Vered Yakovee is a sports law veteran with experience and insights from multiple vantage points in the industry. Before founding Yakovee Law, Vered served as Vice President and Associate General Counsel for the Miami HEAT and FTX Arena (then AmericanAirlines Arena), and as Associate Team Counsel for the Boston Celtics. Prior to joining the Celtics, she operated the Law Offices of Vered N. Yakovee through which she represented the Los Angeles Lakers, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and other best-in-class properties on a wide array of transactional matters as well as insurance and risk management matters. Prior to that, she was an Associate with Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky, LLP, where she co-founded the firm's Sports Insurance Initiative.
Vered earned her J.D. from USC Gould School of Law and her B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California San Diego. She currently teaches the inaugural undergraduate Sports Law course at USC. In the past, she taught Sports Law at Boston College Law School, ISDE in Madrid, Spain, and her alma mater USC Gould School of Law, where she also served as the founding faculty advisor for the USC Sports Law Society. For one semester, she lived on campus at Dimitris Perrotis College in Thessaloniki, Greece, where she taught International Business Law and coached the men's basketball team.
Since 2014, Vered has been an active member of the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyers Association ("SLA"). She is Co-Chair of the SLA Outreach Committee and was previously SLA Secretary. Vered is also a member of the Governing Committee of the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries (the "Forum"), and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Forum's journal, the Entertainment & Sports Lawyer, as well as Co-Chair of the Forum's Sports Division. She was named one of Southern California's Super Lawyers Rising Stars by the publishers of Law & Politics and Los Angeles Magazine for six consecutive years between 2008 and 2013. She is an active member of the Bar in California, Florida, and Massachusetts.
Vered is the devoted mom of one son and spends her free time with him, usually cooking, eating, or chasing him around until it is time to cook and eat again.
Kate Hardy is a highly experienced alcohol beverage attorney, with over eleven years of US experience in addition to a wide range of international alcohol roles. She is an Australian lawyer admitted in the states of New York and California in the United States, and in the state of South Australia.
Kate is in-house counsel to the Australian Wine Research Institute, is Senior Legal Counsel for Accolade Wines, is a Non-Executive Director of the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association, and advises clients about legal and business operations connected to the alcohol industry. She was a partner with Strike & Techel (precursor to Strike, Kerr & Johns) in San Francisco for five years, and a senior associate with Nixon Peabody in New York and San Francisco for six years before that. Kate spent three years in Paris, France as Unit Manager for the Law & Economy Commission of the International Wine Organization (OIV), and practiced law in Australia before that.
She speaks fluent French and Italian and is a qualified French interpreter.
Jessica Goldstein is a rising star in sports and business law. Her experience includes commercial transaction and intellectual property as well as estate and probate law. Jessica holds a J.D. from Marquette University Law School, where she earned a certificate in sports law from the National Sports Law Institute. She also holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Jessica’s wide variety of life experience has guided her legal career. Prior to enrolling in law school, Jessica was a Forensic Services Technician working crime scenes in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While in law school, she interned for both the National Labor Relations Board and the Milwaukee Brewers. After law school, she completed a Clerkship with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and a year-long legal internship with the Orlando Magic.
Jessica is an active member of the bar in North Carolina and Wisconsin. She currently resides in Albemarle, North Carolina, situated just outside of Charlotte. In her free time, she is usually found on a soccer field or futsal court coaching and officiating games for children, youth, and teens in the community.
Michael Melinger is a Dean's List undergraduate student at the University of Southern California with plans to pursue a J.D. after graduation. He also works on campus for USC Football where he produces original content for the team.
For Yakovee Law, Michael conducts legal research, innovates ways to deliver our compliance and legal services, and has a hand in all marketing endeavors.
At USC, Michael majors in journalism in the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and minors in entrepreneurship in the Marshall School of Business. He was a member of Vered’s inaugural undergraduate sport’s law class, in which he earned an A anonymously, and has completed a number of other undergraduate law coursework. Michael is a staff member for the Trojan Review, USC’s premier undergraduate law review, where he has published original legal scholarship.
Michael is from New York City and spent time growing up in St. Louis, but primarily lives in Los Angeles now for school. He often spends his free time playing tennis or finding good spots for food in LA.
Yakovee Law, P.A. attorneys are admitted in California, Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and New York only.