Jeff O’Brien and Carl Eller teamed up to write an article on the representation of retired athletes which appeared in the May/June 2016 Hennepin Lawyer.

When Marshawn Lynch, a Super Bowl–winning professional football player for the Seattle Seahawks, recently announced his retirement from the NFL at age 29, it was reported that he had been living off endorsement revenue and had saved every penny of the $49 million that he had earned as salary during his playing career. His teammates further disclosed that the man known to NFL fans as “Beast Mode” also served as their informal financial advisor by providing tips to his teammates on managing their IRAs.

Lynch’s story was noteworthy as it flies in the face of common stereotypes regarding professional athletes1 and bucks the trend of athletes experiencing financial difficulties when their playing careers are over. Attorneys who represent athletes relative to their business and personal legal matters must understand the mind-set of a professional athlete, the culture of sports in which they are immersed, and the physical toll taken during the athlete’s playing career.

All of these factors are relevant to the attorneys’ role as a trusted advisor to clients. This article explores these issues in greater detail and provides some common legal matters to be addressed in representing an athlete client. It also discusses a new approach to be taken with respect to educating the athlete about these issues years in advance of the athlete’s post-playing career.

Read the Hennepin Lawyer article, Representing Retired Athletes.