ASU A-Z Index
Colleges & Schools
News & Events
Centers & Programs
Alumni and Friends
Support ASU Law
Sports and Entertainment Law Journal
The Sports & Entertainment Law Blog
2010 Conference Speaker Biographies
Calendar of Events
Steven A. Adelman is the head of Adelman Law Group, PLLC in Scottsdale. His practice focuses on significant injury cases in venues such as stadiums, arenas, performing arts centers, hotels, and convention centers, and he is a frequent author and speaker on safety and security in public assembly facilities.
Mr. Aragon is an associate at Hagens Berman's Phoenix office. Prior to joining the firm, Leonard spent four years practicing in the areas of commercial litigation, election law and appellate advocacy at a Phoenix-based firm.
At his former firm, Mr. Aragon handled numerous initiative, referendum and redistricting matters, including representing the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission in lawsuits related to Arizona's congressional and legislative redistricting following the 2000 census. Additionally, he represented candidates from all levels of state and federal government.
Mr. Aragon has also represented every major hospital in the state against public and private insurers for reimbursement under Arizona's Medicaid system. He also has significant experience in diverse practice areas such as appellate advocacy, antitrust, bankruptcy, commercial lending, and environmental contamination.
Mr. Aragon is committed to pro bono and community service. He has represented numerous pro bono clients in the areas of insurance, immigration, family, and contract law, and serves on the board of directors of EMPACT-SPC (one of Arizona's largest behavioral health organizations). He also recently served as the co-chair for a major Valley fundraiser benefiting children's charities.
Before attending college, Mr. Aragon was a scout for the 2/68 Armored Tank Battalion. During that time, he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal and several expert marksmanship badges.
Mr. Aragon graduated
summa cum laude
from Arizona State University in 1998 with degrees in History and Political Science. He received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2001. He is a member of the State Bar of Arizona and is admitted in Arizona and Colorado federal district court.
Mr. Bester is a litigator for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. He wrote a well-publicized article on the antitrust issues of the monumental case,
American Needle v. NFL
Ms. Brehm is a senior associate at
White O'Connor Fink & Brenner LLP
in Los Angeles, CA, and is the former Chair of the Los Angeles County's Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property Section. Ms. Brehm's practice includes a variety of entertainment law disputes, including idea submission, copyright, trademark, defamation, right of privacy, and civil harassment disputes.
LEE S. BRENNER
Lee S. Brenner was born in Waukesha, WI, on March 18, 1970. Mr. Brenner received his bachelors of science, with distinction, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1992, and his law degree
from the Hastings College of Law, University of California in 1995. Admitted to practice in California in 1995, Mr. Brenner was a founding member of the White O'Connor firm in 1996.
Mr. Brenner is a partner in the firm, serving as counsel for individuals, television networks, production companies, corporations and partnerships in business, employment, media and entertainment lawsuits. Mr. Brenner has extensive experience in litigating complex civil matters in both state and federal courts.
JOY R. BUTLER
Joy R. Butler is an entertainment, intellectual property and business law attorney. Her entertainment practice includes transactional projects in film, television, music, book publishing, multimedia, and the internet. She is the author of
The Permission Seeker's Guide Through the Legal Jungle: Clearing Copyrights, Trademarks and Other Rights for Entertainment and Media Productions
The Cyber Citizen's Guide Through the Legal Jungle: Internet Law for Your Professional Online Presence
; and a forthcoming book on contest and sweepstakes law. Ms. Butler blogs about media and intellectual property law issues at
, and about business law issues at
. She earned a law degree at Harvard Law School and a B.A. in economics at Harvard College.
GREGG E. CLIFTON
Gregg E. Clifton is a partner in the Phoenix office of Jackson Lewis LLP. He is Co-chair of the firm's Collegiate and Professional Sports Industry Group.
Mr. Clifton has extensive experience in the collegiate and professional sports world. Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, he spent six years as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Team Sports for Gaylord Sports Management. He has also served as Vice President and Senior Counsel for Athlete Representation at Octagon, a national sports marketing firm, and as President of the Athlete and Entertainment Division for famed sports attorney Bob Woolf's firm, Woolf Associates, in Boston.
Mr. Clifton began his career as an Associate at Jackson Lewis where he focused his practice on traditional labor law. He counseled clients in collective bargaining negotiations, representation cases, arbitrations and National Labor Relations Board matters.
He frequently serves as an expert speaker to law schools, including Harvard University, Boston College, Hofstra University, and Arizona State University, and bar associations regarding sports law issues, including agent regulation and salary arbitration. He is also often cited as an expert source in national news media for his commentary and opinion on legal issues in sports.
Mr. Clifton is a member of the New York and New Jersey Bars. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and its Section on Labor and Employment Law and its Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries. He is a past Chairperson of the New Jersey Bar Association's Sports Law Committee.
Mr. Clifton received his A.B. in General Studies,
, from Harvard University. While at Harvard, he was the recipient of the John Harvard Scholarship for Academic Excellence. He earned his J.D. from the Hofstra University School of Law.
Elsa Kircher Cole is the former vice-president of legal affairs and general counsel for the NCAA where she was responsible for its nationwide litigation calendar and providing all legal services to the association. Prior to her beginning work there in 1997, she served for eight years as the general counsel for the University of Michigan and before that as an assistant attorney general assigned to the University of Washington for thirteen years. She has been named a Fellow of the National Association of College and University Attorneys for her contributions to higher education law and serves on the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyers Association. She is a frequent speaker and writer on sports law issues as well as employment and due process issues.
Wm. David Cornwell, Sr., is nationally recognized as the premier lawyer for professional athletes, sports agencies, executives, and companies in sports industry. Cornwell has served as primary counsel for Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers), Cedric Benson (Cincinnati Bengals), Reggie Bush (New Orleans Saints), Gilbert Arenas (Washington Wizards), Michael Beasley (Miami Heat), and Darren McFadden (Oakland Raiders). He also represents NFL players in administrative appeals under the NFL's Substance Abuse and Steroid Programs and the League's Conduct Policy.
In July 2008, Cornwell was featured in the
for his work on behalf of NFL players and other professional athletes. In 2004,
heralded the Ricky Williams reinstatement agreement that Cornwell negotiated with the NFL as one of the top 10 sports stories of the year. ESPN.com has referred to Cornwell as "a brilliant legal mind."
In 1975, when hired as a contract attorney for ABC Sports, Betsy Goff became the first woman executive in all of sports television. Following that, she spent three years as Assistant General Counsel for ABC News where I specialized in First Amendment issues in television. Then back to sports for the next 20 years as VP of New York Counsel for IMG (the largest sports marketing, athlete representation and event management company in the world) and SVP, Business Affairs for ESPN. Finally, she was a professor of Sport Law and Sport Management at the Eisenberg School of Management at UMass for six years and is now in private practice.
Ms. Goff co-authored a chapter on Sport Media in the Masteralexis, Barr and Hums text,
Principles and Practices of Sport Management
, has participated in a variety of sport law panels and is in
Who's Who in American Law
Who's Who in American Women
Ms. Hodulik is a Senior Attorney in the Business Affairs and Legal Departments at Paramount Pictures Corporation.
Ms. Hoff is Senior Litigation Counsel at NBC Universal.
DANA L. HOOPER
Dana Hooper focuses her practice in the areas of commercial litigation, business matters and sports law. Her experience also includes insurance defense, alternative dispute resolution, business torts, collective actions and class actions. Dana is certified as an athlete's agent in Arizona.
NEVILLE L. JOHNSON
Neville L. Johnson is a partner at the Beverly Hills firm of Johnson & Johnson LLP, which specializes in business, media, and entertainment litigation, class actions involving consumers or in the entertainment industries, the right of privacy, defamation, right of publicity, banking, insurance, and net profits/royalties in the entertainment industries. Mr. Johnson has tried over 23 jury cases to verdict, and in 2005 was nominated for Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, of which he is a board member. He is a member of the invitation-only American Board of Trial Advocates, a board member of Public Justice, been voted a
, and for the past three years, the
has designated him a
, one of the top 100 entertainment lawyers in the nation. he is Co-Chair of the Entertainment Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.
After five years of litigation, in 2010, he settled a class action against the Writer's Guild of America West, Inc., over the failure to properly pay out $100 million in "foreign levies" monies due screenwriters. He previously settled a similar action against the Directors Guild of America, and settled another with the Screen Actors Guild in August 2010. Mr. Johnson helped establish the right of privacy for all Americans in
Sanders v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
, 20 Cal.4th 907 (1999), where the ABC network paid over $1 million in compensatory and punitive damages, the first such verdict in the United States and currently studied in the leading casebook on torts, and the two entertainment law casebooks. The treatise,
, contains a special dedication to him, stating that he ranks with Brandeis and Warren as the great defenders of privacy.
He is a frequent lecturer and written extensively on entertainment, copyright and media and other legal topics including co-writing the chapters on music publishing, personal managers and getting a record deal in
The Musician's Business & Legal Guide
, for the latest edition. He wrote the authorized biography,
The John Wooden Pyramid of Success
(2004), and releases music as the artist Trevor McShane. Besides California, Mr. Johnson has appeared in courts in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Myles Lynk is a professor of law and the legal profession at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. His areas of interest include business and corporate law, civil procedure, legal ethics and professional responsibility, bioethics in health care and law and literature. In 2008-2009, he was a Visting Honors Faculty Fellow in Arizona State University's Barrett, The Honors College. In 2010, he received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the College of Law's Alumni Association. From 2004, to 2010, he served as ASU's NCAA Faculty Athletics Representativev.
Professor Lynk is chair of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Professional Discipline. He is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute and a member of the U.S. Indian Health Service's Phoenix Area Institutional Review Board (IRB). He served as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and he was a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare and an Assistant Director on the White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Carter. Professor Lynk served for six years on the Civil Rules Advisory Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, is a past President of the District of Columbia Bar, was a member of the ABA's Commission on Racial and Ethic Diversity in the Profession and chaired the ABA's Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law. He co-chaired the State Bar of Arizona's Task Force on Multi-jurisdictional Practice and was a member of the State Bar's Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession. Professor Lynk has served as a mediator and arbitrator and as an expert on legal ethics.
CONNIE J. MABLESON
Connie J. Mableson, Esq., is a nationally recognized attorney with over 26 years of practice in Intellectual Property Law with an emphasis in Arts & Entertainment and Virtual World Law.
Connie's clients include Stephanie Meyer, the author of the
vampire book and film series, Allison DuBois, the medium featured on NBC's Emmy award winning prime time program, "Medium," and many other New York Times' Best Selling authors and filmmakers.
Connie made history as the first lawyer in the world to open a law office in a Virtual World. In 2005, she opened her Intellectual Property Resource Center in Second Life.
Connie is the secretary of the State Bar of Arizona E-Commerce and Technology Section, is the former Vice President of the State Bar of Arizona Intellectual Property Section and is a member of the ABA Section on Science and Technology, American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association, and Association of Virtual Worlds.
JAMES M. MAROVICH
James Marovich is a litigation and transactional attorney who, before solo practice and forming his own firm, worked for two multi-state law firms in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Mr. Marovich's business and intellectual property practice consists of copyright, trademarks and trade names, and rights to privacy. He provides business, intellectual property, intellectual property licensing, and contract law services for all types of enterprises, including singers, songwriters, musicians, bands, independent film companies, actors, talent and modeling agencies, publicists, authors, artists, photographers, theatre companies, talent management, record sales and distribution services companies, audio studios, physicians, and medical spas. He provides legal services to start-up companies, which includes assisting with choice of entity, agreements among persons desiring to do business together, organization of corporations and companies, ownership and licensing of intellectual property, risk assessment, end of business life decisions, helping clients to avoid disputes and, if necessary, to resolve disputes, and negotiating contracts and business deals.
Prior to legal practice, Mr. Marovich had over twenty years of senior hospital administrative experience. He has served on numerous not-for-profit boards and is a frequent speaker for the Arizona Songwriters Association, local talent organizations, and community college performing arts classes. He is currently serving as general counsel for the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame and is a member of the Executive Council of the Intellectual Property Section of the Arizona State Bar.
STUART M. PAYNTER
After graduating from Stanford Law School in the top ten percent of his class, Mr. Paynter clerked for the Hon. David S. Tatel of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Mr. Paynter then joined Sullivan & Cromwell as a litigation associate where he represented Microsoft in both the Government case and in numerous private actions. Mr. Paynter also represented Riggs Bank NA in its successful bid to enforce a merger agreement with PNC Bank. In 2005, Mr. Paynter left Sullivan & Cromwell to travel and the following year established an independent practice focusing on plaintiff-side commercial litigation. Working on a contingent basis as co-counsel with a prominent Washington, D.C. litigation boutique, Mr. Paynter recently achieved a confidential settlement in excess of $20 million in a trade secrets/intellectual property dispute.
In addition to his commercial practice, Mr. Paynter has undertaken extensive pro bono work. While at Sullivan & Cromwell, Mr. Paynter represented a class of Portsmouth, Virginia residents who alleged racial discrimination by the City of Portsmouth and a private developer. That case settled on favorable terms to class members. In addition, Mr. Paynter represented the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in assisting them with storm-water advocacy in the District of Columbia.
Mr. Paynter is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia and California.
Marci Rolnik joined Lawyers for the Creative Arts in 2004. She has advised clients in all areas of art and entertainment and specializes in intellectual property rights protection for motion pictures. She is a former Chairman of the Chicago Bar Association's Media and Entertainment Committee and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Division of the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries. Ms. Rolnik serves on the Board of Directors of the Independent Features Project (IFP/Chicago) and is an adjunct professor in the Film & Video Department at Columbia College where she teaches Legal and Business Affairs and Harper College where she teaches Intellectual Property.
Ms. Rolnik is a frequent speaker in the areas of copyright, rights acquisition and transfer, contracts, incorporation, and business planning for the literary, visual, and performing arts. Ms. Rolnik graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, and Loyola University School of Law in Chicago. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois and in the United States District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois.
Jaia Thomas is a New York based entertainment attorney. Ms. Thomas is a graduate of Colgate University (BA) and the George Washington University School of Law (JD). She also holds a Certificate in Television, Film and New Media Production from the University of California, Los Angeles. Currently the managing partner of The Law Office of Jaia Thomas, she helps filmmakers navigate through the legal process of film production. Films produced by current clients have won awards at The Tribeca Film Festival and Sundance. She is a member of the New York Bar.
Mr. Toppel is an associate in the Phoenix, Arizona office of Jackson Lewis LLP. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1999 and received his Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2002, where he obtained a certificate in labor and employment law and was on the Dean's List. Mr. Toppel is admitted to the State Bar of the State of Arizona, and is admitted to the State Bar of Nevada. He also is admitted to pratice in the US District Court in Arizona. He is a member of the Firm's Collegiate and Professional Sports Industry Practice Group.
Mr. Toppel is active in the State Bar of Arizona's Employment and Labor Law Section, serving on its Executive council and as Chair of its CLE Committee. In addition, Mr. Toppel serves as the Chair of the Maricopa County Bar Association's Employment Law Section. Mr. Toppel is also a member of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce's Labor Reform Committee and actively works with the Chamber in legislative issues. Mr. Toppel recently testified before the Arizona Senate's Rules Committee on a proposed labor reform statute. He is also a member of the American Bar Association's Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries.
Mr. Toppel represents employers in a wide range of employment-related disputes, including wrongful termination and discrimination claims before various state and federal governmental agencies, as well as the entire spectrum of NLRB, general labor relations and employee relations matters. Mr. Toppel also represents parties in restrictive covenant and trade secret litigation. In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Toppel regularly advises employers on issues that arise in the workplace, including compliance with state and federal immigration laws affecting the workplace.