David Betras, Brian Kopp announce plans for continued growth as their law firm marks 25th anniversary

Attorneys David Betras and Brian Kopp marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of one of the region’s most respected and successful law firms by reaffirming their commitment to the communities they serve and unveiling a comprehensive plan that will ensure the continued growth of their multi-disciplinary, multi-state practice which will now operate under the name Betras¨ Kopp LLC.

The firm was founded in 1999 when Betras, who began practicing law with his father Joe and Uncle Pete after graduating from Capital University Law School in 1985 and Kopp who had just completed a Federal Clerkship with United States District Court Judge Peter C. Economus decided to strike out on their own. In addition to building a thriving practice in the Mahoning Valley, Kopp spearheaded both the firm’s expansion into Tampa and Sarasota, Florida, and the impressive growth of BK’s complex corporate litigation and sports law practice. Attorneys Betras and Kopp have both earned the prestigious “SuperLawyers” designation.

The partners recently began implementing their plan for growth by adding attorneys Frank Cassese and James Melfi to the firm’s roster of outstanding lawyers. Attorney Cassese, who graduated from Cardinal Mooney High School and Ohio State University before receiving his law degree from Cleveland Marshall School of Law in 2015, will focus on civil and criminal litigation. Attorney Melfi, a graduate of Girard High School and Miami University (OH), received his Juris Doctorate from Capital University Law School in 2019. He is licensed to practice in Ohio and Florida and is a member of the firm’s Complex Litigation Practice Group.

“In addition to impressive legal skills and credentials, Frank and Jim bring an incredible amount of energy to the firm,” Attorney Betras said. “They are eager to learn, possess strong work ethics, and are more than willing to put in the long hours it takes to seek and secure justice for our clients.”

“Adding these two talented attorneys to our team will enable us to significantly expand the firm’s professional and geographic reach and maintain the strong presence we have in our existing markets,” Attorney Kopp, leader of BK’s complex litigation and sports law practice groups said. “David and I are pleased Frank and Jim \joined the firm and excited about the prospect of working and growing with them in the years ahead.”

According to Atty. Betras, the growth strategy also includes rebranding the firm. “Over the past 25 years we’ve operated under a number of iterations of Betras, Kopp and someone,” he said. “Every time we changed the name we had to go through the costly and time-consuming process of changing everything from our letterhead to our TV ads, to our digital platforms, to our business cards, to our corporate registrations. It’s a process we do not want to repeat multiples times as we expand in the years ahead.”

“So, we decided to do it one more time and build off Betras and Kopp, the names that are at the core of our corporate identity,” Betras continued. “We’ve changed the firm name to Betras¨ Kopp LLC Attorneys at Law and have adopted a new, clean, modern logo. Our website URL is now www.betraskopp.com, we’re producing new TV ads, revising and upgrading our digital platforms and content, and taking all the steps necessary to inform our clients, the legal community, and the public about our new brand.”

While the makeup of the firm and its name are changing, one thing remains constant: David Betras’ and Brian Kopp’s commitment to their hometown. “For nearly a century residents of the Valley have relied on us to meet their legal needs,” Betras said. “It started in 1929 when my Uncle Pete opened a small law office in downtown Youngstown. When my dad, Joe, returned from serving in World War II, he used the GI Bill to go to law school and joined him. After being immersed in the law our entire lives my cousin Brian and I launched our first firm in 1999, and now, a quarter-century and thousands of satisfied clients later, he and I are writing a new chapter in our family’s legal legacy.”

BKM suit alleges Bank of America conspired with the NFL and Daniel Snyder to force Robert Rothman and two other minority partners to sell their stake in the Washington Commanders

Attorney Brian Kopp
Attorney Brian Kopp, Managing Partner, BKM Complex Litigation and Sports Law practice groups.

A lawsuit filed by Attorney Brian Kopp, managing partner of BKM’s Complex Litigation and Sports Law Practice Groups, dominated the news in the sports world yesterday.

As reported by ESPN, the Washington Post, and numerous other media outlets, in the suit filed against Bank of America (BoA) on behalf of Robert Rothman, a former minority partner in the Washington Commanders NFL franchise, Attorney Kopp alleges that BoA, along with former Commanders owner Daniel Snyder and NFL officials, who are not named as defendants in the lawsuit, “conspired” to force Rothman and his two fellow minority partners to sell their 40% stake to Snyder for $875 million in April 2021.

The sale price reflected a team valuation of less than $3 billion, the lawsuit says. In July 2023, Snyder sold the Commanders for $6.05 billion, which the lawsuit claims “was the culmination of [Bank of America’s] and Snyder’s conspiratorial conduct.”

By allegedly ignoring “Snyder’s improper and illegal dealings,” Bank of America executives “knew or reasonably anticipated that Snyder would have to sell the Franchise as a result of Snyder’s indebtedness,” Attorney Kopp wrote in the 45-page complaint filed Wednesday in Tampa federal court.

“For profit and prestige, BoA blind-eyed legal, ethical and moral obligations,” Atty. Kopp told ESPN Wednesday. “As a client of the BofA’s financial service division, Bob was entitled to honest financial advice free of conflict and bad motive.

ESPN notes that Attorney Kopp alleges in the suit that BoA ignored “financial red flags” raised by Snyder’s financial mismanagement of the team, including an increasing reliance on debt and failure to pay his partners their quarterly share of profits. The centerpiece of Rothman’s lawsuit is the bank’s December 2018 approval of the franchise’s $55 million credit line taken out by Snyder without his minority partners’ knowledge or required approval. The bank allowed Snyder to draw $38 million in March 2019 from the credit line “without verifying Snyder had obtained board approval,” the lawsuit states.

The bank approved the loan at the same time Snyder was allegedly “self-dealing” by paying himself millions of dollars through the Commanders, including charging $3.5 million to place a team logo on his private jet and $7 million in expenses for “yacht(s), residential properties, personal staff, automobiles, and other personal entertainment and lifetime expenses,” according to the lawsuit.

We invite you to follow the case on Facebook pages, our website, www.bkmlaws.com and on Twitter/X at https://twitter.com/BKMLaws

Click these links to access additional coverage of the suit:

Yahoo News NBC Sports Tampa Business Journal The Bleacher Report

Jury finds that 20-year-old died as a result of medical negligence. Betras, Kopp & Markota secures $2,000,000 wrongful death award for family of Megan Clay

BKH Sports Law Client Joe Moorhead engineers Oregon Duck’s victory over Ohio State

Oregon Duck's Coach Joe MoorheadBecause we love our friends who are Buckeye fans, we’ve waited a few days to congratulate Oregon Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach Joe Moorhead for engineering the Duck’s impressive 35-28 victory over Ohio State.
Like a number of outstanding coaches across the U.S., Coach Moorhead is represented by Brian Kopp, director of BKH’s Sports Law Practice Group who assisted him in his contract negotiations with Fordham University, Penn State, Mississippi State, and Oregon.
Coach Moorhead’s game plan garnered special recognition on Sports Illustrated’s website which posted an in-depth analysis of the Duck’s spilt zone run-pass option. According to SI, Coach Moorhead’s new take on the classic offense wreaked havoc on the Buckeyes. Check out the SI post here: https://www.si.com/…/oregon-split-zone-rpo-triple…
And check our Facebook page, websites, and Instagram account for updates on our sports clients along with news and info on college and pro football from Brian and Arturo Uzdavinis who played ball at Tulane and in the NFL.
It’s going to be a great season, we invite you to spend it with us.