Christian Dennie is an attorney with a focus on commercial matters and sports law, including matters related to intercollegiate and professional athletics, league governance, and collective bargaining, who has served clients all across Texas and nationally in a myriad of legal disputes and negotiations. Christian has tried more than forty cases, bringing them before judges, juries, and arbitrators. He has successfully represented clients in a variety of areas of law, including sports, commercial litigation, tort litigation, estate planning and probate, employment and labor law, products liability, and real estate.
Prior to joining Barlow Garsek & Simon, Christian worked in the athletics department at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Missouri. Since his return to private practice, Christian has continued to work with and advise clients in the sports industry, including professional athletes, student-athletes, coaches, conference offices, institutions, recruiting services, sports equipment providers and retailers, sports unions, and professional sports franchises and related entities, in litigation, NCAA investigations and compliance matters, drug test appeals, and negotiating and drafting of agreements. Christian has drafted and negotiated, among other things, coaches' contracts, facilities agreements, sponsorship and marketing agreements, drug test policies, compliance and recruiting manuals, conference constitutions and bylaws, sexual harassment and misconduct policies, and collective bargaining agreements. Christian also commonly works with coaches and current and retired athletes in career planning and structuring, branding, estate planning and asset protection, and corporate formation.
Christian is often asked to speak on topics related to sports law and has lectured or served as a presenter or panelist at events held by, among others, Harvard Law School, Duke Law School, SMU Dedman School of Law, University of Virginia School of Law, University of Mississippi School of Law, Big 12 Conference, and Lone Star Conference and has been interviewed by media outlets for stories relating to athletics that have been featured in SI.com, ESPN.com, USA Today, New York Times, and several others. Christian is also the principal drafter of the College Sports Law Blog (http://www.bgsfirm.com/college-sports-law-blog), which is updated regularly to follow the trends in intercollegiate athletics and provide commentary on legal events relating to intercollegiate athletics.
In addition to his sports practice, Christian also works with and represents a broad array of clients in a wide variety of industries, including municipalities, churches, small and large businesses, real estate development, construction, consumer products, and retailers and wholesalers. Additionally, Christian has extensive legal experience in drafting agreements and policies and procedures for religious organizations, marketing firms, intercollegiate athletics, manufacturing companies, and many others.
While in college, Christian played centerfield for the Sam Houston State University baseball team while graduating in only 3 years.
- Sports Law
- Business and Tort Litigation
- Real Estate
- Employment and Labor
- Estate Planning and Asset Protection
- Products Liability
Licensed/Admitted to Practice
- State Bar of Texas
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
- University of Oklahoma College of Law (2004)
- Sam Houston State University (2001)
- Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Sports Law and Deposition Skills Workshop, 2008-Present
- University of Missouri School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Sports Law, Summer 2007
Honors and Achievements
- Academic All-Southland Conference
- Graduated from undergraduate school in three years
- SHSU Lettermen’s Association
- National Association for Athletics Compliance
- Sports Lawyer’s Association
- Texas Young Lawyers Association
- American Bar Association
- Tarrant County Bar Association
- Dallas County Bar Association
- Denton County Bar Association
Selected Lectures, Panels, and Presentations
- Panelist, 2013 College Sport Research Institute Conference, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, April 2013.
- Panelist, 16th Annual Entertainment & Sports Law Symposium, University of Miami School of Law, Miami, Florida, April 2013.
- Panelist, The Changing Economics of the Sports and Entertainment Industries, Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina, January 2013.
- Presenter, Protecting Against Sexual Harassment in Intercollegiate Athletics, Lone Star Conference Workshop, Allen, Texas, June 2012.
- Panelist, The State of Sports Law, University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia, March 2012.
- Panelist, The Bowl Championship Series and Conference Realignment, University of Mississippi School of Law, Oxford, Mississippi, March 2012.
- Panelist, The BCS and the Future of Big-Time College Football, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, November 2011.
- Presenter, Institutional Control in Division II, Heartland Conference Fall Meeting, DFW, Texas, September 2011.
- Presenter, Compliance Champion: A Guide to Institutional Control, Lone Star Conference Summer Compliance Workshop, Allen, Texas, June 2011.
- Presenter, Too Much Talk: Does the BCS Violate Antitrust Laws or Not?, Tarrant County Bench Bar Conference, Possum Kingdom, Texas, April 2011.
- Panelist, The Changing Face of Intercollegiate Athletics: Amateurs, Academics, and the Athletic Arms Race, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 2011.
- Panelist, Sports Law, Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law, Dallas, Texas, October 2010.
- Panelist, NCAA High School Review Process, Big 12 Conference Summer Rules Workshop, Dallas, Texas, June 2007.
Selected Publications and Commentary
- Rethinking Penn State Sanctions and Executive Authority, Post-Penn State: Protecting Against Sexual Harassment and Misconduct in Athletics, J. of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 2013 Special Issue (2013).
- Post-Penn State: Protecting Against Sexual Harassment and Misconduct in Athletics, 75 Tex. B.J. 828 (Dec. 2012).
- Conference Realignment: From Backyard Brawls to Cash Cows, 1 Miss. Sports L. Rev. 249 (2012).
- Changing the Game: The Litigation that May be the Catalyst for Change in Intercollegiate Athletics, 62 Syracuse L. Rev. 15 (2012).
- Tebow Drops Back to Pass: Videogames Have Crossed the Line, but Does the Right of Publicity Protect a Student-Athlete’s Likeness When Balanced Against the First Amendment?, 62 Ark. L. Rev. 645 (2009).
- There Are No Handshake Deals in College Coaching Contracts, 20 Andrews Ent. Indus. Litig. Rep. 2 (2008).
- White Out Full Grant-in-Aid: An Antitrust Action the NCAA Cannot Afford to Lose, 7 Va. Sports & Ent. L.J. 97 (2007).
- From Clarett to Mayo: The Antitrust Labor Exemption Argument Continues, 8 Tex. Rev. Ent. & Sports L. 63 (2007).
- Is Clarett Correct: A Glance at the Purview of the Antitrust Labor Exemption, 6 Tex. Rev. Ent. & Sports L. 1 (2005).
- Native American Mascots and Team Names: Throw Away the Key; The Lanham Act is Locked for Future Trademark Challenges, 15 Seton Hall J. Sports & Ent. L. 197 (2005).
- Amateurism Stifles a Student-Athlete’s Dream, 12 Sports Law. J. 221 (2005).