2012 Precedent Setter Award Winner: David Goldstein

Introducing David Goldstein, a lawyer who stands out
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David Goldstein
The Game Changer

  • Associate, Real Estate & Sports Law at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP
  • Called to the bar in 2006
  • Guest lecturer on sports law at University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and Osgoode Hall Law School
  • Author of Jamaal Magloire: A Biography (written while studying for bar exams)
  • Co-author of chapters in Law of Professional and Amateur Sports and O’Brien’s Encyclopedia of Forms
  • National Basketball Association reporter with The Cincinnati Enquirer since 2002

By 15, David Goldstein knew he wasn’t good enough to make it as a professional basketball player. “But I didn’t see why having sports as part of my career was impossible.”

He first dabbled in sports writing, studying in Northwestern University’s prestigious journalism program, then went to Osgoode Hall Law School and took a sports law class with Gordon Kirke, one of Canada’s finest sports lawyers.

Goldstein followed Kirke to Goodman and Carr LLP — but when he found out his mentor would be leaving the firm before his summer student position would begin, he got special permission from the firm to start early.

Although he had a solid sports law education and was getting experience on the job, Goldstein recognized he needed another discipline. “Even if I was doing a sports law matter a day — which would be unrealistically high — I would be getting better at a snail’s pace,” he says.

So Goldstein began branching out into commercial real estate law. In 2007, when Goodman and Carr dissolved, Goldstein took both his real estate and sports law practices to Cassels. He says both fields require similar skill sets. “Whether it’s an office lease or an endorsement agreement, both are commercial contracts that need negotiating,” he says. “I’m more confident as a sports lawyer because of the work I’ve done in real estate.”

The devotee of sports — particularly basketball — says the key to his success is always trying to do what he loves. “Sports have been a part of every decision I’ve made.”