June 24, 2021

Tillman Breckenridge garners national attention after his brief for African-American antitrust lawyers is endorsed in blockbuster Supreme Court case

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in NCAA v. Alston that the National Collegiate Athletic Association cannot prohibit its member schools from providing athletes with certain education-related benefits, such as graduate scholarships and free computers.

Justice Kavanaugh wrote a scathing concurrence that encourages further litigation by student athletes to challenge the NCAAs restrictions on non-educational compensation. He cited a brief filed by firm partner Tillman Breckenridge. As Time Magazine explained:

[Justice Kavanaugh] cites a brief, filed by a group of African-American Antitrust Lawyers, that squarely frames the issue as a civil rights one. “College presidents, athletic directors, coaches, conference commissioners, and NCAA executives take in six- and seven-figure salaries,” Kavanaugh wrote. “Colleges build lavish new facilities. But the student athletes who generate the revenues, many of whom are African American and from lower-income backgrounds, end up with little or nothing.”

The American Lawyer sat down with Tillman for a lengthy interview about the case and the critical importance of including the voices of African American athletes and their families in the conversation. The full interview is available here: This Lawyer Highlighted How The NCAA’s Amateurism Rules Disproportionately Affect Black College Athletes.

“When I get involved in an amicus project, I want to communicate something meaningful and unique,” Tillman said. “This project was particularly special because of the subject matter and the place in history we currently occupy.”

Managing partner Elizabeth Brannen added: “As a majority women-owned firm, we’re proud to be involved in cases that pursue the advancement of equity in all arenas, including sports.”

If you are interested in exploring further challenges to NCAA rules, please contact Tillman directly at tbreckenridge@stris.com. And for more information about Tillman’s practice, visit his firm biography here.

About Stris & Maher LLP

We are nationally recognized trial and appellate lawyers. Headquartered in Los Angeles, we represent a wide range of clients in complex, high-stakes, and high-profile business disputes in state and federal courts throughout the country, including the United States Supreme Court.