Practice Areas & Industries: Duane Morris LLP


Sports and Recreation Litigation Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Duane Morris attorneys are among the pioneers in sports and recreation law. Our attorneys are nationally respected for their innovative and effective strategies in litigation, trial work, appellate work, risk management advice, ADR, and advice on issues with industry wide ramifications.

For the past 30 years, our attorneys have been at the forefront of work for the sports and recreation industry, including skiing and snow sports, golf, bicycling, and other outdoor industries. During that time, we have helped revitalize and define one of the most pressing issues to the sports industry: the doctrine of primary assumption of risk. Working on behalf of the ski industry, our attorneys helped establish the doctrine of primary assumption of risk defense, on a case-by-case basis, through the trial courts and appellate courts. The resultant rulings now serve as a basis for many defense victories in sport liability claims in virtually all industries.

Our group is adept at handling all levels of litigation, resulting in numerous summary judgments and defense verdicts for our clients. In instances where verdicts are challenged, we have attorneys experienced in representing clients through appeal. We also help clients identify which claims should be vigorously defended through trial and which should be settled. Our attorneys are particularly skilled in helping our clients weigh the risks of litigating against the importance of maintaining a reputation for not settling when there is little or no liability exposure.

Our skills and experience go well beyond litigation. We excel in handling cases involving high-profile catastrophic injuries, and in helping our clients manage the financial and public relations consequences of such events. We also advise many businesses on self-insurance programs.

Duane Morris acts as national supervising counsel for many well-known companies whose products include skis and ski bindings, mountain and road bicycles, in-line skates, scuba equipment, water ski equipment, snowboards and snowboard bindings, boats, personal watercraft, exercise equipment, motor vehicle tires, and motorcycle and bicycle helmets. Our clients include the owners and operators of ski resorts, golf courses and amusement parks; manufacturers, distributors and retailers of sports equipment, recreational boats, and personal watercraft; outdoor and guide operations; and sports and recreation industry trade groups.

Examples of our attorneys' experience include:


  • Ski resort and golf course owner and operator representation
  • Sports equipment products liability defense
  • Breach of contract actions
  • Catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases
  • Employment and wrongful termination actions and ADA
  • Environmental litigation

Administrative Proceedings

  • Representation before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, including reporting and recall efforts
  • Representation before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Transportation Safety Board

Advice and Counseling

  • Risk management advice and document review
  • Draft and review of promotional and licensing agreements
  • Audit and advise on insurance coverage, both with traditional insurers and in self-insurance programs

Licensing and International Disputes

  • Domestic and international contract review and negotiations, including manufacturing and distribution agreements, indemnity and insurance obligations, and trademark and patent licensing
  • Dispute resolution through arbitration, mediation, injunctive relief and other litigation


Services Available

Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Video Gaming Bill Reintroduced in Pennsylvania
Adam Berger,Frank A. DiGiacomo,Eric D. Frank,Christopher L. Soriano, April 06, 2015
Pennsylvania House Bill 808, introduced this week, would authorize video gaming machines for video poker, bingo, keno and other games in establishments with valid liquor licenses, such as restaurants, bars, taverns, hotels or clubs, in Pennsylvania. In addition to providing an overview of the...

Bill Restricting Casino Gaming Operations in Pennsylvania Goes to Committee
Adam Berger, March 30, 2015
Last week, a Pennsylvania bill, which would restrict the hours of operation of Pennsylvania casinos, was referred to the House Committee on Gaming Oversight. Specifically, House Bill Number 165 would require casinos in the Commonwealth to close between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. In a memorandum...

Anti-Money Laundering Remains at Forefront of Compliance in Nevada Gaming Industry
Jennifer Roberts, March 25, 2015
There is a lot of talk in the Nevada gaming industry about anti-money laundering efforts. In 1970, Congress passed the Bank Secrecy Act, which required banks to report large cash transactions in order to help find drug trafficking and tax evaders. The Bank Secrecy Act is enforced by FinCEN, the...

Lawyer in Vietnam Oliver Massmann Online Gaming and Gambling in Vietnam
Oliver Massmann, March 25, 2015
Technically, “online gaming” [business] in Vietnam may cover: (i) “online game”, a game played over some form of computer network;[1] or (ii) “online gambling”, a term for gambling using the Internet.

Pennsylvania Considering Video Gaming Machines Again?
Frank A. DiGiacomo, March 25, 2015
On February 12, 2014, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ Gaming Oversight Committee held a hearing to receive testimony regarding the prospects of legalizing electronic gaming devices, i.e video gaming machines, in the Commonwealth. The hearing focused on gaming along the lines of...

UPDATE: Pennsylvania Internet Gaming
Eric D. Frank, March 25, 2015
A second poker-only bill (HB 695) was introduced and referred to the House Gaming Oversight Committee for review.

Kentucky Attorney General: Internet Sweepstakes are Illegal Gambling
Eric D. Frank, March 19, 2015
This past Friday, the Kentucky Attorney General issued an opinion (OAG-15-005) concluding Internet sweepstakes machines meet the definition of illegal lotteries under Kentucky law and computers used at Internet sweepstakes cafes constitute illegal gambling devices.

Kentucky Senate Approves Shared Lottery Games Measure
Eric D. Frank, March 19, 2015
The Kentucky Senate today approved a measure to amend Kentucky’s lottery laws to add “shared lottery games” tying lottery ticket sales and horse races together. Senate Bill 74 permits proceeds from lottery ticket sales to be used to place pari-mutuel wagers by the Kentucky Lottery...

Restoration of America’s Wire Act Reintroduced in Congress
Eric D. Frank, March 18, 2015
Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT-3) reintroduced the Restoration of America’s Wire Act today in the 114th Congress. The bill is identical to a measure set forth by Rep. Chaffetz in the last session of Congress.

NJ Congressmen Introduce Federal Sports Betting Legislation
Christopher L. Soriano, March 13, 2015
In another effort to allow New Jersey’s casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting, two New Jersey Representatives have introduced two bills in Congress that would modify PASPA.

Pennsylvania Could Enact Medical Marijuana Legislation In 2015
Seth A. Goldberg, March 13, 2015
On January 26, 2015, in a bipartisan effort, Pennsylvania senators Mike Folmer (R) and Daylin Leach (D) reintroduced to the General Assembly of Pennsylvania a bill (Senate Bill No. 3) providing for the medical use of cannabis in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Senate Bill No. 3 comprises a...

Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee Introduces Bill That Would Allow Existing Casinos to Offer Internet Gaming
Adam Berger,Frank A. DiGiacomo,Eric D. Frank,Christopher L. Soriano, March 04, 2015
On February 25, 2015, John Payne, Chairman of the Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee, introduced a bill that would allow existing Pennsylvania casinos to offer Internet gaming to patrons in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), which currently regulates casino...

Court Issues TRO Against California Tribe’s Online Bingo Efforts
Christopher L. Soriano, January 23, 2015
Following up on our coverage here, on December 12 the US District Court for the Southern District of California issued a temporary restraining order against the IIpay Nation of Santa Ysabel’s internet bingo system. The Tribe’s system sought to offer online bingo to customers located off...

DOJ Seeks UIGEA Injunction Against California Indian Tribe
Christopher L. Soriano, January 23, 2015
In early November 2014, the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, an Indian tribe in California, began offering internet bingo over a website to patrons age 18 and older, regardless of whether they were located on tribal lands. The State of California sued, claiming that the authority to offer online bingo...

Series Of Bills Introduced Regarding AC’s Future
Christopher L. Soriano, January 23, 2015
New Jersey’s political and business leaders have been engaged in vigorous discussion lately about the future of New Jersey’s gaming industry and Atlantic City in particular. Yesterday, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney introduced several bills as part of these ongoing efforts...

“I Told the Waiter There Was a Fly in My Soup!” - A Little More Freedom for User Outrage on Yelp and other Social Media Sites
Mark A. Fischer, January 22, 2015
“The worst meal I ever had. And the service sucked, too.” Can you legally say that kind of thing about a restaurant on social media sites like Yelp? Those long, eye-glazing terms of service (sometimes called “terms of use,” “end-user terms of service,” etc.) in...

NJ Sports Betting Enjoined - Court Finds PASPA Preempts State Law
Christopher L. Soriano, January 22, 2015
Although commenting that “the present case is not nearly as clear as the Leagues or the defendants assert,” US District Judge Michael Shipp granted summary judgment in favor of the professional sports leagues and enjoined New Jersey from implementing sports betting pursuant to the...