Jim has represented elite professional athletes for nearly 25 years and is known for his eye for talent and trusted, long standing relationships with key executives and personnel throughout the leagues. These rare assets have enabled Jim to achieve the best possible outcomes for both known and “off-the-radar” players.
Jim and Hadley Engelhard became partners at ESM in 1994, after a year of representing football clients while still in law school.
Jim’s long track record of finding undiscovered athletes and advancing their careers is widely known in the industry. His discovery and subsequent work with James Develin, an overlooked Ivy League defensive lineman who became an All-Pro and Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots, is documented in Sports Illustrated’s The Patriot Way: James Develin’s Outcast-to-Super Bowl Story, written by Greg Bishop (January 29, 2018).
Jim has deep expertise in the strategic positioning of football clients for the NFL draft. In 2018, client Patrick “P.J.” Hall became the highest drafted player in history who was not invited to the Combine. His roster of clients includes NFL starters and All-Pros and they represent the ESM philosophy of, “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.”
As an attorney specializing in sports law, Jim seamlessly manages the needs of his clients both on and off of the field. He has successfully resolved matters involving both NFL and MLB Collective Bargaining Agreements, ranging from on-field conduct and equipment matters to PED suspensions. He is also experienced in managing the full range of unique immigration issues faced by athletes as he represents multiple international athletes in both football and baseball.