#LABOBlawg100

Hey LABO Nation,

This post is a bit delayed but better to post it later than never.  A few weeks ago, the ABA Journal began accepting nominations for the 8th Annual ABA Blawg 100, and I need your help.

Since LABO's inception on December 23, 2011, LABO has been committed to providing quality sports law content.  LABO may not be in the same school as some other elite sports law blogs on the Internet, but at least I have satisfied my goal in providing clear, articulate explanations on various sports law topics.  The time has come where I firmly believe that a sports law blog should be represented in the 8th Annual ABA Blawg 100, and it would be an HONOR to have Law and Batting Order be that blog.

Below is a brief 2-minute campaign video asking you to nominate LABO.  In essence, it's a rally video.  Check it out:

And when you have a chance, PLEASE NOMINATE LABO TODAY!  Visit http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs/blawg100_submit and fill out the form nominating LABO.  If you have some trouble nominating, below is a quick tutorial.

Please share this post with others in your circles, especially if they are legal bloggers, and hopefully, LABO will have the honor of being one of the top 100 legal blogs.

Remember, we are sports law.  We are LABO Nation.

-Tony

When Life Takes Turns, Go With the Flow

Hey LABO Nation,

Long time no speak.  It's been a couple of months since I put out a post on the LABO website.  For the duration of the summer, I spent time studying for the July NY and NJ bar exam.  However, a personal family crisis occurred that has prevented me from carrying on with my bar exam studies.  

This past Monday, July 14, my mom suffered a seizure in our family basement that left her incoherent for some time.  Thankfully, there were people at the house who contacted 911 as well as me and my dad.  My mom regained full consciousness once she was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Cat-scans and x-rays revealed a 5-6 centimeter brain mass in the right front lobe of my mom's brain.  Obviously, it was a very scary situation because when you hear news like that, you instantly think it's cancerous.  Good news, it is NOT cancerous.  In fact, the mass in my mom's brain is 99.999999% benign.  On top of that, the mass is NOT growing on the brain. The mass is a meningioma, which means that it is actually growing on the exterior of the brain, specifically on meninges, which is the covering of the brain.  In other words, it's growing on the interior of the scalp and not in the actual brain itself.  In fact, the picture above is what meningioma looks like under a microscope.  It's awfully pink, right?

The fact that the mass is benign and easily operable is all good news and my family and I are relieved.  My mom is scheduled to have the mass removed on Wednesday, July 23 at 7:30 AM.

Also, because of what has happened with my mom, it is only right to her, my family, and to myself to put a halt on my bar exam studies and to withdraw from the July 2014 NY and NJ bar exam.  I have closure about this decision.  I need to make sure my mom is in good health, but aside from that, I could never take a test as exhausting as the bar exam with this lingering over my head.  I still plan on taking the bar exam in February 2015, though.

I know that LABO is a platform for me to share sports law content, but this is a matter too important not to discuss with all of you.  This is a very personal, and I could easily hide this in and not share on such a public forum.  But at the end of the day, life takes turns and things don't go according to plan.  When life throws the curveballs at you, it's important to adapt and go with the flow.  Certainly, we've been tested through this ordeal, but we're doing the best we can to make this work.

With that in mind, LABO Nation, it would mean a lot to me if you sent words of comfort and support to my mom.  She's a fighter.  She's a 14-year breast cancer survivor.  If she was able to beat that, she can surely beat this.  Your prayers and support are immensely appreciated.

Because I have dropped my bar exam studies, I still plan on picking up where I left off with LABO.  I have yet to determine when the newest season of LABO will start.  But I can assure that time is coming soon.  In the meantime, be on the lookout for another post coming soon about the ABA Blawg 100.  The ABA Journal is currently accepting nominations and I hope to have LABO make the ABA Blawg 100 this year.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to reading your comments of support and comfort!

-Tony

Thank You, LABO Nation.

Hey LABO Nation,

When I conceived the idea of Law and Batting Order in November of 2011, my goal and intent was to create a brand within the sports law industry that would be different from all the other sports law blogs out there.  Not to mention my goal was to also educate the public while educating myself about the sports law world.  Little did I know that it would take off in an extraordinary way.  Nearly two and half years later, LABO has thrived and become a reliable source of info for law students, attorneys, business professionals, and everyday sports fans.

LABO has had its ups and downs, and I've certainly spent time and effort making sure I improved the LABO brand as best as I could.  While the road to make LABO successful has been a rough one, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

I feel nostalgic as I write all of this, and rightfully so, because tomorrow I will be completing a new milestone in my professional career.  I'll be graduating New York Law School on Wednesday, May 21.  Wow.  How time flies!

Law school made me into a better thinker, a harder worker, and kinder person.  Law school taught me that people were once in my shoes and that there are genuinely good people out there who are willing to help.  Law school taught me that ANYTHING is possible.  The latter is certainly applicable, as I let the idea of Law and Batting Order come to full fruition.

While LABO relied heavily on my own willpower and my eagerness to improve the brand, LABO would in no way, shape, or form be what it is without the support of YOU, the viewers.  Whether you watched one episode or every single episode, whether you commented once or every single episode, or whether you tweet the LABO Twitter account once a week or daily, YOU have made LABO what it is.  Your support has been invaluable.  Without it, the LABO brand would not be as strong as it is.  And for that, I am immensely grateful to all of you for supporting LABO the way you have.

So what's next for me?  After graduation, I'll be spending the entire summer studying for the bar exam, so my focus will be strictly on that.  No questions asked.  I'll be taking the bar exam from July 29th until July 31st.   Naturally, the LABO website and all social media accounts will sit dormantly for the duration of the summer.  But take my word for it, LABO will be back and better after the bar exam.  In the meantime, I covet your prayers and support as I aggressively study for the bar exam this summer.

Again, thank you all SO MUCH for your support, LABO Nation.  Without your support, LABO would not be what it is today.

- Tony

Episode 64 - Taking it to the Streets at #SLAC14

In this episode, I interview attendees of the 40th Annual Sports Lawyers Association Conference in Chicago, Illinois about the conference and what their favorite and compelling sports law topic was within the past year and why.

AND, this episode features an interview with yours truly at the end.

Many thanks to Jacqui Lamer for your help filming and for everyone who went in front of the camera for an interview!

I've Been Named to Sports Launch Magazine's Thirty Under 30 Awards!

LABO Nation, I have some very exciting news to share with all of you!  Yesterday, I was named a Thirty Under 30 Winner in sports business by Sports Launch Magazine, an online magazine publication.  Yes, I actually won something!  I was named alongside some great names in sports law and sports business, including LABO guests Michael James, Ben Haynes, and Hakeem Onafowokan.  Please join me in congratulating them too!

Certainly, it's an honor to be named a winner of something like this.  But it would be a disservice if I didn't take the time thank all of you for supporting LABO.  The argument can be made that I invest a lot of time and energy into making "Law and Batting Order" what it is.  But at the end of the day, I wouldn't have received this honor if you didn't watch my videos, find me via Twitter, or even visit the LABO site.  At the end of the day, LABO is powered BY THE VIEWERS.  It doesn't get any simpler than that.

So with that, thank you for all the support.  Please feel free to browse the rest of the magazine below. My profile is on page 25.

-Tony

DETAILS FINALIZED! More Info on "Taking it to the Streets" in Chicago

Hey LABO Nation,

You may recall that a few weeks ago, I announced that I would be filming a special season finale of "Taking it to the Streets" while I'm in attendance at the 2014 Sports Lawyers Association Conference.  Well the plan still stands, but with more details, which I've outlined below.

LOCATION: "Taking it to the Streets" will only be filmed on Fairmont premises and is only open to those who are in attendance at the Sports Lawyers Association Conference.

DATE AND TIME: Filming will take place on Thursday, May 15th during the 6:15 to 7:15 opening reception block.  You'll see me with my microphone and camera, and I'll be walking around asking if you are interested in participating.  But if you want to be a part of the episode and you see me, just tap my shoulder and I'll get you on camera.

DISCLAIMER TIME!  If you do appear on camera, it is implicit that anything you say is not representative of your employer's views.  Your views are strictly your views.  In addition, if you agree to be interviewed, there is a high likelihood that your material will be used in the final product.  However, due to time constraints, there is a chance that not every portion of your interview will be included in the video.

With that said, please be sure to follow my personal Twitter account @ailiakostas and the LABO Twitter account @LawAndBO while I'm in Chicago for the Sports Lawyers Association Conference.  I'll be live-tweeting throughout the duration of the conference.  Stay tuned!

-Tony

Episode 63 - The Donald Sterling Legal Saga

In this episode, I discuss in great detail the legal circumstances surrounding Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and the racist remarks he made in an audio recording. I specifically touch on 3 issues: 1) whether Mr. Sterling is entitled to his First Amendment right to freedom of speech, 2) what gives NBA Commissioner Adam Silver the authority to sanction Donald Sterling the way he did, and 3) whether Donald Sterling is legally compelled to sell the Clippers franchise.  Enjoy!

LABO's Season Finale on May 18, 2014

Fellow LABO Nation members,

I'm pleased to announce that LABO will be bringing back "Taking It To The Streets" as the season finale segment before I graduate and study for the bar exam this summer (details to follow about that at a later time).

Because I will be in Chicago from May 15th to May 18th for the Sports Lawyers Association Annual Conference, it is only fitting to talk with sports law students and professionals about...well, sports law!  So with that in mind, for any of you planning on attending this year's Sports Lawyers Association Conference, be on the lookout for me, my microphone, and my camera as I'll be conducting interviews with attendees about sports law issues.  Topics will be determined at a later time.

In the meantime, in an effort to spread the word about this, please share this with any colleagues or friends who you know will be at SLA Conference in Chicago.  Let's get the word out there about this.

Looking forward to filming and meeting some of you for the very first time!

-Tony

A Special Post for a Special Friend

Hey LABO Nation,

It's not often that I write a blog post for the site.  After all, LABO has always been, and will continue to be, a sports law video blog.  Needless to say, something very special happened yesterday that required me to write a special blog entry today.

If you're a hockey fan, then you know that the NHL Draft Lottery was held yesterday, in which the Florida Panthers won the #1 overall pick in the 2014 draft.  And sitting in the TSN Studios in Toronto, Canada was one of my best friends, Travis Viola.  Last year, Travis and his family became the new owners of the Florida Panthers, taking their NY roots down to Sunrise, Florida, with the hopes of developing a winning mantra in a young and developing hockey club.

Travis talking to TSN shortly after the Panthers won the first overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft Lottery,

Travis and I go back to 2009, when he and I sat next to each other in a film class at Fordham University.  Little did we know that we'd hit it off so well.  We both not only loved Hitchcock, but we loved baseball, the Beatles, and family.  That bond has only grown tighter.  While I went on to law school and Travis graduated from Fordham in 2010, we remained very good friends.

But what's especially special about Travis and his friendship is that he has been a devout supporter and advocate of LABO since Day 1.  He has been one of the most hardcore viewers of LABO.  In fact, in my eyes, he is one of the first members of LABO Nation.  He even appeared in LABO's Taking it To The Streets episode!  When he took on the role of VP of Hockey Operations for the Panthers, he NEVER cut ties with me or with LABO.  And for that I will be immensely grateful to Travis for his loyalty and sincerity as a friend.

Travis Viola, left, when he made his appearance on LABO's Taking it To The Streets episode in July 2013.

And as I watched the NHL Draft Lottery live yesterday, I screamed with jubilation, because it wasn't the hockey club that won the first draft pick.  Rather, it was one of my BEST FRIENDS who won.  And I honestly couldn't have been happier for him.  You can see my reaction below, documented live on my personal Instagram account.

So with that, Travis, congrats to you, your family, and the entire Florida Panthers organization on this immense moment of winning the #1 overall draft pick.  You definitely represented LABO Nation loudly and proudly yesterday evening!  LABO Nation, please join me in congratulating Travis on his massive achievement!

- Tony