The widespread popularity of sports has led to a rise in the complexity of the legal issues now facing athletes and sports agencies.

With decades of experience representing athletes and sports agencies and backed by a nationally recognized litigation practice, Zuckerman Spaeder understands what it takes to win.

Athletes, teams, and sports agencies compete under extreme public scrutiny. They need legal representation that understands the pressure and the players.

Led by litigator Jon Fetterolf, our sports practice covers the gamut in representing sports agencies and athletes. We know your business because we are not just litigators—Jon is also a certified MLB sports agent.

In the past, we’ve represented clients in criminal proceedings, civil litigation, arbitration, and investigations conducted by private law firms, leagues, players’ associations, and Congress. We’ve also represented countless athletes and agencies in contract negotiations and league arbitrations.

Rather than hire multiple litigators to deal with these different legal problems, we provide one-stop shopping for all of these issues.

From defending athletes against criminal claims to representing clients in league and union investigations, to enforcing sports agencies’ contractual claims against departing agents, Zuckerman Spaeder has a wealth of experience in the sports industry.

Crisis litigation

Our reputation was built on defending clients in high-stakes criminal and civil litigation.  Described as “a haven for clients in trouble,” by The American Lawyer, Zuckerman Spaeder consistently ranks among the top firms in the United States for criminal defense.

With a team assembled from former public defenders and prosecutors, our attorneys are trial-ready litigators with decades of experience in court, and are often asked to represent athletes, celebrities and other public figures in their most public and important legal disputes. Because our lawyers come from both the prosecution and defense side, we understand how opposing counsel plans and acts, giving our clients a better perspective on the case.


For more than 40 years, we have represented individuals and companies in some of the most significant criminal, league, and congressional investigations in the United States.

We understand the impact these investigations have on our clients’ day-to-day commercial and professional activities. For businesses, the reputational and financial impacts can be significant; for athletes and executives, the toll on their lives and families can be extraordinary. Our work with these clients takes this into account so we can help them decide the best way forward.

League and union arbitrations

Because of our in depth understanding of the economic and labor structure that governs athletes and sports agencies, we have successfully represented players and agencies in multiple sports in various matters arising out of league and union arbitration provisions or collective bargaining agreements.

Contract negotiations

Led by certified MLB sports agent Jon Fetterolf, we advise professional baseball players and coaches in contract negotiations, salary arbitrations, and free agency, as well as negotiate endorsement and marketing contracts on their behalf.

We have also advised numerous players and their families regarding their selection in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft, including a number of high-round selections, and advised amateur athletes and their families on NCAA eligibility issues. Among our clients are two major league baseball players recognized among the 10 smartest athletes in professional sports by Sports Illustrated


Meet the team
Jay T. Cohen_listing

Jay T. Cohen

Staff Attorney/Baseball Specialist

Tim McLean_listing

Tim McLean

Deputy Director of ZS Sports