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Friday, January 31, 2014
UNH Law Panel on Sochi Olympics and Russia's "Ban on Homosexual Propaganda"

Spring 2014 Panel on Russia’s “Ban on Homosexual Propaganda” and impact on Sochi Winter Olympics

On Thursday, February 6, 2014 — the day before the XXII Olympic Winter Games are set to begin — the UNH Law Sports and Entertainment Law Institute (SELI) and UNH Law's Chapter of Lambda Law will co-host a panel on Russia's new law that "bans gay propaganda aimed at children" and its impact on the Sochi Olympics.  Please RSVP to:

The panel will address such topics as:
  • How does the prohibition impact LGBT rights in Russia?
  • Is the prohibition legal under the law of Russia? How does the prohibition interact with local Russian laws that have barred public demonstrations of LGBT groups?
  • Is the prohibition consistent with the Olympic Charter? The International Olympic Committee (“IOC”) believes the prohibition does not violate the Olympic Charter.  If that is the case, should the Olympic Charter be revised?
  • Despite widespread criticism of the prohibition, no country or sponsor has said that it will withdraw from the Sochi games. Is this a case of “all talk and no action”?
  • The United States has responded to the prohibition by announcing that neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden, nor their families, will attend the Sochi games.  In previous games, either the President or First Family has attended.  The U.S. is instead sending former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Billie Jean King as part of its official delegation. Is this response appropriate?

    Should the U.S have adopted a bolder response, such as pulling its athletes in a boycott – as it did in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow in response to the Soviet Union’s conflict in Afghanistan?  Or is the response too harsh and might it create a precedent for leaders to skip Olympic games when they disagree with the host country’s laws?
  • Is the U.S. hypocritical given the different forms of legal discrimination against LGBT groups in the United States?  Thirty three states ban same sex marriage.  Federal law does not bar LGBT discrimination in the workplace and neither do the laws of most states. In sports, NFL teams have been known to ask college players about their sexual orientation.
Katherine Hedges, president of UNH Law's Chapter of Lambda Law, will introduce the panel, which will be moderated by SELI Director Prof. Michael McCann.

Panelists will include:

William Butler

William Butler is the John Edward Fowler Distinguished Professor of Law and International Affairs at Penn State Law.

He is the preeminent authority on the law of Russia and other former Soviet republics and the author, co-author, editor, or translator of more than 120 books on Soviet, Russian, Ukrainian and other Commonwealth of Independent States legal systems. He edits the journal Russian Law, published by the Russian Academy of Legal Sciences; theEast European and Russian Yearbook of International and Comparative Law, published by The Vinogradoff Institute; and numerous other scholarly journals.

Butler holds six degrees, including: LL.D., University of London, Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies LL.M., School of Law of the Academy University of Law, Institute of State and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences; J.D., Harvard Law School; M.A., The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; and a B.A., The American University.

Dmitry V. Chesnokov

Dmitry V. Chesnokov is a sports and entertainment lawyer for Hobson Bernardino & Davis LLP, handling both transactional and litigation matters for clients.

Mr. Chesnokov is licensed to practice in the State of California and Russia. Mr. Chesnokov received his law degree from the Moscow Academy of Business in Moscow, Russia and studied at the University of Essex School of Law in the United Kingdom. He is fluent in Russian and English.

In his litigation practice, Mr. Chesnokov has a strong background in government investigations, FCPA, due diligence and has extensive knowledge of e-discovery matters. In his transactional practice, he represents international athletes and entertainers. Mr. Chesnokov is also an internationally recognized sportswriter. His exclusive interviews with NHL stars have made news around the world.

His critically acclaimed reporting of the Lokomotiv air crash was picked up by most major media outlets, including BBC, NBC Sports, TSN, ESPN, the Washington Post and many others. Mr. Chesnokov is a senior writer for Yahoo! Sports and other new and traditional media outlets.

As a Member of the International Sports Press Association and the Professional Hockey Writers Association, Mr. Chesnokov is also an on-air contributor to TSN, Canada's leading English language sports TV channel. He regularly tweets insightful hockey analysis @dchesnokov

Matthew Lane

Matthew Lane teaches international and comparative sports law: examining law and sports from a global perspective at UNH Law. He practices as an associate with Preti Flaherty in its Concord, New Hampshire office.

Lane joined Preti Flaherty in 2009 and practices with both the firm's Business Law and Sports & Entertainment Groups. His sports law practice focuses on the representation of athletes in a variety of areas, including contract negotiations and commercial rights. Lane is a certified IAAF Athlete Representative and serves as an agent for several athletes in the sport of track and field.

Prior to pursuing law, Lane was a professional runner, sponsored by Nike, and was a member of two U.S. national teams. As a collegiate athlete at William and Mary, he was an 11-time NCAA Division I All-American and the 2001 U.S. Track Coaches Association Athlete of the Year (the track & field “Heisman”).

In 2002, he became the 251st American to run the mile in under four minutes (his official time was 3:57.57). In 2010, he was honored as one of 25 "Silver Stars" of the Colonial Athletic Association conference— the 25 best athletes in the 25-year history of the conference.

He was inducted into the William and Mary Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. He also served as the Head Indoor Track & Field coach at Yarmouth High School, and currently serves as Assistant Coach to the school's cross-country team.

During law school, Lane served as the Executive Editor of the Maine Law Review. He is a native of Yarmouth, Maine.

Cameron Myler

Cameron Myler was a member of the U.S. National Luge Team from 1985 to 1998 and competed on four Winter Olympics teams - 1988 (Calgary, Canada), 1992 (Albertville, France) 1994 (Lillehammer, Norway) and 1998 (Nagano, Japan). She earned her best finish of fifth in the women's singles event in Albertville at the 1992 and was elected by her teammates to carry the American flag during the opening ceremony of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.

Myler later practiced law in Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy's Intellectual Property/Litigation Group before moving to Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, an entertainment and media law firm in New York City.

She is now a clinical professor  at New York University and Athlete Ambassador for Kids Play International, which uses sport to educate and empower underserved youth in countries such as Rwanda, Malawi and India.

Myler  has also been a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Director, the USOC Athletes' Advisory Council USA Luge Vice President Board of Directors, and NYC2012 - Board of Directors.

Myler holds a J.D. from Boston College Law School and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.

L. Jon Wertheim

L. Jon Wertheim is both the Executive Editor and a Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated. He is one of the most accomplished journalists in the United States.

At SI, Wertheim has authored numerous articles on the Olympics as well as the SI story on NBA player Jason Collins who in 2013 came out as gay. Wertheim is also the co-author of the New York Times best-selling book Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won.

Wertheim has also authored six other highly-praised books, including Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played (2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Blood in the Cage: Mixed Martial Arts, Pat Miletich, and the Furious Rise of the UFC (2009, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Running the Table: The Legend of Kid Delicious, the Last Great American Pool Hustler (2008, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

Wertheim is also a recent Ferris Professor at Princeton University. Wertheim received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and B.A. from Yale University.
Read more >>  Sochi Olympics, Ban on 'Gay Propaganda’ Are Subject of Expert Panel at UNH Law
Student-Led Event Feb. 6 Will Feature National Names in Sports Law and a Four-Time Olympian
Jan 29, 2014


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