Photo of Timothy Liam Epstein

Timothy Liam Epstein

Partner

Practice Areas

Education

University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 2004, cum laude

Note Editor, Elder Law Journal

Boston College, B.A (History/Irish Studies), 1999, cum laude 

Admissions

Illinois

Tim Epstein has something in common with the majority of his clients. Like many of the sports figures he represents, he is highly competitive. The competition in the courtroom and the opportunity to try his advocacy skills against other lawyers first drew him to the profession. His drive to be a zealous advocate makes him a successful litigator, defending clients in not only sports litigation, but in construction and commercial matters as well. While he maintains his desire to win, he also appreciates the power of good counsel, partnering with the producers of festivals and events to provide direction. Whether he is in the courtroom or simply providing guidance, his focus is always on helping his clients achieve their goals.

As chair of the firm’s Sports Law Practice Group, Tim represents coaches, players, teams and schools in various litigation issues. He handles matters resulting from injuries, NCAA high school association violations, personal website and social networking issues, eligibility, Olympic issues, drug testing, recreational immunity, sports product issues, multiplier/anti-recruiting measures, participation injunctions/restraining orders, and the intersection of sports and religion. 

Additionally, Tim handles cases involving corporate litigation, construction defect and injury, general liability, contractual liability, commercial contract litigation and catastrophic injury cases. He also serves as counsel to the producers of numerous music festivals and events, including the Pitchfork Music Festival, Life is Beautiful, and Riot Fest. Tim has achieved success in the courtroom on cases involving sports, corporate litigation, construction, products liability, commercial contract litigation, and catastrophic injury cases.

Tim is an Adjunct Professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he teaches courses in Sports and Entertainment Law. He 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 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.

Tim has a special interest in doing service work that benefits the military. His wife was an Army captain and served multiple tours of duty in the Middle East. He is involved with organizations such as Bunkers in Baghdad, which provides golf recreation and rehabilitation to active military members and wounded veterans; The Pat Tillman Foundation, which provides scholarships to active and retired military and their spouses; and The Red Bandana Project, which provides inspiration and education to youth in memory of 9/11 hero, Welles Crowther.

Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated

  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers list of "Rising Stars": 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015

Memberships & Involvement

  • Co-founder: Loyola Academy Bar Association
  • Former chair: Defense Research Institute (DRI), Sports Law Special Litigation Group (2009-2012); served as Vice-Chair (2006-2009)
  • Chair: Defense Research Institute (DRI), Activities Committee, Young Lawyers Steering Committee (2010-2011); served as Vice-Chair (2009-2010)
  • Appointed to Fetzer Institute Advisory Council on Sports and Embodied Spiritual Practices (2011)
  • Appointed to DRI Strategic Planning Committee and Membership Committees (2009-2010), and Public Policy Committee (2010-2011)
  • Appointed to Board of Advisors of the Sports Law Institute, Vermont Law School (2012)
  • Appointed to Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) Legal Task Force (2012)
  • Appointed to Board of Advisors, Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust (2012)
  • Appointed to the Selection Committee for the Tillman Military Scholars Program at the Pat Tillman Foundation (2014)
  • Chairman: SLDO Subcommittee for the State of Illinois, Young Lawyers Committee, Defense Research Institute (DRI) (2005-2010)
  • Liaison Chair and Teleconference Chair: Construction Law Committee, Young Lawyers Committee, DRI (2006-2008)
  • Committee Member: IDC-IICLE Basic Skills Course, C1240 (2006, 2007)
  • Member: USLAW Young Lawyer Group; American Bar Association, ABA Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Section; Chicago Bar Association; Illinois State Bar Association; Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IDC); Sports Lawyers Association (SLA); Defense Research Institute (DRI); DRI Sports Law Special Litigation Group; DRI Young Lawyers Steering Committee; DRI Commercial Litigation Steering Committee; Sports & Fitness Industry Association Legal Task Force; United States Supreme Court Historical Society

Experience

  • Represented college football coach before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions (COI) on a two-year-old review of inadvertent and impermissible phone and text messages self-reported by Iowa State University. The Committee’s findings were consistent with the self-report submitted by Iowa State University. Further, advocated so that no further additional individual punishments were levied against client or similarly situated coaches.
  • Successfully represented construction company where Illinois' First District ruled in favor of construction company client affirming the trial court's granting of summary judgment on plaintiff' s claims of injury as he was working for a subcontractor noting that control alone does not trigger liability under section 414 (construction negligence), and client was not liable under section 343(a) (premises liability in a construction setting) because there was no evidence that client possessed the land at issue.
  • Successfully represented men’s college basketball team freshman member in disputing a ruling that he was permanently ineligible after the NCAA ruled that he accepted expenses over what it believed to be his actual and necessary from a club team in his native Turkey.
  • Illinois resident employed by subcontractor (Illinois corporation) died when he fell from a platform while painting a bridge in Kentucky. That subcontractor had been hired by another Illinois corporation, the contractor [client], to work on the Kentucky bridge-painting project. Decedent’s widow, the special administrator, received workers' compensation under Illinois law. She then sued the contractor in Illinois for negligence. The trial court granted the contractor's summary judgment motion, and held that Kentucky's substantive law applied and immunized the contractor from liability. The appellate court found that Kentucky and Illinois law conflicted and that Kentucky law under Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 342.690(1) (2005) provided workers' compensation exclusive remedy protection against liability in tort to contractors when an employee of a subcontractor was injured, while Illinois law did not. It then found that Kentucky law applied because it made the contractor responsible for providing workers' compensation coverage for employees of its subcontractors, and immunized the contractor from lawsuits in tort brought by employees of subcontractors.
  • Represented defendant hockey players and association before the Illinois Supreme Court in an action by a father whose son was injured when bodychecked by other players during a game. The action was properly dismissed as the contact sports exception applied with no showing of intentional injury or conduct totally outside the range of the ordinary activity involved in the sport.
  • Successfully represented owner of kayak in recreational sports law case involving the death of the juvenile plaintiff who drowned using the kayak. Settled for a nominal amount at trial after a series of significant victories on pretrial motions.

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