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About me

Tim serves as chair of Duggan Bertsch's Litigation group, and brings to the Firm a reputation as one of the top lawyers in sports and entertainment in the country.  Tim's civil litigation and trial experience covers commercial, construction, product liability, and large loss claims.  Tim's Sports Law practice focuses on the litigation needs of players, coaches, teams and schools and serves as Chair of the firm's Sports Law practice group. Tim’s Sports Law practice is all-encompassing, but is litigation-based at its core. It spans from injuries on the athletic field (plaintiff and defense), to sports product issues, to disappointment lawsuits (lack of/misuse of an athlete's playing time), amateur representation issues (while not violating NCAA rules), NCAA/high school association violations, personal website/social networking issues, multiplier/anti-recruiting measures, recreational immunity, coach's standing to sue/file TRO's, Olympic issues, off-the-field issues during athletic trips, doping/drug testing, construction/sports issues, and the intersection of sports/religion.


In the entertainment world, Tim serves as general counsel and outside consulting counsel to numerous music and arts festivals and events, including Pitchfork, Life is Beautiful, and Riot Fest.  Tim's work in this space spans North America, counseling clients in all aspects of the business including contract negotiation and drafting, risk management, insurance needs, claims management, and strategic consulting.


Tim serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He currently teaches courses in Sports and Entertainment Law.


Tim is an accomplished legal writer, published as an author and contributor in nationally respected law reviews, periodicals, and bar association publications including the University of Virginia, the University of Texas, the New York Times, the Chicago Bar Association, Crain’s Chicago Business, USA Today, the University of Illinois, ESPN the Magazine, the University of Pittsburgh, Sports Litigation Alert, Legal Issues in Collegiate Athletics, the American Lawyer, and the Sports Business Journal.  Tim has earned the respect and trust of his fellow attorneys by being selected for numerous bar association leadership positions, including his previous work as the Defense Research Institute (the national defense trial bar) Sports Law Special Litigation Group Chairman.  Tim is listed in the Sports Law Expert Witness Directory and has been featured multiple times in the DRI Leadership Spotlight.  Tim has also served as a legal analyst for ABC, Fox, and WGN.


Prior to joining the firm, Tim served as a Partner and Chair of the Sports and Event Law Group at SmithAmundsen, and worked as a summer associate for Donohue, Brown, Mathewson & Smyth, and Corboy & Demetrio.


While attending law school, Tim was the notes editor for the Elder Law Journal, Founder/President of the Irish Law Students Association, a Cali Award Winner for Academic Excellence and a Rickert Award Winner for Excellence in Legal Publication.  He was also a teaching assistant for Legal Writing at the College of Law, and Ethics in Engineering at the College of Engineering.  Tim was named to the Board of Advisors of the Sports Law Institute (SLI) at Vermont Law School in 2012.  Additionally, in 2011 Tim was appointed to an honorary position with the Fetzer Institute, specifically as a member of the Fetzer Advisory Council on Sports, and Embodied Spiritual Practices. The Fetzer Institute is a private, nonprofit operating foundation that engages with people and programs working to bring the power of love and forgiveness to the center of individual, organizational and community life. He has been a member of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) Legal Task Force since 2012. Tim is also a member of the Selection Committee for the Tillman Military Scholars program.


Tim is an “AV” rated lawyer from Martindale-Hubbell, representing recognition of legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability and legal experience by his peers. He has also been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 Illinois Super Lawyers® list of “Rising Stars,” published by Thomson Reuters; a designation awarded to less than three percent of all lawyers in the State.


Practice areas


  1. Litigation: 35%
  2. Contracts & Agreements: 25%
  3. Entertainment: 25%
  4. Education: 15%



Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (sometimes), Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

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  • James M. Quigley

    I endorse this lawyer.


    James Quigley Divorce & Separation Attorney
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  • Michael Patrick Schmiege

    Mr. Epstein is a superb advocate for his clients. He is able to handle all manner of complex issues with insight and experience. I would recommend Mr. Epstein to friends and family in need of the highest level of legal assistance. Mr. Epstein is nationally recognized as a leading construction law and sports law lawyer. He is at the top of his field. Mr. Epstein’s clients respect and value his expertise and hard work that he puts forth in preparing their cases. He works hard to obtain successful verdicts for his clients.


    Michael Schmiege Federal Crime Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Duggan Bertsch

303 West Madison
Suite 1000
Chicago, IL, 60606


ILActive And Authorized To Practice Law200411/12/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Illinois Super Lawyers (Rising Stars)Law & Politics Magazine2015
Illinois Super Lawyers (Rising Stars)Law & Politics Magazine2014
AV Preeminent® rated (4.9 out of 5)Martindale-Hubbell2012
Illinois Super Lawyers (Rising Stars)Law & Politics Magazine2012
SuperLawyers: Illinois Rising StarsLaw & Politics Magazine2011
Fearture as Sports Law Expert WitnessSports Law Expert Witness Directory (Sports Litigation Alert/Legal Issues in Collegiate Athletics)2009
CALIUniversity of Illinois College of Law2004
Burton AwardUniversity of Illinois College of Law2004
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerDuggan Bertsch2015 - Present
Member of Selection Committee for Tillman Military ScholarsPat Tillman Foundation2014 - Present
MemberSports Fitness Industry Association Legal Task Force2012 - Present
Member of Advisory BoardWelles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust2012 - Present
MemberBoard of Advisors of the Sports Law Institute, Vermont Law School2011 - Present
AdvisorFetzer Institute Advisory Council on Sport and Embodied Spiritual Practices2011 - Present
Adjunct Professor of Law (Sports and Entertainment)Loyola University Chicago School of Law2010 - Present
Member of Board of DirectorsLoyola Academy Bar Association2004 - Present
Partner/Chair, Sports Law Practice GroupSmithAmundsen, LLC2004 - 2015
Summer AssociateCorboy & Demetrio2003 - 2003
Summer AssociateDonohue, Brown, Mathewson & Smyth2002 - 2002
Association namePosition nameDuration
Sports and Fitness Industry Association Legal Task ForceMember2012 - Present
Defense Research Institute, Products Liability CommitteeMember2011 - Present
Defense Research InstituteChair, Sports LawN/A
Defense Research InstituteCommercial Litigation Steering CommitteeN/A
Defense Research InstituteYoung Lawyers Steering CommitteeN/A
Loyola Academy Bar AssociationChair/Co-FounderN/A
ABA, Entertainment and Sports Law SectionMemberN/A
Sports Lawyers AssociationMemberN/A
Defense Research InstituteMember, Construction Law CommitteeN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
NCAA Eligibility Case of Enes KanterAppeal denied
Venzon vs. American Baptist AssemblySettled
General Counsel to Producer of Pitchfork Music FestivalOngoing work; non-litigation
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Chicago Daily Law BulletinNFL Compromises on New Doping, Substance Policy2014
Chicago Daily Law BulletinDoes Amateurism Model Mean No Money for Mo’ne2014
Chicago Daily Law BulletinIllinois lags in laws on youth sports concussions2014
Yahoo SportsNBA scouts keep eye on Kanter as he sits2011
Chicago LawyerNiche: Midsize firms often offer outside-the-box practices,2011
ESPN The MagazineNow Playing: After a Highly Publicized Nine-Game Suspension, a Top Frosh Attraction is Finally on the Court,2011
Chicago Daily Law BulletinU of I Law Boot Camp a Real Eye-Opener,2011
The New York Times“Questions Linger on Recruit’s Eligibility,”2010
For The Defense (Defense Research Institute)“Recent Activities are a Hit, with More on Deck,”2010
Chicago Daily Law BulletinLawyer Works Behind the Scenes at Event,"2010
Sports Litigation AlertMinimum Age Requirements in the NBA & NFL: Legal Folly or Friend for Amateur Athletes?2010
The Business Suit"American Needle 9 – National Football League 0”: Background and Implications of the Supreme Court’s Unanimous Denial of the NFL’s Attempt at Single Entity Status in Sports Law, Antitrust, IP and Labor Law,”2010
The New York TimesLeaving the Locker Room for a Law Firm,2010
Sports Litigation Alert“Sports Law Attorney Examines the Viability of Disappointing Lawsuits”2009
American Lawyer“The Loneliness of the Long Distance Lawyer,”2009
The Critical PathReversal of Fortune: Upstream Contractors’ Victory in Summit is Short-lived,2009
Sports Litigation Alert“Chicago Joins the Metal Bat Debate: As the Windy City Inches Closer to Securing its Bid to Host the 2016 Games, a Closer Examination of such Debates becomes Necessary,”2009
The Critical Path-Construction Law Committee Newsletter (DRI)Defending the Stimulus Project: Application of The Spearin Doctrine To Stimulus Package Funded Construction Projects,2009
University of Pittsburgh School of Law Jurist“Despite Oliver Ruling to Allow Legal Counsel for Student Athletes More Reform at NCAA Needed,”2009
Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law"Prep Plus: Evaluating the Motivations for and Effects of Multipliers and other Measures in High School Sports,"2009
Sports Litigation AlertIllinois Supreme Court Emphasizes Contact Sports Exception in Reversal,2008
USA TodayBoston College Makes Plans for Church Land,2007
Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal"‘Disappointment lawsuits’ give athletes another legal option,"2007
Sports Litigation AlertCase of St. Ambrose Baseball Player Meets ‘Covered Travel’ Requirements,2007
The Critical Path-Construction Law Committee Newsletter (DRI)“Tips for Defending Against a Premises Liability Claim in Illinois Construction Cases,”2007
Crain's Chicago BusinessFix Communications (Could Chicago’s Low Disaster Readiness Score Endanger the Chances for the 2016 Games?),2007
Sports Litigation AlertAthletic Departments Skirt Legal Lines in Dealing with FaceBook, Myspace,2006
Legal Issues in Collegiate AthleticsAthletic Directors Can Prevent Student Athletes from Embracing MySpace, FaceBook,2006
Crain's Chicago BusinessCasino in Games Bid?,2006
Chicago Bar AssociationThe Impact and Implication of U.S. v. Booker: The Sixth Amendment versus Mandatory Sentencing Guidelines,2005
University of Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law JournalSplinters from the Bench: Feasibility of Lawsuits by Athletes Against Coaches and Schools for Lack of Playing Time,2005
Elder Law JournalSurviving Exemption: Should the Church Exemption to ERISA Still Be in Effect?2003
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Boston CollegeHistoryBA - Bachelor of ArtsN/A
University of Illinois College of LawN/AJD - Juris DoctorN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Legally Speaking Radio ShowHot Topics in Sports Law2011
DePaul Sports Law SymposiumA Rule is a Rule: Compliance in the World of Sports,2011
University of Illinois College of Law Speaker Series“Jurisconsultus Sportiva: Evaluation of the Current Practice of the Sports Lawyer,”2010
DRI Webcast“Licenses, Monopolies and the NFL: An Examination of the Supreme Court's Decision in American Needle and its Effects in Sports, IP, Antitrust and Labor Law,”2010
DRI Annual Meeting“Hot Litigation for 2011: Morality Clauses in Sports Contracts,”2010
14th Annual Fordham Sports Law SymposiumThe Legality and Impact of Age Restrictions in Professional Sports,2010
University of Texas School of Law Speaker SeriesDisappointment Lawsuits,2009
University of Illinois College of Law Speaker SeriesLegal Issues for the Amateur Athlete: Multiplied, Benched, and Injured2009
Loyola University Chicago School of Law Speaker SeriesLoyola's Sports and Entertainment Law Society's Sports Law Career Panel2009
Loyola University Chicago School of Law Speaker SeriesLegal Issues for the Amateur Athlete: Multiplied, Benched, and Injured,2009
Loyola Academy's Quo Vadis ProgramLife as a Sports Lawyer2009
Legally Speaking Radio ShowHot Topics in Sports Law2009
Fox TelevisionSammy Sosa Drug Allegations2009
Fox TelevisionPonzi Scheme Associated with Mike North’s Chicago Sports Webio2009
Fox TelevisionTaxi Cab Convictions2009
Fox TelevisionSuspension of Cubs Outfielder, Milton Bradley2009
Fox TelevisionTiger Woods' Troubles Associated with His Recent Automobile Accident,2009
Boston College Law School Speaker SeriesIssues in Amateur Sports Law: Disappointment Lawsuits as Viable Causes of Action,2008