Brian Kappel joined Lightfoot, Franklin & White in 2011 after serving as law clerk to the former chief judge of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Honorable Gerald B. Tjoflat. In addition to employment and business litigation in federal and state courts, Brian regularly represents institutional and individual clients with collegiate sports and NCAA compliance-related issues. Clients across all fields value Brian’s individualized attention, creative thinking and ability to quickly and efficiently discern key issues and potential solutions to thorny problems.
COLLEGIATE SPORTS/NCAA COMPLIANCE
Drawing on his personal experience in collegiate and professional sports as an Academic All-America baseball player at Princeton University and Minor League relief pitcher, Brian counsels NCAA member institutions, coaches, administrators and student-athletes involved in or affected by NCAA investigations. When necessary, he defends those clients throughout the enforcement process and before the various NCAA Committees on Infractions. Brian has assisted and directed internal compliance investigations for multiple NCAA institutions. He also has experience in interpreting NCAA legislation and advising clients on appropriate responses to violations of NCAA rules, including the scope and implementation of penalties. Brian’s NCAA clients rely on him for strategic advice that goes beyond the specific legal issues in play, often touching on ancillary topics such as media and public relations.
- Represented an NCAA member institution (Division I) throughout the investigation/enforcement process, in responding to a notice of allegations, and before the Division I Committee on Infractions
- Represented NCAA member institutions (Division II and III) in connection with an internal investigation and in preparing summary disposition reports for the respective Committees on Infractions
- Represented an NCAA member institution (Division III) in connection with an internal investigation and in preparing a secondary violation report
- Represented an NCAA coach (Division I) in responding to a notice of allegations and before the Division I Committee on Infractions
- Represented multiple NCAA student-athletes (Division I) in connection with internal investigations and/or in seeking waivers of NCAA legislation
EMPLOYMENT & BUSINESS LITIGATION
Brian cut his legal “teeth” alongside some of the best trial attorneys in Alabama. In the employment field, Brian applies the lessons he learned defending corporations facing Title VII, EEOC, ADEA, ADA and similar statutory claims under federal and state law. Brian has also represented retail establishments and chain stores in investigating, defending and quickly resolving discriminatory practices claims under the ADA.
As part of his business litigation practice, Brian often represents companies and individuals involved in contract, antitrust and fiduciary litigation. Beyond routine procedural and discovery matters, Brian’s experience includes personally arguing dispositive motions before multiple courts in Alabama and Georgia, trial work before the Alabama circuit courts and related appellate briefing.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of his client, an Alabama-based division of a national business, in a lawsuit brought by a former employee who claimed he was terminated in retaliation for exercising his rights under the FMLA
- Obtained summary judgment for an employer in a case filed by a then-current employee alleging discrimination in promotion decisions under the ADA
- Obtained mandamus relief from the Alabama Supreme Court for a Michigan-based manufacturer whose motion to dismiss based on the trial court’s lack of personal jurisdiction was wrongly denied
- Mid-South Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” 2016
- Alabama Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” 2014-2015
PROFESSIONAL & COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
- National Association of Athletics Counsel
- Sports Lawyers Association
- Alabama Defense Lawyers Association
- Defense Research Institute
- Four-year letter winner for baseball at Princeton University; Two-times winner, First Team All-Ivy; Two-times winner, First Team All-Ivy Academic; Third Team Academic All-America
In his free time, Brian enjoys running with his golden retriever, playing golf and, whenever possible, taking in a baseball game. His most important role is as husband to wife Ashley and father to Olivia and James.
NEWS about Brian
- Lightfoot Secures Reversal of NCAA Penalties, Postseason Ban For University of Hawai’i
- 35 Lightfoot Attorneys Named 2016 Mid-South Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
- GE-Supplier Alpha Source, Inc. Dismissed from Texas Antitrust Suit
- 37 Lightfoot Attorneys Recognized by 2015 Super Lawyers
- Lightfoot Client Obtains Dismissal for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction from the Alabama Supreme Court