Gladiators Conference 2012 - Speakers
Leigh Steinberg, the world’s first “super agent,” founded his sports law practice in 1975 when he negotiated a then-record contract for the first overall pick in the NFL draft Steve Bartkowski, eclipsing the previous standard bearers in Joe Namath and O.J. Simpson. Since then, Leigh has solidified his name as one of the premiere player representatives in all of sports, and specifically the NFL where he represented a record eight different number-one NFL draft picks, over 60 first round draft picks, and consistently negotiated the largest contracts of the time. His past clients include NFL stars and hall of famers Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Warren Moon, Drew Bledsoe, Ben Roethlisberger, Thurman Thomas, Eric Dickerson, Derrick Thomas, Edgerrin James, Jevon Kearse, and Bruce Smith, boxing legends Lennox Lewis and Oscar De La Hoya, and a plethora of NBA, MLB, and Olympic athletes. In all, Leigh has negotiated over a billion dollars in NFL contracts, and over two billion dollars in athlete contract and endorsement deals.
Rodney K. Smith received his B.A. from Western Colorado State College, his J.D. with honors from Brigham Young University, and his LL.M and SJD from the University of Pennsylvania, and an honorary doctorate from Capital University. He currently serves as a Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Sports Law and Policy. He previously served as President of Southern Virginia University, is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Liberal Education, has served on the International Board of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, and recently served as a Visiting Professor at the Washington and Lee College of Law. Professor Smith previously served as dean of the schools of law at Capital University, the University of Montana, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He also taught at the University of North Dakota, Widener University, Brigham Young University, and the University of San Diego. Professor Smith held the Herff Chair of Excellence in Law and was serving as interim dean at the University of Memphis immediately prior to his service as President at Southern Virginia University.
Professor Kobritz practiced law and accounting for ten years, including two years as a prosecutor, prior to embarking upon a career in sports. He owned and operated two Minor League Baseball teams, the Maine Guides, a Class AAA team in the International League, and the Daytona Cubs, a Class A team in the Florida State League. He also developed a minor hockey league and operated baseball fantasy camps.
Professor Kobritz previously taught sport management and sport law at St. Cloud State University, Eastern New Mexico University, Saint Leo University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Wyoming. In addition to teaching, he authors a weekly sports business column, “Sports Beyond the Lines,” in which he comments on financial, marketing, management, legal, media/public relations, political, labor and ethical issues in the world of sports. He has published articles on business and legal issues related to sports in several publications.
Mr. Leach’s areas of focus with Jennings Strouss in Phoenix, AZ are Business and Finance, Non-Profit/Tax-Exempt Organizations, and Sports and Entertainment. He has been involved in over $3 billion in corporate transactions, including over $250 million in endorsement deals negotiated with major fortune 500 corporations.
Mr. Leach helps lead the firm's Sports and Entertainment practice. He counsels professional athletes, coaches, entertainers, and ownership groups in contract and licensing negotiations and a variety of other individual business ventures. He was recently interviewed by KFYI Radio in Phoenix regarding the NFL concussion issue.
Jeffrey Levine is currently a faculty member at Southern Illinois University, where he teaches sport administration classes within the Department of Kinesiology. He holds a BA from the University of Michigan and a JD from Tulane Law School, where he served as a member of the Sports Lawyers Journal and graduated with a certificate in sports law.
Mr. Levine’s résumé includes time spent with the University of Michigan Athletic Department, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Coyotes. Prior to joining the faculty at Southern Illinois University, Mr. Levine previously served as an adjunct law professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and Phoenix School of Law.
Mr. Levine has published scholarship on a variety of sports law topics, including issues concerning amateurism, intellectual property, international law and labor law. He is currently in the process of co-authoring a scholarly article examining the legal issues and merits concerning the NFL concussion lawsuits.
Professor Mitten is the Director of the National Sports Law Institute and the LL.M. in Sports Law program for foreign lawyers at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He co-authored Sports Law and Regulation: Cases, Materials, and Problems. A leading sports law scholar, he has published articles in several law reviews and medical journals including Legal Issues Affecting Medical Clearance to Resume Play After Mild Brain Injury, 11 Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine 199 (July 2001). He has discussed a wide variety of sports law topics at numerous conferences and seminars throughout the United States as well as in Australia, China, England, the Republic of Korea, and Turkey.
Professor Mitten is a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the American Arbitration Association's Commercial Arbitration, the United States Anti-doping Agency, and the LPGA's Drug Testing Arbitration panels. He currently serves on the Sports Lawyers Association's Board of Directors and is an Executive Member of the International Academy of Sportslaw Practitioners & Executives. He formerly chaired the American Association of Law Schools' Section on Law and Sports and the NCAA's Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Forum for the Scholarly Study of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Adam “Scrap Daddy” Pearce has achieved extraordinary success in the world of professional wrestling over the past sixteen-plus years. Pearce is a former five-time National Wresting Alliance (NWA) champion, although in high school his promising athletic career was cut short as a junior when he was diagnosed with Acute Muscular Compartment Syndrome, a serious condition that required immediate corrective surgery on both of his legs.
This apparent misfortune may have robbed Pearce of his dream of becoming a collegiate football player, but after his recovery he began training as a professional wrestler. Pearce’s 1,078 days as champion over five reigns makes him the seventh longest reigning champion All-Time.
Pearce lives in San Diego, California with his wife of ten years, their four-year-old son and infant daughter. He has an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts and is currently finishing his Bachelors of Science in Communications. In addition, Pearce has a small role in the 2012 film release “She Wants Me” starring Charlie Sheen and Hilary Duff.
Dr. Reiss is a practicing psychiatrist with over 25 years of experience, specializing in “front-line” adult and adolescent psychiatric care. He is recognized internationally for expertise in character and personality dynamics and is considered a potential expert witness for NFL concussion litigation.
Dr. Reiss has performed more than 10,000 psychiatric evaluations and treated patients from diverse social and cultural backgrounds from every occupational field. He has numerous publications in academic journals and newsletters on understanding the significance of character and personality traits in regards to business organizations, personal development, medical and mental health treatment, socio-political systems, and sports/entertainment industries.
Dr. Jacob Resch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Texas. Dr. Resch is the director of the UT Arlington Brain Injury Laboratory and serves as a faculty within the Athletic Training Education Program. Dr. Resch obtained his Ph.D. in Exercise Science from the University of Georgia in 2010. Dr. Resch has presented his research addressing sport-related concussions at regional, national, and international sports medicine conferences.
Dr. Resch’s areas of expertise include measurement issues and the neurobiology associated with concussion. Dr. Resch is currently investigating neuropsychological tests, balance, and symptoms used to assess concussion. Additionally, Dr. Resch is currently investigating novel measures of concussion in both young and adult athletes.
Billy Ray Smith, Jr. is the co-host of U-T TV’s Scott, B.R. and Amber program in San Diego. He began his broadcast career in 1992 as a KGTV 10 News sports anchor. A former NFL star for the San Diego Chargers, Smith is an analyst and game-day host for Chargers TV. He also provides expert football analysis for Fox Sports. Smith is the son for the late Billy Ray Smith, Sr., a former defensive lineman for the Baltimore Colts, who played in two Super Bowls. Smith Jr. was a two-time All-American while playing for the Arkansas Razorbacks and was elected to the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame. He lives in San Diego with his wife and daughter.
Doctor Smith has an extensive background in psychiatry, substance abuse, and psychosomatic medicine. His innovative research on anabolic steroids, drug testing for substances of abuse, and use of performance enhancing agents has been featured in national and international publications and has been presented at the American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. Dr. Smith completed fellowships in psychosomatic medicine, addiction psychiatry, and addiction psychiatry research, and is a Certified Medical Review Officer. He is currently the Executive Director of New England Psychiatric Consults as well as the Medical Director of Beyond Wellness Talent Protection.
Michael West, MS, ATC, is a certified athletic trainer and currently serves as a Principal at an alternative education school in Riverside. West has worked in education since 1994 as an athletic trainer as well as teaching high school and college courses in sports medicine, physical education, and world history. Formerly an Athletic Director and an Assistant Principal, West has been responsible for the development both of educational and athletic programs, hiring teachers and coaches as well as supervising field and facility construction.
West is the President of the California Athletic Trainers’ Association (CATA), a professional organization that represents and supports California’s certified athletic trainers through communication and education. In this position, West has been responsible for the introduction of legislation establishing licensure for the practice of athletic training in California.
West earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and a Master of Science in Exercise and Sports Sciences from the University of Arizona. He lives in Riverside with his wife Rhonda and his 3 children.
Kristen Willeumier, Ph.D., currently serves as the Director of Research for the Amen Clinics, based in Newport Beach. The Amen Clinics has pioneered the use of brain SPECT imaging in psychiatric practice and for the past 20 years has amassed a database of over 75,000 brain scans from patients visiting from 90 different countries.
Dr. Willeumier joined the Amen Clinics in 2009, bringing over 10 years of neuroscience experience. Together, Drs. Amen and Willeumier have published nine articles in peer reviewed journals, with three focused on brain related issues critical to NFL players. She has been an invited speaker to NFL Players Association meetings and to the 2012 Independent Football Veterans Conference with the goal of educating players on the implications of subconcussive impacts on brain function along with rehabilitation strategies that can help restore brain function.
Mr. Wolensky’s practice in Newport Beach, CA is focused on the defense of product liability and personal injury actions involving the automobile, motorcycle, consumer goods, sporting goods, medical device, industrial equipment, and amusement park industries. He has successfully defended complex cases involving significant head injuries, including concussions.
Mr. Wolensky works closely with national industry associations in the development of test standards and medical causation defenses and consults with manufacturers and agencies regarding regulatory compliance, including possible and actual recalls. He has worked with companies of all sizes on the development of product warnings, instructions, instruction manuals, and risk management programs. Mr. Wolensky has worked with governmental agencies in a variety of industries and has served on voluntary rulemaking committees. He is also a Legal Task Force Member of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.