Ron Katz is a civil litigator with over four decades of experience, including numerous jury trials in the areas of intellectual property, antitrust and sports law. He currently focuses primarily on the legal issues in sports law, and is a widely published author in the field, including the 2017 book, Sport, Ethics and Leadership (Routledge, Oxford and New York). His litigation practice in the sports field has included representation of professional athletes and he frequently presents on topics such as concussions, amateurism, use of athletes’ images and the right of publicity. In 2019, Ron was an expert witness for South African intersex runner and Olympic gold medalist, Caster Semenya, in her Court of Arbitration for Sport trial against the International Association of Athletics Federations.
In 2016, Ron was a Distinguished Careers Institute Fellow at Stanford University and in 2015 he was a Fellow in the American Leadership Forum — Silicon Valley, Class XXIX. He has served on the Board of Overseers of The College of Arts and Science of New York University, on the National Leadership Council of the Positive Coaching Alliance and is a Senior Director on the board of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars.
In 2015-2016, Ron was a regular writer for Forbes.com on ethical and legal issues in sports. He was a co-founder of the Institute of Sports Law and Ethics at Santa Clara University. He has served as an adjunct professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law, most recently teaching the Sports Law class. He has taught regularly in the trial advocacy program at the Stanford Law School.
Selected Publications (a full list of other publications can be viewed here)
- “Intersex Runner’s Loss at Swiss Court Does Not End Anti-Discrimination Fight,” The United States Law Week, September 23, 2020.
- “Opponents in Idaho Trans Athletes Case May Face Sanctions,” Sports Law360, August 28, 2020.
- “Supreme Court LGBT Ruling Leaves Sports Transgender Questions,” The United States Law Week, July 9, 2020, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/insight-supreme-court-lgbt-ruling-leaves-sports-transgender-questions
- Sport, Ethics and Leadership (Oxford and New York: Routledge, 2017) https://www.routledge.com/Sport-Ethics-and-Leadership/Bowen-Katz-Mitchell-Polden-Walden/p/book/9781138738478
- “DOE Trans Student-Athlete Title IX Letter Appears Doomed,” Sports Law360, June 4, 2020.
- “Recent Name/Image/Likeness Legislation Will Change the NCAA (or not),” Howard University Law School Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice newsletter, February, 2020: https://iipsj.org/blog_likeness_legislation/
- “Why is a Private Sports Court Deciding Who Is Female?,” The Nation, June 17, 2019, https://www.thenation.com/article/caster-semenya-testosterone
- “Would Ban on Intersex Runners Hold Up in US Courts?,” Bloomberg Law, June 5, 2019. https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/insight-would-ban-on-intersex-runners-hold-up-in-u-s-courts
- “Ending the NCAA’s Tax Exemption Should Be a Slam Dunk,” The Nation, March 27, 2019, https://www.thenation.com/article/march-madness-tax-exemption-inequality
- “The Supreme Court Has Undone a Century of American Opposition to Sports Gambling,” The Nation, February 25, 2019.
- “It’s Time for the US Government to Take Control of US Olympic Efforts,” The Nation, November 16, 2018.
- “Why Rodchenkov is Wrong Name for Anti-Doping Bill,” Houston Chronicle, July 24, 2018, https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Why-Rodchenkov-is-wrong-name-for-anti-doping-bill-13098820.php?utm_campaign=email-premium&utm_source=CMS%20Sharing%20Button&utm_medium=social
- “Why Congress Should Not Honor One of the Most Notorious Doping Cheats of All Time,” The Nation, July 9, 2018, https://www.thenation.com/article/congress-not-honor-one-notorious-doping-cheats-time/
- “’Icarus’: Best Film Based on a Doping Scheme (but the Wrong One),” The Nation, March 14, 2018,
https://www.thenation.com/article/icarus-best-film-based-on-a-doping-scheme-but-the-wrong-one/, plus letter to the editor & reply at https://www.thenation.com/article/letters-from-the-april-16-2018-issue/.
- “We Need a Better System for Addressing Olympic Doping,” The Nation, February 20, 2018, https://www.thenation.com/article/we-need-a-better-system-for-addressing-olympic-doping/
- “Would Spock Kneel for the Anthem,” Texas Tribune, October 10, 2017, https://www.tribtalk.org/2017/10/10/would-spock-kneel-for-the-anthem/
- Co-Author with Robert W. Luckinbill, “Changing Sex/Gender Roles and Sport,” 28 Stanford Law & Policy Review, 215 (2017)
- “Trump Transgender Tweet Ignores Medical Findings,” Texas Tribune, July, 28, 2017
Selected Recent Speaking Engagements
- On September 11, 2020, Ron chaired a panel on the role and impact of IP and technology on historically marginalized communities and solutions to remove barriers to full participation in a remote/social networking-focused society. The panel convened at a virtual conference on “IP, Technology & Social Justice in the Time of Coronavirus” hosted by #UIC The John Marshall Law School Center for Intellectual Property, Information & Privacy Law and Howard University School of Law Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice.
- In February, 2020, Ron spoke at Howard University’s Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice on paying college athletes for their names, images and likenesses. These remarks are linked here.
- In October, 2019, Ron spoke at the Robert Preston Tisch Institute for Global Sport at New York University on the subject of the Caster Semenya case.
- In June, 2019 Ron spoke at the German Sport University in Cologne, Germany on “Was the Caster Semenya Case Correctly Decided: Sport in an Era of Gender Fluidity.”
- In October, 2018, Ron Katz made two presentations at the University of Southern California on the subjects of Olympic doping and changing sex/gender roles and sport.
- On May 17, 2018, Ron Katz spoke at Oxford University (Balliol College) on the subject of a short history of Olympic doping from East Germany to Sochi. He spoke on the same subject at the University of Southern California on March 21, 2018, and at the University of Texas on September 27, 2018.
- On April 22, 2018, Ron gave an interview to ABC Radio National (Australia) on the subject of changing sex/gender roles and sport:
- Marquette University’s National Sports Law Institute on October 13, 2017. The overall subject of the conference was Maintaining the Integrity & Commercial Value of Sports While Protecting Athlete’s Rights; Ron spoke on the issues involving transgender and intersex athletes. Ron also spoke on this subject at the University of Texas on October 26 and December 7, 2017; at Balliol College, Oxford University and Rhodes House on November 8 and November 9, 2017 respectively; and at the Palo Alto Bar Association in March, 2018.
- “The Name Game: Building Clients’ Brands Through Trademarking Names and Nicknames,” webinar presented by the State Bar of California Entertainment and Sports Law Interest Group, August 8, 2017
- “Changing Sex/Gender Roles and Sport,” a panel at Athletes, Sports Law, and Policy: An Interdisciplinary Symposium, presented by the Stanford Law & Policy Review, the Institute of Sports Law and Ethics, and the Stanford Entertainment and Sports Law Association, May 6, 2017
- Panelist, “Responding to Change: Alternative Regulatory Systems for College Sports,” testimony before the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, May 19, 2015
- Moderator, “Concussion Litigation: Past, Present and Future,” Annual Conference of the California Judges Association, May 1, 2015
- Live interview of NFL Hall of Famer quarterback Joe Montana at the West Coast M&A Conference of the Association for Corporate Growth, San Francisco, March 20, 2014
Ron joined GCA Law Partners in January 2017. Prior to GCA, he was a litigation partner in a large national law firm, managing a national litigation and trial practice.
Before entering private practice, Ron held positions in government and as an international law teacher. He was an International Legal Center Fellow in Indonesia, working for the Minister of Justice and teaching at a leading law school. He served as an attorney at the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice, where he won the Attorney General’s Outstanding Performance Award, and also worked in the United States State Department for Ambassador-at-Large Elliott Richardson.
Ron earned his J.D. from the Harvard Law School. He also holds an M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a B.A. summa cum laude from New York University.