My Primary Practice Areas include the 3 areas of law that most often impact small businesses and nonprofits: Contracts and Other Transactions; Digital, Marketing and Advertising law; and Employment law. Additionally, because of my background and experience, I also provide advice and counsel to clients on issues that are unique to the Sports and Entertainment industry and to the Nonprofit sector.

A sampling of my background and experience in all of these areas is summarized below.

Contracts and other Transactions

All small businesses and nonprofits are required to enter into an endless variety of contracts. These contracts and other transactions raise legal issues that, if not addressed before the contract is executed, could expose your small business or nonprofit to unexpected and sometimes disastrous losses. Whether you need counsel to prepare an agreement, review a contract presented to you by the other party or negotiate the terms of the contract, I have the background and experience to provide these legal services in a manner that minimizes your risks if a claim arising out of the contract is made against you and maximizes your rights and remedies if you are forced to assert a claim for breach of the agreement. My experience on behalf of small businesses and nonprofits on such contracts and other transactions includes:

  • Business entity formation and governance
  • LLC Operating Agreements, stock purchase and asset purchase agreements
  • Manufacturing Sales Agreements
  • Technology License Agreements
  • Equipment Purchase or Equipment Lease agreements
  • Construction Contracts
  • Commercial Leases
  • Employment and Executive Compensation agreements
  • Non-Disclosure agreements
  • Protection of Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets
  • Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation agreements
  • Review of and advice on warranty issues; limits on consequential damages; indemnification and insurance, jurisdiction and dispute resolution provisions
contracts

Digital, Marketing and Advertising Law

Whether you are a small business seeking to increase your market share and gain on the competition or a nonprofit seeking to expand its reach, it is critical to find ways to get your message out to the public on your product, service or mission. As online commerce has exploded, so too has the number of ways to advertise and market. These new digital forms of reaching your customers, together with the more traditional forms of marketing and advertising, raise a host of legal challenges which, if not addressed by experienced counsel, can expose your small business or nonprofit to serious legal consequences. A sampling of my experience on these issues include:

  • Preparation, review and updates to website Terms of Use and Privacy Policies
  • Forming and protecting websites, including domain name and trademark protection
  • Compliance with particular state laws, including California, that impose additional requirements on content needed in website/app Terms of Use and Privacy Policies
  • Compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and similar state laws protecting children under 13
  • Compliance with laws protecting children ages 13-18 and laws imposing requirements on websites/apps that target K-12 students
  • Copyright and Trademark protection and compliance
  • User Generated Content issues, including advice and counsel on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
  • Compliance with FTC Endorsement Guidelines regulating False Advertising, .Com disclosures, use of digital influencers and native advertising
  • Social Media marketing, including compliance with regulatory and industry guidelines and the rules of various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter
  • Promotions, contests and sweepstakes, including compliance with state lottery statutes and preparation of Official Rules
  • Compliance with direct marketing laws, including Do Not Call rules and email marketing
  • Service Agreements between Agencies and Advertisers
  • Sponsorship and Talent Endorsement Agreements
marketing

Employment Law

Recruitment and hiring, retention, performance management, promoting, demoting and firing employees and engaging independent contractors, are routine activities for any small business and nonprofit. However, these seemingly routine employment decisions are subject to a myriad of oft-times conflicting local, state and federal laws, regulations and court decisions. Failure to comply with any of these laws can subject your small business or nonprofit to claims for reinstatement, back pay, lost future wages and, in some cases, pain and suffering and punitive damages. Because of my experience, I can provide advice and counsel that will limit the likelihood that an employee will be able to successfully assert such employment-related claims against you. Examples of my experience in employment law include:

  • Review and counsel on hiring policies
  • At-Will employment issues
  • Compliance with various anti-discrimination laws (race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin)
  • Compliance with medical leave laws such as the FMLA
  • Avoiding sexual harassment claims, including providing employee training
  • Effective termination procedures and policies to avoid retaliation claims
  • Preparation, review and updates to Employee Handbooks and other employee policies, including social media and mobile device policies
  • Compliance with federal, state and local minimum wage and overtime laws, including exempt versus nonexempt classification issues and independent contractor issues
employment

Sports and Entertainment Law

While businesses in the sports and entertainment industry need legal counsel on Contracts and other transactions, digital, marketing and advertising issues and on employment law matters, certain legal challenges are unique to this industry. Because of my background and experience, in particular my 10 years as General Counsel for the Pittsburgh Pirates, I can assist your business as it attempts to navigate its way thru these unique legal challenges. A sampling of some of these legal issues includes:

  • Amateurism issues, including compliance with NCAA rules
  • Special rules imposed by pro sports leagues affecting sponsorship agreements and use of athletes for endorsements
  • Right of Publicity issues affecting athletes and entertainers, including morals clauses
  • SAG/AFTRA rules and regulations
  • ADA Public accommodations issues, including websites
  • Trademark and copyright issues relating to the use of athletes and entertainers in social media marketing campaigns
  • Agent rules imposed by Unions in various professional sports leagues
  • Financing issues relating to minor league and independent league baseball stadium development projects
sports

Nonprofit Law

Nonprofits need legal counsel on many of the same legal issues that face for-profit entities, including advice and counsel on contracts, digital, marketing and advertising matters and on the host of legal issues that impact its workforce. In addition, however, nonprofits face legal challenges that are unique to its nonprofit status and because of my background as General Counsel for Pirates Charities, and my representation of other nonprofit entities, including educational institutions and Museums, I can assist your nonprofit work its way thru these unique legal challenges. A sampling of some of these issues include the following:

  • Terms of Use and Privacy policy preparation, review and updates
  • Nonprofit bylaw preparation, review and updates
  • Compliance with various state law commercial co-venturer requirements
  • Compliance with state law registration requirements
  • Issues involving the use of volunteers
  • ADA Public accommodations issues
  • Conflict of Interest and private inurement issues
  • Risk management, including insurance coverage and use of waivers and releases
  • Compliance with state laws regulating promotions, contests and sweepstakes
nonprofit

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