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Name and title: Susan L. Greenfield, vice president�legal Age: 54 The companies: Palace Sports and Entertainment Inc. owns and operates the Detroit Pistons Basketball Co. Based in Auburn Hills, Mich., they are “two separate and distinct companies that we operate side by side.” In addition to its connection to this year’s National Basketball Association (NBA) champion Pistons (formed in 1941 as the Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons), Palace Sports and Entertainment owns and operates the Detroit Shock of the Women’s NBA and the Detroit Fury of the Arena Football League. Company holdings also include the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning, the Palace of Auburn Hills arena, the St. Pete Times Forum arena in Tampa, Fla., and the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Mich. There are 300 full-time and 1,200 part-time employees. As a private company, revenues are not reported. Renaissance woman: “I am the legal counsel here, and I handle any legal issue that comes up.” The day-to-day variety and unpredictability of her job, Greenfield said, is part of the fun. She does have a skein of regular responsibilities. She assembles player contracts for the Pistons, with terms negotiated by Joe Dumars and John Hammond, the president and vice president of basketball operations. “Four or five” major agencies, using boilerplate contracts, dominate the concert business, and Greenfield has formalized general responses to them. She also works out licensing agreements for those who wish to rent the Palace. Greenfield currently is devising a contract for Pistons broadcasts on local TV. She worked previously on the Fox network agreement as part of the NBA’s national contract. Player endorsements are handled privately, although on occasion, athletes seek the GC’s advice vis-�-vis league rules. Greenfield hasn’t had to respond to incidents of player misconduct. If players are sued, and other players or organization members are called upon as witnesses, she will prepare them for depositions or sit in court representing them. Greenfield more often interacts with NBA General Counsel Joel Litvin and his staff attorneys than with NBA Commissioner David Stern. She participated in Palace Sports’ acquisition of the Lightning in 1999, memorable for a complex and lengthy financing procedure. Litigation: Greenfield appeared before the Michigan Supreme Court alongside Kevin Fularczyk of Detroit firm Dykema Gossett in MacDonald v. PKT Inc., 628 N.W.2d 33 (Mich. 2001), with the court ruling that a premises owner cannot be held liable for third-party criminal activity. “I can tell you that all other arenas in the state were happy to see us litigate it to the supreme court and have it become law,” she said. Greenfield also represented the Palace in Dickinson v. Limp Bizkit and Palace Sports, No. 244021 (Mich. Ct. App. June 29, 2004) (unpublished), involving controversial singer Fred Durst of the rock group Limp Bizkit. Durst had exhorted the crowd at a 2000 concert to approach the stage, resulting in a melee in which a fan was kicked, suffering serious head injuries. The victim then “sued everybody.” The court affirmed the lower court’s dismissal as to the arena, citing MacDonald v. PKT Inc. and ruling that only the kicker should be held liable. Women and sports law: “In my 30-year career, women have gained numbers and prominence in law. When I first became an attorney, it was unusual for a woman to even be practicing law.” She now sees a steady rise in females at NBA general counsel meetings (“at least a dozen”), although Greenfield said that she has yet to encounter a female agent. Legal team: She is “a one-person legal staff, with an asterisk,” the asterisk being Paul Davis, a Carlton Fields attorney she hired to oversee the legal duties of the Tampa Bay Lightning. She spends one-third of her time on the Pistons and two-thirds on the Palace, with a lot of overlap. She calls on three Detroit-area firms for outside counsel if needed: Kus Ryan & Schluentz gets the premises liability matters, including slip-and-falls, fights and other security issues. Dykema Gossett is used for multiple matters and Butzel Long helps in immigration issues. Route to the top: Greenfield has served exclusively as an in-house or corporate staff attorney. Detroit’s Wayne State University awarded her both undergraduate (1970) and law (1975) degrees. She began her career at transportation-management experts Fruehoff Trailer Corp., later spending a decade at Valeron Corp., a manufacturer of carbide cutting tools. In 1987, she assumed a staff attorney position with Guardian Industries Corp., a glassmaker specializing in construction and automotive products. At the top of Guardian was Bill Davidson, current head of both the Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment. Greenfield oversaw the construction and initial operation of the Palace of Auburn Hills, which in 1987 was “literally a hole in the ground.” In 1994, the Guardian subsidiary that owned and operated the Palace was spun off and Greenfield moved with it, becoming in the process a full-time employee of Palace Sports and Entertainment. Promoted to vice president, she took on general counsel duties and added Pistons GC responsibilities as well. Oscar Feldman, a Butzel Long attorney and long-time friend of Davidson, is officially the Pistons’ GC, but he has ceded that role to Greenfield, who still uses the title of vice president out of deference to him. Rings on her fingers: In a banner year for Palace Sports, three of its 2003-04 teams�the Pistons, Shock and Lightning�were crowned champions. Greenfield and the Pistons received their rings in a ceremony held in the White House rose garden. “I love my job, and to collect a championship ring or two, that’s nirvana.” Personal: Greenfield and her husband, Lawrence Abramson, an osteopath, are the parents of Rebecca, 23, and Kate, 15. Last book and movie: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

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