THE ENTERTAINMENT, ARTS and SPORTS LAW BLOG

Ray Rice's Appeal Could Be One of NFLPA's Biggest Victories to Date: Here's Why

By Max Horowitz
"Sports Law Says" Blog

Let's be clear about something up front: At this point, it would be approaching futility to try and find anyone who wants to defend Ray Rice.

However, as of Tuesday, the National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA) became tasked with one of the more difficult assignments in its 58 year history: it has to defend him. Not his actions (those are indefensible), but rather his rights.

The NFLPA's formal filing of an appeal of Ray Rice's indefinite suspension to the National Football League's (NFL's)offices in New York City comes as no surprise to those familiar with the law. Yes, Rice's actions have sparked intense reaction and debate across "NFL Nation" about exactly to what sort of standard of personal conduct that professional sports leagues should hold their player-employees, but that is not the issue at hand for the NFLPA.

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About Elissa

Elissa D. Hecker practices in the entertainment and business fields. Her practice focuses on copyright, trademark and business law.  Her clients encompass a large spectrum of the entertainment world. In addition to her private practice, Elissa edited the books Entertainment Litigation - Know the Issues and Avoid the Courtroom, In the Arena and Counseling Content Providers in the Digital Age.

Elissa is Chair of the Board of Directors of Dance/NYC. She is also a Member of the Advisory Board of MARACAS and the Legal Advisory Committee of Safe Football. She is Past Chair of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law (EASL) Section of the New York State Bar Association, Editor of the EASL Journal, member of the Editorial Board of the NYSBA Bar Journal, and Co-Chair and founder of the EASL Pro Bono Committee. She is also editor of the EASL Blog. Elissa is a frequent author, lecturer and panelist, a Trustee of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. (CSUSA), a member of the Board of Editors for The Journal of the CSUSA, and the CSUSA’s Newsletter Editor.

Elissa was selected repeatedly as a New York Super Lawyers Rising Star and for Top Attorneys – New York Metro Area’s Outstanding Young Lawyers. In addition, she was selected for Top Women Attorneys in New York Metro and Top Attorneys – Westchester Area’s Outstanding Young Lawyers, was the inaugural recipient of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A.'s 2011 Award for Excellent Service and received the 2005 New York State Bar Association's Outstanding Young Lawyer Award. She was previously Associate Counsel with The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. and its parent company, the National Music Publishers Association, Inc.

Practice Areas include:

Entertainment Law • Copyright • Trademark • Intellectual Property
Television • Production • Music • Dance • Photography • Internet
Media • Business • Corporate issues • Contracts • Publishing

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Photos By: Stefy Hilmer (headshot) and Christopher Duggan (Dance/NYC)