Gregory L. Curtner

Partner

P

Direct:  734.773.4910
Fax:  734.773.4901
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Greg Curtner is at home in a courtroom. A widely-recognized advocate, Curtner has tried complex cases involving antitrust, business transactions, defamation, intellectual property, securities, and sports law. At RSHC, he leads the antitrust, competition, and distribution practice. He is also an active member of the firm’s class actions and commercial litigation groups.

As much as he thrives on trying cases, Greg’s primary mission and passion is understanding and helping to solve his clients’ business challenges. He is committed to providing effective and creative counsel to support the strategic goals of his clients. His understanding of, and experience in, economics, accounting, marketing, distribution, and finance help him to team effectively with clients. Greg will frame, present, and try a case when that’s the best solution or craft creative settlements when that option is the wiser course.

In Greg’s view, solving problems born in the past is only part of his job. He aims to offer advice and strategy that his clients can use and rely upon as they do business in the future.

Through four decades of representing athletic associations, manufacturers, trade associations and academic institutions, Greg has cultivated an unparalleled depth of knowledge about antitrust, sports, entertainment, and education. He has successfully represented many high-profile defendants, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association, in precedent-setting cases.

Greg frequently serves as lead counsel in nationwide antitrust disputes and class actions for clients in a wide range of industries, and has appeared in numerous state and federal courts.

He is a former chairman of the Antitrust Section of the State Bar of Michigan, and was the primary drafter of the Michigan Antitrust Reform Act.


  • Experience

      • Successfully defended the Sally Jesse Raphael show in a high-profile lawsuit filed by Scientology, which alleged the TV show’s interview with an elderly church member invaded her privacy under the Michigan Eavesdropping Act. The case was tried and won on the basis that the religious organization wanted to silence its critics, and that the Sally Jesse Raphael show was doing a public service through its reporting.
      • Led, obtained a preliminary injunction, and favorably settled a lawsuit on behalf of Antidote Films International, Robert Altman, and a consortium of independent filmmakers, producers and directors, against the Motion Picture Association of America for violating the antitrust laws. The MPAA banned awards-show screeners outside of its own voting membership, which put independent filmmakers at a disadvantage.
      • Represented the Mariners’ Church of Detroit in its successful effort to remain independent of the Episcopal Church, which attempted to take over the small church made famous in Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” The oldest stone building in Detroit, in existence for more than 100 years, remains independent.
      • Served as lead counsel for Valassis Communications, Inc. in a competition case against News America Marketing. A long jury trial resulted in a successful verdict, leading to Valassis receiving $500 million in cash and other favorable terms.
      • Represented the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the O’Bannon student athlete-likeness litigation. Defeated class certification on a damages class, which resulted in the plaintiffs being deprived of claims that might have been worth billions of dollars.
      • Counseled the NCAA in a lawsuit filed by Aloha Sports, alleging the NCAA had improperly denied certification to a football postseason bowl game. A Hawaii state jury found in favor of the NCAA.
      • Advised the NCAA in a case filed by Worldwide Sports, alleging that the NCAA violated federal antitrust law by limiting the number of tournament events that Division 1 college basketball teams could participate in. The lower court enjoined the rule, but the Sixth Circuit reversed on appeal.
      • Served as Counsel to Antidote Films International in a fraud lawsuit it filed against novelist JT Leroy. The filmmaker had optioned the movie rights to an autobiography by the novelist, who turned out to be a fictitious character created by writer Laura Albert. The jury found in favor of Antidote, ruling that Albert defrauded the film production company.
      • Successfully represented the NCAA in the district court and in the Seventh Circuit in a challenge to its athletic scholarship rules.
  • Education

      • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1970
      • University of Michigan, B.B.A., Business Administration, 1967

    Bar Admissions

      • Michigan
      • New York
      • U.S. Supreme Court
      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
      • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
      • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
      • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
      • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
      • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
      • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • Professional Memberships

    • American Bar Association

      • Section of Antitrust Law
      • Civil Practice Procedure Committee
    • New York State Bar Association

    • Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference

      • Life Member
    • State Bar of Michigan

      • Committee to Revise Michigan Antitrust Act, Chairperson

    Honors & Awards

      • Chambers USA, Chambers & Partners (2012-2017)
      • Litigation Star, Euromoney's Benchmark Litigation (2013,2017)
      • Michigan Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2012-2016)
      • Michigan Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin’s Michigan Leading Lawyers Network (2015-2016)
      • Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers® (2013-2014, 2016-2017)

    Speeches & Presentations

      • “Show and Tell: Misappropriation of the Right of Publicity,” Counseling Clients in the Entertainment Industry 2011 Practicing Law Institute, New York, NY (Mar. 16, 2011)
      • “Combating Corporate Espionage,” Entertainment & Sports Law Conference and Intellectual Property Law Institute, Guanacaste, Costa Rica (Nov. 4-8, 2010)
      • “Use of Athletes’ Images: An Active Area of Litigation and Licensing,” Santa Clara Law Sports Law Symposium, Santa Clara, CA (Sep. 16, 2010)
      • “Getting Real About Making It In Hollywood,” American Bar Association Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries First Annual International Legal Symposium on the World of Music, Film, Television and Sports, Miami Beach, FL (Apr. 22-24, 2010)
      • “Entertainment Case Law Update,” Entertainment & Sports Law Conference and Intellectual Property Law Institute, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Nov. 11-15, 2009)
      • “2008 Developments in Sports Antitrust Cases,” Entertainment & Sports Law Conference and Intellectual Property Law Institute, Los Cabos, Mexico (Nov. 12-16, 2008)
      • “When Must Competitors Compete? Antitrust, Sports and the 'Trade or Commerce' Requirement,” ABA Antitrust Section Teleconference (Oct. 24, 2007)
      • “Amateurism and Student-Athlete Representation Under NCAA Regulations,” Entertainment & Sports Law Conference and Intellectual Property Law Institute, San Juan, Puerto Rico (Nov. 7-11, 2007)
      • “Economic Loss Doctrine,” Wayne State University Law School (Nov. 2006)
      • “Relevant Markets in Intercollegiate Sports,” 2005 Antitrust and Trade Regulation Seminar, Santa Fe, New Mexico (July 7-9, 2005)
      • “Symposium on Copyright, Piracy, and the Future of Independent Filmmaking,” (panel moderator), 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival (June 17-26, 2004)