Richard Young is past Co-Chair of Holme Roberts & Owen’s Litigation Practice Group and was the managing partner of the Colorado Springs office for 20 years. He has been resolving disputes through litigation, arbitration, mediation, and negotiation for more than 40 years. Many of those cases involved claims for very substantial amounts of money, e.g., a dispute arising out of the construction of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and a dispute involving delays in the construction of a natural gas processing facility on the north slope of Alaska. Other cases have involved important constitutional questions, e.g., the right of religious organizations to property tax exemptions. Still others have been matters of intense public interest, e.g., representation of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in doping cases against Tour de France winners Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis, Marion Jones, and other gold medal winners involved in the BALCO doping scandal.
One of Mr. Young’s greatest strengths is his out-of-the-box creativity, enhanced by his experience as an internationally-recognized arbitrator and mediator, which together frequently enable him to find win/win solutions to settle disputes quickly and efficiently. These skills were put to the test when he represented the World Anti-Doping Agency as lead draftsman of the new World Anti-Doping Code. After several years of meetings and negotiations with sporting bodies and governments across the globe, this effort resulted in a single set of anti-doping rules that have been accepted by more than 600 international sporting organizations and 160 governments, most of whom had previously operated under their own unique rules.
Mr. Young’s skills as a trial lawyer were showcased in the Floyd Landis arbitration hearing, a nine-day trial conducted in the Pepperdine School of Law moot courtroom. The trial was broadcast live over the Internet, with a live network feed providing excerpts for a number of national newscasts. The hearing was attended by hundreds of observers, including media from around the world. At the conclusion of the trial, a feature article in USA Today quoted a Wisconsin judge who had been an observer throughout the trial and who frequently blogged in support of the Landis case, as saying, “Young is the best lawyer I have ever seen … [the clients] sure got their money’s worth.”
Mr. Young has been nationally-recognized as a “Leader in His Field” in Band 1 for Sports Law: Athletic Disputes, by Chambers USA, 2011-2013, and as a member of the Law Dragon Top 500 Lawyers in the country. In Colorado, he has been awarded Colorado Law Week’s Lawyer of the Year (with his Landis trial team), Best Sports Lawyer, and is rated by Super Lawyers as a Colorado Super Lawyer.
Mr. Young’s background is in general litigation; however, he has particularly strong substantive experience in the following areas.
- Considerable experience in the role of outside general counsel for national governing bodies and other professional and amateur sports organizations. Mr. Young’s experience with sports-related disputes covers a broad spectrum, from commercial disagreements (media and sponsorship contracts, licensing, and other rights issues) to athlete eligibility contests (team selection disputes and penalties imposed for rule violations) to disputes arising during the course of contests (attempts to invalidate competitive results based on misapplication of rules and challenges to officials’ impartiality), to Article VIII proceedings under the Amateur Sports Act.
- Particularly active in the anti-doping area, where he has handled high profile cases for the World Anti-Doping Agency, the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the United States Olympic Committee, USA Swimming, the International Weightlifting Federation, and other Olympic National Governing Bodies and International Federations.
- Numerous investigations into alleged doping violations by athletes and their support personnel, including many high-profile athletes, e.g., Lance Armstrong, Floyd Landis and Marion Jones.
- Involvement in more than a hundred investigations in the context of sport national governing bodies, schools, and other nonprofits into rule violations, doping cover-ups, and dozens involving sexual misconduct.
- Outside counsel for the Australian Anti-Doping Authority in relation to its current complex and wide-ranging investigation into the use of banned substances in the National Rugby League and Australian Football League.
- Principal draftsman of the World Anti-Doping Code in 2003 and the amendments to the World Anti-Doping Code in 2008 and 2013.
- Considerable experience as an international sports arbitrator, having served on numerous hearing panels for the International Tennis Federation, the Association of Tennis Professionals, and the International Court of Arbitration for Sport, including the ad hoc Divisions of the International Court of Arbitration for Sport during the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney. Mr. Young has tried dozens of cases before various types of arbitration panels involving doping, Olympic Team eligibility, sponsorship and other economic issues and disciplinary matters.
Construction Law Practice
- Mr. Young has worked on hundreds of construction contracts and construction defect cases involving virtually every type of structure imaginable (e.g., office buildings, hotels, apartment buildings, condominiums, shopping centers and other retail buildings, clubhouses, manufacturing facilities, sports arenas, sewer plants, golf courses and driving ranges, railroad tunnels and other railroad facilities, electric transmission lines, airport runways, ski areas, tennis courts, zoos, casinos, oil and gas processing facilities and pipelines, roads, subdivisions, warehouses, parking structures, swimming pools, restaurants, museums, private residences, schools, hospitals and churches).
- Mr. Young has handled hundreds of cases involving nonprofit disputes for a wide range of organizations involved in sports, religion, health or community service. Mr. Young also has given numerous speeches to nonprofit groups on nonprofit liability issues, insurance coverage, and governance issues.