Robert A. DuPuy

Partner

Overview

Robert DuPuy is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He brings more than three decades of broad legal experience to his clients, including his tenure as chief legal counsel and, most recently, president and chief operating officer of Major League Baseball (MLB). Mr. DuPuy is a member of the firm’s Sports Industry Team.

He focuses his practice on the representation of buyers and sellers in sports franchise sales transactions and restructurings, including related financing and navigation of league requirements in connection with these transactions; stadium construction and rehabilitation and financing; media and new media contracts and licensing, syndication and participation agreements; as well as other related business and legal issues.

While at MLB, Mr. DuPuy was responsible for all phases of business issues facing the organization, from labor relations to broadcasting rights within traditional and emerging media, and international expansion issues to stadium finance deals, marketing and legal affairs.

Mr. DuPuy has been involved in most of MLB’s legal issues since 1989, when he was brought in as outside legal counsel. He negotiated the settlement of the collusion grievance in 1990, and served as the principal outside counsel to the commissioner and the executive council from 1992 until 1998, when Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig hired him as the MLB executive vice president of administration and chief legal officer.

In that capacity, Mr. DuPuy oversaw the consolidation of the American and National Leagues into the Central Offices, the consolidation of MLB's office in Washington, D.C., and the formation MLBAM (Major League Baseball Advanced Media) as its initial chief executive officer.

In 1973, after graduating from law school, Mr. DuPuy joined Foley. He was elected partner in 1980, before he became involved with Major League Baseball. Mr. DuPuy previously served as a member of the firm's Management Committee, and was chairman of the Professional Standards Committee.

Recognition

For his preeminent legal ability and very high professional ethics, Mr. DuPuy has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system. He has also been selected for inclusion in the 2014 New York Super Lawyers® list.

Education

Mr. DuPuy received a J.D. from Cornell in 1973, where he was editor-in-chief of the Cornell Law Review. Mr. DuPuy earned an A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1968. He served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970, including a year in Vietnam in the 504th Military Police Battalion, where he received the Army Commendation Medal for his service.

Affiliations

Mr. DuPuy has taught legal ethics and professional responsibility at Cornell University, Northwestern Law School, the University of Wisconsin Law School, and Marquette University Law School, and has served as a long-time faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. He is a long-time member and past-chairman of the State Bar of Wisconsin's Professional Ethics Committee.

Admissions

Mr. DuPuy is admitted to practice in New York and Wisconsin.

Representative Matters

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Foley represented Guggenheim Baseball Management in its acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers, marking the single largest transaction ever for a professional sports franchise. The new ownership group is led by Mark Walter, Chief Executive Officer of Guggenheim Partners, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Peter Guber, and Stan Kasten, the former president of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals, among others. The transaction, valued at over $2 billion, closed as of April 30, 2012, per an agreement between owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball (MLB) that was approved by the Delaware Bankruptcy Court, with funding occurring on May 1, 2012. This complex transaction was a unique and highly competitive sale process and tight timeline that required closing within 30 days of being selected as the winning bidder and special consideration to matters related to mergers and acquisitions, tax, bankruptcy, financing, real estate and land use, and media rights, among other areas. Overall, more than 60 Foley attorneys from 11 offices and 12 different practice groups assisted on the transaction, demonstrating both the breadth and depth of Foley’s capabilities in assisting clients to navigate such complex and high-profile transactions. The Dodgers transaction follows on the heels of Foley's successful recent representations of Wayne Weaver in his sale of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Rangers Baseball Express LLC in its acquisition of the Texas Rangers, and the Ricketts Family in its acquisition of the Chicago Cubs, which previously held the record price for an MLB franchise sale at $845 million.
Foley represented Guggenheim Baseball Management, the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers, in its new television rights deal to launch SportsNet LA, a regional sports network for the franchise. Foley also advised the Dodgers ownership group in creating American Media Productions, LLC, which owns and will operate SportsNet LA. Time Warner Cable (TWC) has agreed to be SportsNet LA’s charter distributor, and will start carrying games in the 2014 Major League Baseball season. TWC will be the exclusive advertising and affiliate sales agent for the new network and will have certain branding and programming rights. The agreement is subject to certain closing conditions. The Foley team was led by Irwin Raij, partner and co-chair of the firm’s Sports Industry Team, and included attorneys Robert DuPuy, former president and chief operating officer of Major League Baseball, as well as Kevin Schulz, John Palmer, Christopher Rasmussen, Kathryn Agostinelli, Stephen Boyett and Tyler Parramore. The new regional sports network and television rights deal follows on the heels of Foley's representation of Guggenheim Baseball Management in its acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, the single largest transaction ever for a professional sports franchise.
Foley developed the first scale-up incubator, called "UpNext," focused only on growing and building the best sports and sports technology companies from around the country.

Capabilities

Insights

Foley Attorneys Named to Who’s Who Legal 2016
13 October 2016
Who's Who Legal
Foley Attorneys Named to Who’s Who Legal 2015
05 November 2015
Who's Who Legal
Foley Named to Who’s Who Legal 100 2014 List
09 October 2014
Who’s Who Legal
Foley Attorneys Named to Who's Who Legal
25 October 2013
Who's Who Legal
Sports Lawyers Association Annual Conference
18-20 May 2017
Denver, CO
Annual CLE Week
05 - 09 December 2016
Milwaukee, WI
2015 CLE Week
7-11 December 2015
Milwaukee, WI
2014 CLE Week
December 8-12, 2014
Milwaukee, WI