An upcoming event this Saturday offers attendees a look into cutting-edge topics in two distinct yet related areas: sports and entertainment law.

The entirely student-run conference is hosted by the aptly named Sports and Entertainment Law Students Association at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. This is their second-annual run at this topic, and it follows on the heels of a 2010 event that garnered more than 150 attendees. This year, organizers aim even higher.

The all-day conference is centered around seven panel discussions, each with three to four speakers. The topics range from big-league collective bargaining, to intellectual property, bankruptcy, drug testing and defamation. (See the flier at right for a complete description; click it to make it larger.)

Casey Johnson, a 2L, is this year’s conference director. He explained that many students had been involved to handle the multiple details of such an event: contacting speakers, organizing and brainstorming topics, and even making hotel and plane reservations.

In choosing topics, Johnson said, students looked first at the news headlines. That allowed them to select areas of focus that were timely and compelling.

Johnson said that student organizers were pleased to have Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwell launch the conference as their keynote speaker. Topics that Bidwell may cover include team management issues and league governance. Almost certain to be mentioned is the path that led to Arizona’s being awarded the 2015 Super Bowl. In addition, Bidwell, a former federal prosecutor, may be able to touch on a variety of the conference’s topics.

(Click here for a story about Bidwell’s speaking at the 2010 annual convention of the State Bar of Arizona.)

For more information on Saturday’s conference or to register, click here to go to the student association blog page. Or email

Bidwell Touts Teamwork, Quality

Lawyer and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwell delivered the keynote address at the Bar’s Convention Kick-Off luncheon at noon today, and his messages sounded in quality and customer service.

Introduced by State Bar Communications Chief Rick DeBruhl, Bidwell opened with a compelling history of professional football and his own family’s storied role in its evolution.

He is in the third-generation of Bidwells who run a pro team, and he said he appreciated the Convention’s theme of “The Future Is Now.”

“Our organization is all about innovation, technology, developing new things., and being responsive to our customers—our fans.”

As an example of excellence, he asked the attendees why Hertz remains the number-one rental car company. “Because they wake up in the morning and don’t want to be number 2.”

Bidwell bemoaned the way the way reputations of good professions like law and piloting aircraft—his avocation—can be damaged by a few bad actors. That means all in the lagal profession should ask themselves, “What are we doing to put our best foot forward?”

He emphasized the importance of customer service in creating a quality profession. At the Cardinals, that meant signing on with the Disney Institute to train all employees. Their goal is a great “driveway to driveway experience.”

The kickoff lunch is an opportunity for Bar members to gather. It is partially sponsored by the exhibitors.

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