SAN FRANCISCO — Stanford Law School professor William Gould IV hasn’t taught his sports law course since the spring semester of 2013. It’s time, Gould said recently, to brush up his syllabus.

In the past two years plaintiffs lawyers have gone on the offensive against major sports, hitting some of the world’s most powerful organizations with suits that challenge the economic underpinnings of their businesses and raise questions about the safety of players and fans.

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