Pothier joins the Mets after serving as executive vice president and general counsel for the Texas Rangers since September 2016. She has over 25 years of legal experience and is entering her 14th season in professional baseball. I then asked if there was anything about his work that people who do not know the responsibilities of the general counsel of a sports team may not be aware of. Their response has been limited interaction with the players. A lot of people think that when you work for a team, you work closely with the athletes, but Jessica said that`s a minimal part of her job. She wanted people who might aspire to become internal team advisors to know that they would come in and not be discouraged if they did not interact with the players as part of their daily work. Cohen, who began working for the Mets as an articling student in 1995, spent years as the club`s general counsel before being promoted to general counsel in 2019. That same year, the Mets promoted longtime assistant general counsel Neal Kaplan, who spent nearly a decade in that position, to general counsel. As the daughter of a former NBA coach, Jessica has had an extremely unique journey in the world of sports. Jessica was born in Switzerland and moved 18 times as a child. From the beginning, professional sports was her family business and she knew she wanted to work in sports, but not in what capacity.

Jessica was a Division I athlete, played basketball at Stony Brook University, and she expressed basketball as her top priority at the time. During her junior year, she said she realized she had to think about life after basketball. At that point, she realized that law school seemed like a profession she was attracted to, but she had no lawyers in her life and she lacked perspective on the legal profession other than what was portrayed on television. She felt it was the right path for her, but she didn`t want to jump straight to law school without being 100% sure, because it`s a big investment. Both Denniston and Villanella work at the Mets` headquarters in Flushing, New York, where the team`s stadium, the 42,000-seat Citi Field, is located. Neither lawyer responded to requests for comment on their new in-house legal roles. Villanella, whom the Mets promoted to lead counsel in 2016, is married to Alessandro “Alex” Villanella, a Melville-based employment and labor dispute partner at Jackson Lewis. The latter is a firm that employs lawyer Randy Levine, who is also president of Crosstown`s rival, the New York Yankees. The hedge fund mogul, who bought the team last fall, announced in an internal email that two longtime employees, General Counsel David Cohen and senior vice president of human resources and diversity Holly Lindvall, would be laid off after a transition period. The dismissals stem from an internal review of team culture by law firm WilmerHale following a series of controversies surrounding off-field sexual harassment. Kaplan, who did not respond to a request for comment, became vice president of strategy for the Mets in February. He spent nearly 19 years on the team that hired Kaplan as legal counsel in 2003 and promoted him to senior counsel in 2007.

During her final year of law school, someone alerted her to the fact that the NHL was looking for an articling student. Since sport was her ultimate goal, she applied for the internship and was eventually offered by the NHL. When she entered the Commissioner`s office, she had the privilege of meeting with the General Counsel and the Commissioner himself, but she knew she needed a full-time job. For this reason, she refused the camp, but the league was not willing to let her go. By defending herself and explaining that she was looking for a full-time job, she got the NHL league office to offer her exactly that. One piece of advice Jessica gave me during our conversation that will stick with me was, “If they want you, now is a good time to ask for what you want.” Jessica did just that and eventually accepted the NHL job. This led her to take another job as a paralegal in New York at an in-house firm representing the Newhouse family. At the time, the company she worked for was doing considerable work in the entertainment industry, particularly for CondĂ© Nast Publications, Bright House Networks, and various Newhouse family-owned newspapers across the country. During her time there, Jessica worked specifically in the entertainment industry. This experience helped her move into an area of law she loved.

She was adamant to keep working, so she worked as a paralegal during the day and attended Seton Hall University Law School at night. A combination of the long drive from Manhattan to New Jersey to attend evening classes, coupled with Jessica, who received good grades in her first year of law school, led her to transfer to Fordham Law School. She continued to work for the company where she worked and took night classes to graduate. She didn`t attend clubs, law journals or magazines at school, she said, “I just want to graduate.” She planned to start her career at the company she worked for. The New York Mets have named James Denniston and Jessica Villanella as co-general counsel following the departure of former general counsel David Cohen. “Katie is very talented and will be a great leader in our organization,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said. “Her legal and baseball background makes her a welcome addition to our team.” Cohen revealed that David Cohen (general counsel) and Holly Lindvall (head of human resources) are on their way, but “will remain during a period of transition as we conduct research to fill these important roles.” Steve Cohen said in the email that he would like to find his own team to advance legal and human resources services. Denniston has been the team`s lead counsel since 2013. The Mets hired Denniston, a former Major League Baseball sponsorship and licensing employee, as legal counsel in 2008, the team`s final year at Shea Stadium. Villanella joined the Mets in 2014 as legal counsel after spending nearly a year as a partner at Jackson Lewis in Melville, NY.

Prior to that, she articled in the National Hockey League`s General Counsel`s office in New York City. In May, Shea`s grandson, F. Scott Shea, got a new legal job. The former partner at New York-based Duval & Stachenfeld has left his position as managing director and general counsel of Pasadena, California-based real estate investor CMR Capital Group LLC to become general counsel of Hopson Development Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong. At that time, Jessica had been working as a paralegal in work and employment for almost seven years. Eventually, she interviewed Jackson Lewis, P.C. and accepted a job at the nationally recognized labor and employment company. Her initial plan was to work as a partner for Jackson Lewis for 3-5 years and gain experience in general law firms, but after only a year, Jessica Berman called her to tell her that the New York Mets were looking for an entry-level consultant with work and employment experience. Ms.

Berman called the Mets, which led to an expedited interview process where Jessica was quickly offered the job. She knew she had to be thoughtful and careful with Jackson Lewis, so she sat down with the managing partner to discuss this opportunity, and when she did, he showed nothing but excitement for her and told her to seize the opportunity. Jessica joined the Mets in 2014 and was promoted to General Counsel in 2021. After her time at Stony Brook, Jessica decided to become a paralegal at a Chicago law firm. She chose Chicago because her father was training with the Chicago Bulls at the time. Working as a paralegal reinforced his decision to study law. When she applied to law school, Jessica wanted to go to school in the Midwest, specifically at Marquette University, which has a very strong sports law program and where her father went to college. Although this was her original plan, her life changed and she knew she wanted to return to New York to study law. She stressed how grateful she was to have made this decision, because “this is the market you want to be in if you want to work in sports.” Pothier, who has been the Rangers` chief legal officer since 2016, has more than 25 years of legal experience, including 14 years in Major League Baseball.

From 2002 to 2010, she served as general counsel for the San Diego Padres. Katie Pothier is stepping down as general counsel for the Texas Rangers to become executive vice president and chief legal officer of the New York Mets. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are external online distributors of ALM`s extensive collection of current and archived versions of legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law clients may access and use ALM content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, New York Law Journal and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information. At Rangers, Pothier oversaw all legal functions for the team and its subsidiaries, including REV Entertainment. She has also had numerous interactions with Rangers Baseball, finance, business operations, minor league affiliates, real estate development, and the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.