Steve Berman co-founded Hagens Berman in 1993 and is the firm’s managing partner. He represents consumers, investors and employees in large, complex litigation held in state and federal courts. Berman’s trial experience has earned him significant recognition and led The National Law Journal to name him one of the 100 most powerful lawyers in the nation, and to repeatedly name Hagens Berman one of the top 10 plaintiffs’ firms in the country.
Steve has spearheaded the firm's commitment to sports litigation, representing current and former student-athletes and other players concerning image rights, concussions and scholarship caps. Steve was lead counsel in a class action seeking to protect NCAA student-athletes from head injuries in all sports and succeeded in bringing monumental changes to the NCAA concussion and return-to-play policies, as well as a 50-year medical monitoring program valued at $70 million. Steve also served as co-lead counsel and lead trial counsel in a case challenging the NCAA’s collusion in refusing to allow student-athletes to receive scholarships amounting to the full cost of attending school. That case achieved a $208 million settlement for college athletes, as well as an injunctive win achieved in a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision forever changing college sports.
He also pioneered sweeping concussions settlement with U.S. Soccer, bringing safety measures to millions of youth soccer players, and ending heading for U.S. Soccer's youngest and most affected players, diminishing the risk of traumatic brain injuries. Steve also represented current and former student-athletes against the NCAA and Electronic Arts concerning illegal use of college football and basketball players' names and likenesses in video games without permission or consent from the players, resulting in a $60 million settlement. The settlements were reached in 2014, and more than 24,000 student-athletes were found eligible to receive payment under the settlements, with checks up to $7,600 and a median around $1,100.
Steve also brought litigation against Major League Baseball on behalf of fans and spectators alleging that MLB's commissioner failed to uphold his duties to enact safety measures against the danger of foul ball and bat injuries. The suit ushered in changes current to MLB rules and practices, including extended safety netting at ballparks across the country.
Steve continues to fight for college athletes in the firm’s class action regarding name, image and likeness rights in In Re College Athlete NIL Litigation. Since the firm’s success in that matter, college athletes have been engaging in NIL deals since many of the NCAA’s NIL rules were temporarily suspended on July 1, 2021 at the behest of the firm’s case. Steve is proud of the continued positive changes coming for college athletes following the firm’s mounting pressure on the NCAA. more »
Rob Carey is a partner at Hagens Berman, a member of the firm’s executive committee and leads the firm's Phoenix office. His practice focuses on many areas of complex litigation, including sports litigation, and he routinely handles jury trials for high-value cases. Mr. Carey helped secure a first-ever settlement for collegiate student-athletes in the amount of $60 million (Keller, consolidated with O'Bannon) from Electronic Arts (EA) and the NCAA for the misappropriation of the student-athletes' likenesses and images for the EA college football video game series. This groundbreaking suit provided student-athletes with cash recoveries for the use of their likenesses without permission. He has also led numerous jury verdicts in trials, including complex matters, phasing of threshold issues, liability and damages, trials with more than $75 million at stake and recoveries of treble and punitive damages.
His noteworthy cases include Student-Athlete Likeness Litigation against T3 Media, Student-Athlete Likeness Litigation against CBS Sports and Printroom and NCAA Student-Athlete Name and Likeness Licensing Litigation. Mr. Carey also filed a lawsuit on behalf of former Pop Warner football player Donnovan Hill and his mother Crystal Dixon, claiming the league insisted Hill use improper and dangerous tackling techniques which left the 16-year-old paralyzed from the neck down. He was also involved in the firm's representation of NFL legend Jim Brown in a publicity rights lawsuit alleging that EA unlawfully used his likeness in its video games without his permission. more »
Leonard Aragon, a graduate of Stanford Law School and a military veteran, handles various areas of litigation at Hagens Berman, including sports litigation. He was counsel for plaintiffs in the highly publicized cases Keller v. Electronic Arts and In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name and Likeness Licensing Litigation which alleges that video game manufacturer Electronic Arts, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Collegiate Licensing Company used the names, images and likenesses of student athletes in violation of state right of publicity laws and the NCAA´s contractual agreements with the student-athletes. The plaintiffs reached a settlement with EA and the CLC in May for $40 million and reached a settlement in June with the NCAA for $20 million.
His recent successes include a multimillion dollar class-action settlement on behalf of a nationwide class of student-athletes whose images were used on a website affiliated with CBS Interactive without their permission or compensation. He also obtained two jury verdicts in favor of the original developer of the Madden Football video game franchise in phased trial over unpaid royalties. more »
Mr. Kurowski is a partner at Hagens Berman's Chicago office and has litigated many aspects of cases throughout the country, often in consolidated multi-district litigation proceedings. His current work with the firm includes a variety of complex cases, and he represents student athletes in antitrust litigation regarding the NCAA’s Division I football scholarship policies and student-athletes in both individual personal injury and class-action litigation. These cases pertain to concussions and traumatic brain injuries suffered during sporting activities, including in In Re National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury Litigation (N.D. Ill.). His notable cases also include Silk v. Bowling Green State University, which culminated in $712,500 individual settlement for a student-athlete injured as a result of alleged failures to properly manage athlete’s concussions. more »
Mr. Siegel is an experienced litigator with a focus on antitrust law who has represented clients in state and federal courts, on appeals, and is an of counsel attorney at Hagens Berman’s Berkeley office. He has worked on the firm’s leading cases on behalf of college athletes, including In re NCAA Grant-In-Aid Antitrust Litigation, in which the firm achieved a $208 million settlement for college athletes, as well as an injunctive win achieved in a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision. Since that win with the firm, Ben has worked steadily on Hagens Berman’s name, image and likeness case against the NCAA, In Re College Athlete NIL Litigation. Ben helped push for Congressional action to level the playing field for college athletes as the firm pursues litigation to acquire the compensation they deserve for their NILs that form the basis of the lucrative college sports industry. more »
Ms. Sisco is an associate at Hagens Berman’s Seattle office where she practices primarily in the area of sports litigation protecting athletes through various applications of the law. As a former Division I athlete, she has worked on the firm’s cases against the NCAA, furthering the rights of college athletes across the nation. Her work has earned her recognition from the American Antitrust Institute for outstanding contributions to this complex area of law in matters against the NCAA. Emilee’s antitrust work against the NCAA continues with the firm’s case regarding name, image and likeness rights for college athletes, In Re College Athlete NIL Litigation. Since Hagens Berman’s case was filed, the NCAA lifted many of its rules limiting NIL deals, and the firm successfully ushered in thousands of instances of college students receiving the benefits of NIL deal opportunities in partnerships with clothing brands, beverage companies, restaurants, cell phone companies, video game platforms, and other national and local retailers. more »
Stephanie Verdoia is an associate at Hagens Berman’s Seattle office where her practice focuses on the sports litigation. As a former professional soccer player, she applies her deep knowledge of sports governance, policies and protocols to bolster the firm’s expansive work in this area of law. Prior to joining Hagens Berman in 2021, interned with Seattle Sounders FC following years of experience in the realm of professional soccer as a midfielder in Norway’s Toppserien top division soccer and with the National Women’s Soccer League for the Boston Breakers and the OL Reign. Stephanie has joined the firm’s case regarding name, image and likeness rights for college athletes, In Re College Athlete NIL Litigation, and looks forward to bringing about real change for those who have been unable to reap the benefits of the same industry bringing about billion-dollar broadcasting deals and six-figure sponsored post agreements. more »