Sports Law Conference To Be Held in Portland

Sports violence, the politics and funding of major league baseball, labor issues in sports, and negotiating contracts for some of the most highly paid athletes in the country are a few of the topics to be covered in the Sports Law Conference schedule for Oct. 10 at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland. The conference, sponsored by the Willamette University College of Law (WUCL), runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. and concludes with a reception.

The registration fee before Sept. 25 is $100 for general admission and $25 for students. After Sept. 25, the fee is $125 and $50. To register by phone, call 503-370-6877 or by email contact

The conference sessions and their presenters are:

  • 8:30 a.m. - Sports Violence and the Law: Are There Workable Legal Standards? Dean M. Richardson, Professor, WUCL
  • 9:15 a.m. - Developments in International Sports Law James Nafziger, Thomas B. Stoel Professor of Law, WUCL
  • 10 a.m. - Labor Issues in Sports William B. Gould Iv, William M. Ramsey Distinguished Professor of Law, WUCL
  • 11 a.m. - Major League Baseball Done Right: Politics, Taxes and Bonds Stephen Kanter, Professor, Lewis and Clark Northwestern School Of Law
  • 11:45 a.m. - The Role of Sports Commissions in American Sports Drew Mahalic, Ceo, Oregon Sports Authority
  • 1:30 p.m. - The Trials and Tribulations of Title IX Gilbert P. Carrasco, Professor, WUCL
  • 2:15 p.m. - Mock Negotiation of an Athlete Endorsement Contract Paul Loving, of Counsel, Davis Wright Tremaine Llp and Cara J. Frey, Associate, Davis Wright Tremaine Llp
  • 3 p.m. - Negotiating the NBA Player Agreement Golden State Warriors' Alvin Attles, Portland Trail Blazers' Steve Patterson and Sacramento Kings' Geoff Petrie
  • 4 p.m. - Closing Remarks and reception

Conference speakers are: Alvin Attles, vice president and assistant general manager of the Golden State Warriors, has witnessed it all as a player, coach and executive, including the magical 1974-75 championship season. Attles' stint with the same team represents the second-longest active streak in the NBA. The 66-year-old Attles joined the Warriors in 1960 and has since been affiliated with the club in one capacity or another, building a unique relationship based on commitment, loyalty and dedication. A native of Newark, N.J., Attles was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, into the New Jersey Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 and the New Jersey Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 1991.

Gilbert P. Carrasco, professor of law at Willamette, is an expert in civil rights law, immigration law and constitutional law. He is the author of three national casebooks on these subjects and numerous law review articles. Carrasco gathered a wealth of practical experience in civil rights litigation in Washington, D.C., where he served in the U.S. Department of Justice. Carrasco teaches Civil Rights, State and Local Government Law and Legislative Process at Willamette.

Cara Frey, an associate in the Portland office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, focuses on corporate and sports law issues. Frey, a former college basketball player at Harvard, was the director of client relations for Intersport Management where she managed and coordinated recruitment of professional basketball players, international and domestic placement of players, negotiation of players' contracts with the WNBA, ABL and international teams and the negotiation of players' endorsement agreements.

William B. Gould IV joined the faculty of Willamette in the fall of 2002 as the William M. Ramsey Distinguished Professor of Law. In 1994, Gould was appointed by President Clinton to a four-year term as chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), one of only three academics to ever serve in that position. Gould is a prolific author of books and articles on labor law and employment discrimination law, as well as shorter essays on sports law and baseball. Gould is currently at work on a book about baseball and how the sport has changed over the last 60 years.

Stephen Kanter is professor at Lewis and Clark Northwestern School of Law. He served as dean from 1986-94. His areas of specialty include constitutional and criminal law. He helped Kazakhstan write a new constitution for independence from the Soviet Union. He is working to bring Major League Baseball to Portland as president of the Portland Baseball Group, and is a member of the executive committee of the Oregon Stadium Campaign (a coalition including the Portland Baseball Group and the Oregon Sports Authority.)

Paul Loving is of counsel in the Portland office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. His practice focuses on structuring, negotiating and drafting domestic and international sports marketing, sponsorship, endorsement, strategic partnership and licensing agreements. He is outside sports marketing counsel for Adidas America. He was formerly assistant general counsel at NIKE. Loving has taught sports law at the Willamette and sports marketing at the Portland State University School of Marketing.

Drew Mahalic is the chair of the National Association of Sports Commissions and is in his eighth year as CEO of the Oregon Sports Authority, a non-profit organization with a mission to make the state of Oregon a world-class sports destination. Mahalic was a three-year starting linebacker and All-American at Notre Dame, graduating in 1975. He played five years in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles. In 1983, Mahalic became the first NFL veteran to earn a degree from Harvard Law School, and he published a major legal article on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.

James A.R. Nafziger is the Thomas B. Stoel Professor of Law and Director of International Programs at Willamette. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Nafziger is president of the American Branch of the International Law Association and treasurer of the American Society of Comparative Law. He also serves as vice president of the International Association of Sports Law. Nafziger is a lecturer and legal consultant worldwide, having worked, for example, on projects with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration. He writes extensively in the fields of international law and dispute resolution, international business transactions, immigration and refugee law, comparative law, conflict of laws and sports law. Nafziger is currently working on a second edition of his book, "International Sports Law."

Steve Patterson is president of the Portland Trailblazers. He has also served as senior vice president and chief development officer of the Houston Texans, Houston's new NFL team. He also served as president, general manager and governor of the Houston Aeros of the International Hockey League. Patterson was also president and partner of Arena Operating Company, which manages and operates Compaq Center, Houston's premier sports and entertainment facility. Patterson joined Aeros following a nine-year stint with the NBA's Houston Rockets during which he was the chief architect of the 1993-94 Rockets first World Championship. In 1992, he negotiated, produced and promoted the NBA's first games in Mexico. Patterson sits on the boards of the Texas Special Olympics and the Sam Houston Area Boy Scouts.

Geoff Petrie, a two-time NBA Executive of the Year award winner, is the key figure behind the resurrection of the Sacramento Kings. Petrie inherited a Kings team in 1994 that had not advanced to the postseason in eight years. In his second season, Petrie's 1995-96 squad qualified for the NBA Playoffs. Petrie oversees all aspects of the Kings' basketball operations department, including the coaching and scouting staffs, team negotiations and player acquisitions. Petrie was the first-ever selection of the Portland Trailblazers in the 1970 NBA draft (#8 overall). Petrie's scoring average remains the highest ever by a Portland rookie.

Dean M. Richardson, professor of law at Willamette, served as legal counsel to the Rochester, N.Y., Urban Renewal Agency from 1970-72 and was a partner with Wood, Richardson and O'Bryne in 1973-74. He joined Willamette in 1974 and was an NEH Fellow at Harvard Law School during 1980. He helps direct the school's tutorial and minority affairs programs and speaks on racial discrimination issues. Richardson introduced the first Sports Law course into Willamette's curriculum nearly 20 years ago. He acts as faculty advisor to Willamette's Sports Law Society. Richardson played college football at both Penn State and the University of Rochester.