Jim McKeown may have established himself as a leading lawyer in antitrust cases. But he still recognizes that there’s always something new to learn.
When McKeown, a partner at Foley & Lardner and a member of the firm’s Management Committee, isn’t working on an antitrust case — as he did the time he represented Major League Baseball Properties in a case involving a challenge of the league’s centralized trademark licensing — he might be found helping to teach a course in professional-sports law at Marquette University.
“I’ve always enjoyed teaching, and it is interesting in several respects,” McKeown said. “One, it’s the next generation of lawyers coming up.”
Beyond that, he said, the classes provide important insights. At times, the lessons can be just as informative to the lecturer as the students. He said the classes have exposed him to aspects of sports law he might not have otherwise encountered.
Then there are the students’ discussions, which can be lessons in themselves.
“There’s some really smart folks coming into the profession,” McKeown said. “They really challenge you on issues and that forces you to focus on why arguments should (prevail).”
McKeown’s accomplishments don’t stop at the centralized-licensing case. He represented MLB in a lawsuit involving ownership rights and the use of the Washington Nationals name by the baseball team previously known as the Montreal Expos. He also represented a defendant in an antitrust case brought by American Express alleging that VISA/MasterCard rules violate antitrust laws by preventing certain banks from issuing other brands of credit cards.
McKeown was even the author of an amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in the antitrust case of American Needle Inc. v. National Football League.
In many of these cases, McKeown has found himself drawing on his background in economics. He studied the “dismal science” in graduate school at the University of Minnesota while attending law school.
Now he gets to flex his econometric muscles in cases involving damages and regression models.