Professional Responsibility in Sports
An attorney practices sports law, primarily representing professional women’s basketball players in contract negotiations and other kinds of civil matters. The attorney also serves as a sports agent for a number of clients, taking steps to advance their careers in every way possible, such as team placement, public relations, product sponsorship, and the like. The attorney uses a single office for her law work and her sports agent work, but she charges her clents seperately for the two types of work. For her sports agent work, she charges a flat annual fee that she negotiates with the client once a year. For her law work, she charges the client by the hour at a reasonable hourly rate. The attorney is lawyer and sports agent for two players on the local basketball team, Alpha and Beta. Both women are excellent players, and both are well educated, well-spoken, photogenic, and popular with fans. A local bank approached the attorney, expressing interest in signing up Alpha to serve as the bank’s spokeswoman. The attorney responded that Alpha would fit the bank’s needs well, but that Beta would be an equally good fit and would do the work “for substantially less money.” In due course, the attorney served as Beta’s lawyer in negotiating an 18 month exclusive sponsorship contract with the bank.
Is the attorney subject to discipline?