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Monday, March 19, 2012
Vermont Law School Panel on Emerging Issues in Ski, Snowboarding and Resort Law

The Sports Law Institute at Vermont Law School is thrilled to announce our upcoming panel on emerging issues in ski, snowboarding and resort law.  Here are the details:

The Sports Law Institute at Vermont Law School presents

A Panel Discussion on Emerging Legal Issues
in Ski, Snowboarding and Resort Law

Thursday, March 29, 2012
12:45 to 2:00 pm
Chase Community Center

We are excited to announce a dynamic panel of leading attorneys in ski, snowboarding and resort law.  The event will be open to the public and 1.25 Vermont CLE credit hours will be available.     Topics will include:

  • tort implications of participating in ski and snowboarding;

  • role of assumption of risk in personal injury litigation involving ski and snowboarding;

  • new state laws that promote safety, such as requiring skiers and snowboarders under 18 to wear helmets; 

  • the structuring of licensing and related ski and snowboarding contracts;

  • impact of international law on multi-national ski, snowboarding and resort transactions;

  • impact of controversial new regulations promulgated by the International Ski Federation;

  • ways the law can improve underprivileged persons' access to ski and snowboarding; and

  • how changes to the law might address the expected impact of climate change on the ski, snowboarding and resort industries.

Professor Michael McCann will introduce the event and the speakers.  He will also comment on the Sports Law Institute's exciting plans for 2012-13.


Brian Porto (moderator)

Professor Porto is Deputy Director of the Sports Law Institute and an Associate Professor of Law at Vermont Law School.  He has been writing about legal issues in sports for more than two decades.  Professor Porto's writings focus on the effects of Title IX on college sports and on the relationship between those sports and higher education.  His most recent book, The Supreme Court and the NCAA, examines the antitrust and due process consequences for college football and basketball of the United States Supreme Court's decisions in NCAA v. Board of Regents (1984) and NCAA v. Tarkanian (1988), respectively.  Professor Porto holds a JD from Indiana University-Bloomington and a PhD. in political science from Miami University (Ohio). Before coming to VLS, he taught political science at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and practiced law in Vermont.

Mr. Banker is the senior associate at Chalat Hatten & Koupal PC in Denver, Colorado.  His practice is focused on ski, snowboard, and other recreation related injuries, as well as professional malpractice. Mr. Banker’s ski and recreation law practice regularly includes questions of law regarding the enforceability of liability waivers, inherent risks and dangers of skiing, resort liability, and skier responsibility. He holds degrees from the University of Denver College of Law and the University of Michigan.

Jaimesen Heins

Mr. Heins is Associate General Counsel at Burton Snowboards in Burlington, VT.  He manages transactional legal matters for Burton and its global family of surf, skate and snow brands.  This including drafting, review and negotiation of professional athlete, sponsorship, manufacturing, licensing and related commercial agreements.  In addition, Mr. Heins provides advice and strategic counsel to Burton with respect to mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, employment, real estate and litigation matters.. Previously, Mr. Heins served as a Project Manager for Toll Brothers, Inc., a publicly traded real estate development company.  Mr. Heins also held associate positions with Hughes Hubbard & Reed, LLP in New York and Eggleston & Cramer, Ltd. in Burlington, Vermont.  Mr. Heins holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Tulane University.

Mr. Maass is an attorney at Ryan Smith & Carbine in Rutland, VT.  A past officer and President of the Board of Directors of the Association of Ski Defense Attorneys, Mr. Maass is active in ski defense and professional liability litigation and has successfully tried numerous cases to jury verdict.  He has presented before the National Ski Areas Association, the Vermont Ski Areas Association and the Ski Areas of New York Association and has been involved in ski industry litigation throughout the East Coast.  A substantial portion of Mr. Maass’s practice also consists of counseling employers on employment issues. Mr. Maass is an approved trainer for equal employment/discrimination matters by the Civil Rights Division of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office.  He holds degrees from New England School of Law and St. Lawrence University.

Mr. Riehle is president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association, which represents the state’s alpine and Nordic ski areas in governmental affairs, marketing and public affairs.  Before first joining the association as the Director of Governmental Affairs in 1998, Riehle was in private practice with a primary focus on insurance defense litigation. In 2003, he was appointed to Governor Douglas’ senior staff as Special Assistant to the Governor and Secretary of Civil & Military Affairs, where he served as legal counsel, legislative liaison and policy advisor.  After the Governor’s first term, he returned to VSAA and has been president since 2006, where he oversees all aspects of the association and serves as the ski industry's lobbyist with the Vermont legislature and regulatory agencies.  He holds degrees from Vermont Law School and Hamilton College.


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