropriate.  
         
Jon Velie
(505) 310-4333
Jon@velielaw.com
www.OnLineVisas.com

  Citizenship 
Contract Drafting and 
     Negotiation
Disciplinary Issues
Immigration
  Jon Velie and Velie law firm have represented Olympic and other world class athletes, coaches and support staff for 22 years in Immigration and other legal matters.

         

Edward G. Williams
Stewart Occhipiniti, LLP
New York, NY
(212) 239-5500 ext 11
egwilliams@somlaw.com
www.somlaw.com

 

 

  Due Process 
Eligibility 
NGB Compliance
SafeSport
Team Selection








 
Ed Williams is an Olympian (biathlon), former chair of the USOC, co-author of the "Athletes Rights" section of the Sports Act, draftsman of the USOC Due Process Checklist, and has been representing athletes and advising NGBs in connection with eligibility matters and the requirements of the Sports Act and USOC Bylaws/policies for over 30 years.