Duane Morris attorneys are among the pioneers in sports and recreation law. Our attorneys are nationally respected for their innovative and effective strategies in litigation, trial work, appellate work, risk management advice, ADR, and advice on issues with industry wide ramifications.

For the past 30 years, our attorneys have been at the forefront of work for the sports and recreation industry, including skiing and snow sports, golf, bicycling, and other outdoor industries. During that time, we have helped revitalize and define one of the most pressing issues to the sports industry: the doctrine of primary assumption of risk. Working on behalf of the ski industry, our attorneys helped establish the doctrine of primary assumption of risk defense, on a case-by-case basis, through the trial courts and appellate courts. The resultant rulings now serve as a basis for many defense victories in sport liability claims in virtually all industries.

Our group is adept at handling all levels of litigation, resulting in numerous summary judgments and defense verdicts for our clients. In instances where verdicts are challenged, we have attorneys experienced in representing clients through appeal. We also help clients identify which claims should be vigorously defended through trial and which should be settled. Our attorneys are particularly skilled in helping our clients weigh the risks of litigating against the importance of maintaining a reputation for not settling when there is little or no liability exposure.

Our skills and experience go well beyond litigation. We excel in handling cases involving high-profile catastrophic injuries, and in helping our clients manage the financial and public relations consequences of such events. We also advise many businesses on self-insurance programs.

Duane Morris acts as national supervising counsel for many well-known companies whose products include skis and ski bindings, mountain and road bicycles, in-line skates, scuba equipment, water ski equipment, snowboards and snowboard bindings, boats, personal watercraft, exercise equipment, motor vehicle tires, and motorcycle and bicycle helmets. Our clients include the owners and operators of ski resorts, golf courses and amusement parks; manufacturers, distributors and retailers of sports equipment, recreational boats, and personal watercraft; outdoor and guide operations; and sports and recreation industry trade groups.

Examples of our attorneys' experience include:


  • Ski resort and golf course owner and operator representation
  • Sports equipment products liability defense
  • Breach of contract actions
  • Catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases
  • Employment and wrongful termination actions and ADA
  • Environmental litigation

Administrative Proceedings

  • Representation before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, including reporting and recall efforts
  • Representation before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Transportation Safety Board

Advice and Counseling

  • Risk management advice and document review
  • Draft and review of promotional and licensing agreements
  • Audit and advise on insurance coverage, both with traditional insurers and in self-insurance programs

Licensing and International Disputes

  • Domestic and international contract review and negotiations, including manufacturing and distribution agreements, indemnity and insurance obligations, and trademark and patent licensing
  • Dispute resolution through arbitration, mediation, injunctive relief and other litigation

For More Information

For more information, please contact John E. Fagan, Paul S. Rosenlund or any of the practice members referenced on the Attorney Listing.