Hagens Berman has pioneered the area of sports litigation, fighting for the rights of student-athletes across the nation, and our firm continues to expand this area of practice through our novel applications of the law.
Hagens Berman has one of the nation’s most highly regarded sports litigation law practices. Our pending litigation seeks to address multiple concerns and injustices held by major sports governing bodies, and our cases have ranged in topic from concussion and head trauma, scholarships, to payment for the use of athletes’ likenesses.
REPRESENTING THE LEGAL RIGHTS OF ATHLETES
Our attorneys are the vanguard of new and innovative legal approaches to protect the rights of professional and amateur athletes in cases against large, well-financed interests, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Football League (NFL), the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and other institutions.
SPORTS & THE LAW
Cases of particular nationwide interest for fans, athletes and the general public involve numerous cases filed by Hagens Berman against the NCAA. The most recent, and potentially far-reaching, case involves a suit on behalf of NCAA student-athletes against the NCAA and its most powerful members, including the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big-12, SEC and ACC, claiming these entities violated federal antitrust laws by drastically reducing the number of scholarships and financial aid student-athletes receive to an amount below the actual cost of attendance and far below what the free market would bare. That case brought a $208 million settlement for the college athletes affected, and saw a unanimous win from the Supreme Court, cementing the plaintiffs’ victory. In the 9-0 ruling in our favor, the Court agreed NCAA college athletes should legally be able to receive compensation from schools or conferences for athletic services other than cash compensation untethered to education-related expenses.
Justice Gorsuch wrote the NCAA had sought “immunity from the normal operation of the antitrust laws,” and Justice Kavanaugh stated, “The NCAA is not above the law.” The firm looks forward to continuing to uphold that same sentiment in regard to NCAA athlete name, image and likeness (NIL) rights.
LEADERS IN SPORTS CLASS-ACTION LAW
"The lawsuit puts Berman at the lead of an effort that could rebalance the relationship between athletes and the Indianapolis-based NCAA, which reported $841.1 million in revenue in the fiscal year ending in August 2012. His firm, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, is also leading three lawsuits against the NCAA that seek to increase athletes’ control over their finances, including one that seeks money for those whose likenesses appeared without their permission in video games."
— "NCAA Faces Legal Push Led by Litigator With Tobacco Stash," Bloomberg
The media called the firm’s victory in the scholarships case against the NCAA a “major ruling” (ABC World News Tonight), that “will change the game” (ABC Good Morning America), “…the highest court left the NCAA unhoused and naked, with nothing left but its pretensions,” (The Washington Post), it “delivered a heavy blow,” (AP), and leaves the NCAA “more vulnerable than ever.”
In addition to the firm's class actions, Hagens Berman has filed several individual cases to uphold the rights of athletes and ensure a fair and safe environment. The firm has filed multiple individual cases to address concussions and other traumatic head injuries among student-athletes at NCAA schools and in youth sports. Hagens Berman continues to represent the interests of athletes and find innovative and effective applications of the law to uphold players' rights.