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MLBPA introduces Bruce Meyer

   08-27-2018
MLBPA

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Q&A: Bruce S. Meyer, Senior Director, Collective Bargaining & Legal

Executive Director Tony Clark on Aug. 27 announced the hiring of veteran sports attorney and litigator Bruce Meyer to serve in the position of Senior Director, Collective Bargaining & Legal.  Meyer, who has advised the players' unions in basketball, football and hockey on a wide variety of legal matters, will report to Clark while focusing on all facets of the negotiation and the enforcement of baseball's collective bargaining agreement. Meyer grew up on Long Island, N.Y. and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 and the Boston University School of Law in 1986. He joined the firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP that year and remained for 30 years, becoming one of the leading sports lawyers in the United States, before taking a senior leadership position with the National Hockey League Players Association in 2016. Meyer lives in Westchester, N.Y. with his wife, Jacqueline. Meyer recently answered a few questions about his background for MLBPlayers.com:

On  baseball: 

I grew up in New York, out on Long Island, so I've always been a Mets fan. My earliest baseball memory was when I was 8-9 years old when the “Miracle Mets” won the World Series in 1969. Every year my father would take me to Shea Stadium to catch a game on my birthday in June. The seats weren't anything special, but it was still a great time. I was a big Tom Seaver fan, so I've been watching baseball ever since then. Even through the rough years and then when they rose up again with Doc Gooden, Darryl Strawberry and all those guys, I've always been a baseball fan. I lived literally across the street from Fenway Park when I was at Boston University and back then it was easier to get tickets so I used to go to a lot of games.

On his hobbies:

In my spare time, I love playing guitar. I've been playing since I was 8 years old and I still play in bands. I'm also a big reader, mostly history.  

On his sports labor background:

I started at Weil, Gotshal & Manges right out of law school. My first sports case, was in 1985 as a summer associate. It was actually for the Major League Baseball Players Association, involving T.V. rights with the Baltimore Orioles and was called Rogers vs. Kuhn. I started full time in 1986 as a litigator and then eventually made my way to becoming a trial lawyer. While there I was doing a lot of large, financial, corporate cases, plus intellectual property, and things of that type, but the sports cases were always my favorite. (Sports lawyer) Jim Quinn—who was a part of my firm and had been doing sports related cases since the 1970s—recruited me to get involved in a big case we were doing for the basketball players called Bridgeman v. NBA. From there I became quite involved with basketball and the NBPA, doing arbitrations and negotiations, among other things. Shortly after that we were retained by the NFLPA and I worked with them for years, then the NHLPA as well.  I'd have to say the most rewarding litigation victory in which I was involved was when we won the trial in Minnesota for the football players in the early 90's, striking down the NFL's free agency restrictions under the antitrust laws. That was McNeil v. NFL. But over the years I was able to do a considerable amount of arbitration and collective bargaining for the NFLPA, NBPA and the NHLPA.

On the allure of the MLBPA:

The MLBPA has always been considered a sort of gold standard for sports unions, if not all unions, in the United States, and to have the opportunity not only to return to New York, but to work with a great team led by Tony Clark is exciting. I look forward to getting up to speed on the dynamics of the industry along with getting to know and work with the Players Association team, the Players and their agents. I'm looking forward to helping find ways to make things better than they already are for the players.

On how we would describe himself professionally: 

I'm a litigator and a trial lawyer who has been fortunate to do sports law for 32 years. I'd say I'm known as a tough litigator who also knows how to make deals when necessary. In the sports area I've been involved in just about every type of issue, including labor, antitrust, licensing, collective bargaining and others. But the common thread is I have a passion for player advocacy and defending player rights.

 

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