SBD/April 29, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Longtime Proskauer Rose Sports Attorney George Gallantz Passes Away At 100

GEORGE GALLANTZ, a former Proskauer Rose sports attorney who was "instrumental in the merger" of the NBA and the ABA, died April 24, one day after he turned 100, according to Tania Karas of the NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL. Gallantz was the "longtime outside general counsel to the NBA from its earliest days, defending the league against lawsuits as it grew dramatically throughout the 1960s and 70s." Gallantz "represented the NBA in Robertson v. National Basketball Association," which was a "landmark antitrust case -- and one of the first-ever sports merger antitrust cases -- where player OSCAR ROBERTSON sued to block the merger." Proskauer Rose sports law group co-head HOWARD GANZ said Gallantz was the "founding father" of the firm's sports law practice. Gallantz also helped "shape the early careers" of NBA Commissioner and former Proskauer partner DAVID STERN, as well as NHL Commissioner GARY BETTMAN. Gallantz "gave up his position as the NBA's general counsel to Stern in 1978." Stern: "He was unyielding in his demands that we do excellent research and that we write and then revise and be more succinct. Language was an art that we had to master." Gallantz "retired from Proskauer in 1985" (NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, 4/29). Proskauer Chair JOE LECCESE wrote Gallantz will "be remembered as a 'lawyer's lawyer.''' He was "known for his outstanding legal skills, wealth of experience and insight and special touch for teaching younger lawyers." Gallantz "mentored an extraordinary group of lawyers who have had an enduring impact both on our Firm, as well as on the legal and sports world" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/28).
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