The verdict is in: Pete Reid Law makes “arguably the greatest lawyer commercial ever”

PRL Chess PhotoThis summer Pete Reid Law made its first TV commercial. As Pete told Texas Lawyer magazine,  “I’ve always had the idea to make a lawyer commercial that’s a bit different.” Filmed over two days in June, the ad has had quite an impact.

Pete’s original idea was brought to life by Tina Rivera Productions and sound-tracked by Austin band The Ugly Beats. Within a few hours of the video being posted on YouTube, it had already received thousands of views.

In case you’ve not seen it, here it is:

Within days, the video was featured first by legal blogs and then by news media all over the world.

Leading US law website ‘Above The Law‘ said that “Pete Reid has made an ad for the ages”, London law blog ‘Legal Cheek‘ called it a “YouTube Masterpiece”, and European site ‘Roll on Friday‘ wrote that Pete Reid “has blown the European competition out of the water”.

Fast Company, one of the world’s leading progressive business media brands, then wrote that the video portrayed Pete Reid as:

“basically everything you’d want in an attorney–he’s a savvy problem solver with honesty and integrity, but also toughness and smarts, who cares about people deeply, while also possessing an ability to seemingly be in three places at once.”

Lexis Nexis, a leading global provider of legal information resources blogged that it was “arguably the greatest lawyer commercial ever”, writing that:

“It’s clever, and it’s the antithesis of most lawyer commercials (no brooding attorneys, no balloon-sized dollar signs, no 30 second diatribe on protecting your rights). But it’s also honest because it portrays Pete as something more than a lawyer: he comes across as fun, funny and probably a heck of a good soccer player. I’d bet that he’s not only a great lawyer but a great person too. He’s honest about himself, and that’s somebody I’d like to connect with.”

Within the last few days, the ad was featured on the front page of BuzzFeed to its global audience of 150 million people, where it was listed as one of the ‘Best Lawyer Ads in the History of Television’.  The video was also highlighted on Fox News.

And the reviews keep coming. Prominent Austin design group ‘The Egotist‘ opined that the video “takes legal advertising to new heights”, and Elite Daily, wrote that “Reid’s clearly trying to reel in a younger audience with a flashy commercial and catchy soundtrack. He’s young, he’s cool and he’s getting work done”.

The video has now been featured across the world with articles as far and wide as Australia, New ZealandThe Netherlands, Serbia, and Scotland.

Not bad for our first adventure into the world of lawyer commercials! And thoughts have already turned to the sequel…

Austin’s Professional Soccer Team – The Austin Aztex

Earlier this month, the Austin Aztex, one of Pete Reid Law’s sportsAustin-Aztex-James-Goulden law clients, announced the addition of professional soccer to the sports landscape in Austin, Texas. Some current Aztex players also have a cameo in the new commercial for Pete Reid Law!

As Austin’s professional soccer team, the Aztex will join an expanded USL PRO League to begin play in the 2015 season. “After two very successful seasons on the field in the USL Premier Development League — which included a 2013 national championship and a steadily growing fan base — we are ready to move to the USL PRO level,” said Austin Aztex owner Rene van de Zande. “We have a clear vision for what we want to achieve with our club in Austin and joining USL PRO is part of this.  The recent formation of a strong Aztex owners group allows us to continue building our franchise in a city that deserves professional soccer at the highest levels. Our ambition is to turn the Austin Aztex into a ‘house of excellence’ geared towards nurturing and developing the best professional players on and off the field.”

Additionally, Austin-area soccer advocates Bobby Epstein and Paul Thornton have joined ATX SOCCER LLC, the ownership group of the Austin Aztex, to aid the franchise’s growth into a premier sports and entertainment property in the United States. The new additions create an Aztex ownership group that combines an intimate knowledge of Austin soccer with the experience of organizing and producing global sporting events and concerts including Formula 1, USGP and ESPN X Games.

“By bringing together friends and families, sports unite communities and dissolve boundaries,” Epstein said. “I’m excited to be a part of taking the Austin Aztex and their championship brand of soccer to the next level.”

Mr. Thornton will play an active role and utilize his background in marketing, fan experience, and revenue generation to help the business development of the Aztex organization, while fueling his passion for the sport of soccer.

”I am thrilled to join this team that has already achieved such great success, and do what I can to help the organization succeed at the next level,” Thornton said. ”The sport of soccer plays a major role in our family as we love this game.  My oldest, Cole, is heading off to play striker in college next year, and Jaxson plays goalkeeper at an elite club level.  To be part of introducing a pro soccer team in Austin has had our house buzzing.”

The Austin Aztex are the fourth USL PRO expansion team announced for 2015, joining Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, Tulsa Roughnecks FC, and St Louis FC. The addition of the Aztex grows the league’s membership to 18 clubs for 2015.

USL PRO is the strongest U.S. men’s professional soccer league on and off the field below and in support of Major League Soccer (MLS). Focused on league stability and franchise performance longevity, USL PRO features 14 teams in 2014, including expansion teams in Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Sacramento. In January 2013 USL PRO entered into a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that features individual team affiliations, inter-league play, and the opportunity for MLS clubs to field a second team in USL PRO.

“Since the day we founded ATX Soccer LLC in 2011, we have been building a foundation for professional soccer in Austin,” noted Aztex founder and co-owner David Markley.  “We took a grass-roots approach and did not rush the process.  We took the time to form the right local ownership group and build a solid infrastructure to ensure the future success of Austin’s soccer team.  Our current team has already produced eight players drafted by MLS teams in two years, and the relationship between USL PRO and MLS provides a unique opportunity to partner with an MLS affiliate who would place at least four players on our roster.  The decision to join USL PRO at this time provides professional soccer to local fans next season, a platform for year-round training and player development, and an added catalyst as we continue to work with community leaders in pursuit of a future soccer-specific stadium in which we will play.”

The Austin Aztex currently play at House Park, a 5,500 seat stadium located near downtown Austin. The Aztex enjoy a strong home field advantage at House Park, where more than 4,250 fans attended the USL PDL Championship game in 2013.

About the Austin Aztex

The Austin Aztex currently compete in the USL Premier Development League (PDL) under the helm of head coach Manuel Buentello. The team won the 2013 League Championship in just their second year in operation. The Aztex finished the 2013 season with one of the top records in the league as well as individual accolades, including Coach of the Year (Paul Dalglish), PDL Most Valuable Player (Kris Tyrpak), and PDL Championship MVP (Sito Seoane). The Aztex finished the 2013 campaign with five consecutive single-game attendance records and were among the top ten highest-drawing teams in the league, earning the USL PDL Franchise of the Year award. The franchise is owned and operated by ATX SOCCER LLC, chaired by Rene Van De Zande, President and CEO of Emergo Group and founder David Markley, VP of Technology Development for Fallbrook Technologies. For more information, visit

About Bobby Epstein

Bobby Epstein is the managing general partner of Prophet Capital Management as well as the co-founder and chairman of the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Epstein has been at the forefront of bringing major sporting events to Austin including Formula 1 USGP and ESPN X Games.

About Paul Thornton

Paul Thornton was the founder and president of Bravo Entertainment, a leading live entertainment promoter, and is currently president of TAG Presents.  He is a 20 year veteran of producing large scale events including concerts, sporting events, and festivals.  Since moving to the Austin area he has produced the concerts at the Austin360 Amphitheater, the Formula 1 USGP entertainment, the Austin Fan Fest, RedFest, and just this last weekend the ESPN X Games Festival.

Photo Credit : James Goulden Photography

Athletes and Their Trademark Rights Debated at UT Sports Law Symposium

This month, Pete Reid was invited to be a guest speaker at the 4th annual Sports Law Symposium. The event, hosted by the Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law (TRESL), took place on September 13, 2013 at the University of Texas School of Law.

With video games like “FIFA 14” and “Madden NFL,” the lifelike experience of playing professional and college sports is now at the finger tips of the enthusiastic sports fan; and in recent years, media headlines have zeroed in on the issue of trademarking an athlete’s image and likeness. The ongoing O’Bannon v. NCAA case, for example, questions whether student athletes should be compensated for the use of their likeness in video games, and it has become a household reference in the discussion of this issue. Interest in the topic has sparked nationwide debate and infiltrated the realm of scholarly discussion.IMG_1191

Panelists and guests alike gathered in the Eidman Courtroom to hear about today’s hottest legal topics in entertainment and sports. Pete served as the moderator of a panel entitled “What’s in a Name?: Athletes Asserting Their Trademark Rights.” Beginning with a quiz for the audience, Pete set in motion a conversation about the trademark rights of professional and college athletes.

In the spotlight of discussion was the O’Bannon case mentioned above. Panelists and fellow sports lawyers Mr. Alan MilsteinMr. Christian Dennie, and Mr. Steven Espenshade gave their predictions of the case’s outcome and how it might alter the world of college sports. If the lawsuit were to be a victory for O’Bannon, student athletes may receive compensation beyond scholarships, posing a potential challenge to the NCAA amateurism model.

At the invitation of the panel, former Pete Reid Law intern Tristan Griffin provided the delegates with their own halftime entertainment demonstrating a few signature celebration dances from America’s most popular sports players. Anyone familiar with “Tebowing” or “Kaepernicking?” Nothing short of entertaining, the performance was an amusing and unexpected surprise for the panel’s audience.

The 90-minute panel discussion concluded with an audience Q&A and a broader discussion about the legal challenges facing college sports and NFL teams, including the ongoing controversy over the name of Pete’s favorite team the Washington Redskins.

NYC Nightclub Where Giants And NBA Stars Were Present During A Fatal Shooting Is Evicted Thanks To Creative Lawyering

A property owner, was plunged into a case involving a popular nightclub where two high profile murders occurred while the New York Giants were partying after a recent victory and many professional basketball players celebrated the end of the basketball strike.  The Landlord hired ALBPC to evict the Tenant for violating the lease and Pete Reid was assigned to the case.

According to reports, Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, cornerback Aaron Ross, safety Antrel Rolle and tackle Chris Canty, as well the Washington Wizards’ John Wall, Charlotte Bobcats’ Kemba Walker, Chicago Bulls’ Carlos Boozer, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook and Orlando Magic’s Chris Duhon, were all at the nightclub at the time of the shooting.  Branden Albert of the Kansas City Chiefs was also there. The singer Rihanna, rapper Jay-Z, and actor Chace Crawford have all made well-documented appearances at the establishment.

The difficulty of the eviction case was that although the commercial lease banned the restaurant from running a nightclub, it was allowed to operate as a late night restaurant.  Essentially, if it could be proved that the Tenant was operating a nightclub and not a ‘supper club’, as they claimed, then the Tenant could be evicted.

Pete Reid began with issuing a Notice to Cure, alleging that the Tenant defaulted under the lease agreement by running a nightclub at the leased premises well into the morning hours. While the lease agreement allowed a restaurant with dancing and music, the lease forbade and the Tenant explicitly agreed not to run a nightclub. The Notice to Cure also cited the Tenant’s acquiescence in fostering a “culture of lawlessness and violence.” The Notice cited in detail the recent stabbings and murders that had happened inside or on the streets outside the club.

In response to the Notice to Cure, the Tenant sought a Yellowstone injunction, claiming they were instead running a restaurant with dancing and live music. At the initial court appearance, at the behest of ALBPC, the judge ordered an immediate framed issue hearing on whether the leased premises were being run as a nightclub or a supper club. This would potentially shave years off the length of the case and allow the Landlord to quickly pursue its eviction case against the Tenant.

In preparation for the framed issue hearing, Pete Reid and the ALBPC team conducted extensive and thorough investigation and trial preparation. ALBPC’s extraordinary preparation tactics included

  • postings on Facebook to recruit any patrons of the nightclub that would testify the Tenant was running a nightclub and collected hours of video showing dancing and nightclub activities,
  • quickly taking snapshots of the Tenant’s website highlighting its self-promotion as a nightclub (before the Tenant could change the website) and
  • securing an entertainment leasing expert to testify the premises were being used as a nightclub.
  • ALBPC also submitted Freedom of Information Law requests to several governmental agencies to investigate the Tenant’s operations.
  • The FOIL results revealed that the Tenant was actually out of compliance with the appropriate governmental licenses, a tell-tale sign of a “culture of lawlessness”.

A little over one month later, the hearing commenced.

ALBPC attorneys cross-examined the Tenants’ first witness, a manager at the nightclub, who attempted to convince the Court the Tenant was actually running a supper club, and not a nightclub. On cross-examination, however, ALBPC attorneys were able to have the manager admit that approximately 70% to 80% of the nightclub’s sales came from the sale of liquor, a clear indication that this was not merely a restaurant with dancing, as the Tenant claimed. The manager was also questioned on the Tenant’s lack of compliance with governmental licensing requirements.

The overwhelming evidence presented at the hearing led to ALBPC’s victory.  The surrender of the lease occurred and the commercial Tenant was on the hook for the entire rent owed while the space remained vacant.

In order to avoid the money judgment and in a last ditch effort to avoid paying the substantial amount of arrears now accumulated, the Tenant fabricated a claim that the Landlord was unreasonably withholding consent to an assignment of the lease.

ALBPC knew that if it the rent arrears were not deposited with the Court it probably would never see the money.  So it turned the Tenant’s request against them.  ALBPC brought a motion before the Court asking the Court to direct the Tenant to tender all arrears to the client (which amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars) prior to the Court giving any consideration to the Tenant’s claim of unreasonably withheld consent.

The Court agreed and directed the Tenant to pay the arrears prior to any hearing on the withholding of consent. The Court then warned the Tenant that if its order was not complied with, it could consider issuing a judgment of possession forthwith without ever getting the merits of the assignment application.  Once the Tenant failed to pay the full arrears timely on two different dates, the Judge folded the case and awarded not only possession of the restaurant/nightclub but all of the moneys deposited with the court.

The Landlord obtained its space back that it could now use for its own legitimate business purposes and no longer had to fear that any other stabbings, shootings or assaults would occur at the premises.

Pete Reid, Adam Leitman Bailey, Colin E. Kaufman, and Donald Mitchell represented the client in this victory.

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