NBPA records show the union also paid Weil, Gotshal & Manges, whose litigation cochair James Quinn and partner Bruce Meyer were brought in at the end of the lockout to successfully mediate the labor talks, approximately $73,795 for its services.
Other firms and consultants receiving payments from the union include: Navigant Consulting ($351,029), Blitman & King ($80,340), consultant and ex-Dewey associate Angela Smedley ($30,000), Sidley Austin ($20,787), Altshuler Berzon ($19,321), the Groom Law Group ($16,694), and consultant Kevin McGuinness ($12,189).
The Labor Department filing also lists the following compensation for the NBPA's in-house legal staff: associate general counsel Ronald Klempner ($244,831), associate counsel Yared Alula ($170,042), counsel Sean Brandveen ($128,420), counsel David Kiefer ($107,892), and $18,942 to the estate of late general counsel Gary Hall, a former Blitman & King partner and close friend of Hunter's.
In August The Am Law Daily reported on the death of Simon Gourdine, a well-regarded lawyer who headed the union before Hunter and was once the league's first-ever deputy commissioner. The NBA's 2012-13 season begins on October 30.
In-House Lawyers Handle $6.8 Billion TV Deal
Nearly 25 years ago, CBS shocked rival NBC by inking a $1 billion deal with Major League Baseball to broadcast games over a four-year period. How times change.
MLB announced this week that it had signed an eight-year broadcast rights deal with Fox Sports Media Group and Turner Broadcasting System, which will yield a combined $6.8 billion for the league over the life of a contract that runs through 2021. The deal comes on the heels of another eight-year, $5.6 billion contract MLB signed in August with ESPN, meaning that the league will have at least $12.4 billion flowing into its coffers from its broadcast partners over the next eight years.
While Covington & Burling took the lead for MLB on the ESPN deal, according to our previous reports, it was MLB's in-house lawyers and their counterparts at Fox and TBS who hammered out the agreement announced this week.
TBS senior vice president and associate general counsel John Cooper and assistant general counsel Tina Shah led the negotiations for the Atlanta-based network, which will continue to air about a dozen regular season games and a slate of playoff games after agreeing to a $2.4 billion extension of its portion of the contract. Louise Sams serves as general counsel for TBS.
For Los Angelesbased Fox Sportswhich will pay more than $4 billion for rights to a slate of regular season and playoff games, the All-Star Game, and the World Seriesthe deal talks were handled by executive vice president for business and legal affairs Karen Brodkin, senior vice presidents for business and legal affairs Leanna Einbinder and Matthew Bensen, and vice president for business and legal affairs Khai Dhaliwal.
Leading the negotiations for MLB were general counsel Thomas Ostertag and counsel Christopher Brumm, along with the league's executive vice president for business Tim Brosnan, a onetime Kelley Drye & Warren associate.
In-house lawyers who put together lucrative media rights deals often find themselves headed on to bigger and better things. Last month sibling publication the Connecticut Law Tribune reported on one such attorney: Michael Aresco, a former in-house attorney at ESPN who went on to become executive vice president of programming at CBS Sports before parlaying that position into being named commissioner of the Big East collegiate athletic conference in August.