Beyond High Street

Jeremy Kudon: Partner, Orrick

August 29, 2018

We caught Jeremy Kudon at a pivotal time in his business. As the foremost lobbyist in the gambling/betting industry and client of daily fantasy giant DraftKings and several professional sports Leagues, he has been working 24/7 since the Supreme Court ruling allowing states to decide on their own to have legalized sports betting or not. The Founder of Orrick’s Public Policy group, Jeremy helps influence legislation at the state-wide level for all his clients. Similar to many alumni I talk to, he specifically points out a professor and classs (MKT 301, 401) that helped shape his mind on what he wanted to (and sometimes didn’t want to do) next. For him, it was Don Norris (also one of my favorites). We started off the podcast discussing the moment and then the subsequent hours  after the Supreme Court ruling was released.

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Podcast Notes:

“I didn’t want to look back 50 years later and say I didn’t pursue something I wanted to pursue”

24 hours in a litigator’s life once a big ruling comes out.

  • Currently in Boston, he was meeting with Massachusetts Attorney General with major leagues to talk about sports legislation betting.
  • Once the opinions started coming out, he waited to hear what the ruling was. It was a 7-2 for the petitioner (in favor).
  • From there, his phone was constantly blowing up with emails from his clients, friends, and co-workers.
  • He originally planned his day to consist of a series of meetings with legislators that day, but needed to meet with league clients to New York.
  • He flew to New York that same day to meet with his clients.
  • Met with clients to start planning the next steps in strategy.

What Jeremy Kudon does...summarized.

  • He works with clients that are private companies and sports leagues o try to get the betting legalized.

Jeremy Kudon’s career path to where he is now.

  • First, Kudon started as a commercial litigator working on big accounting liability cases.
  • His clients at the time were DirectTV and Dish Network and they hired them to be a appellate lawyer to work on helping the companies develop and implement a national state legislative campaign.
  • The first years of the work were far from exciting; once he started working on the cases, he started to get a niche in it.
  • Kudon then got a call from Uber in 2014 to come in and help them, but after two meetings they realized there was a conflict.
  • From there, Kudon started to reach out to other companies and eventually emailed the founder of FanDuel.
    • No one ever responds to the cold-emails, but the CEO of FanDuel responded. Three months later, he started representing DraftKings and FanDuel.

What to write in an email to potentially get new business.

  • Introduce yourself
  • Make fun of the fact that you don’t normally send emails
  • Make the point of emailing
    • Example: Kudon was basing his email from feedback of legislators saying FanDuel could face issues if they didn’t hire him and start focusing on state legislators

Why Jeremy Kudon chose Miami.

  • Kudon swam in high school and was recruited by the swim coach.
  • He also loved the campus when he got there.
  • He was a big fan of the “Public Ivy” book and learned that the guy went to Miami.
  • His mom had dated a hockey player at Miami and said she had fond memories at Miami.
  • Six other people from high school went to Miami.
  • He was excited to leave the DC area and try out the midwest because of Miami’s great academic reputation.

 

Make sure you thank your professors.

  • Two great professors influenced his career: Augustus Jones (political science) and Donald Norris (marketing).
  • Keep in touch with your professors, especially if they made a big impact on you
    • Example: Kudon didn’t keep in touch with his professors and he advises to try more often to let professors know how they made an impact on your life.

The law school decision.

  • Didn’t go to law school after college until 3 years after.
  • Kudon worked in marketing and was doing well.
  • He still loved law and wanted to practice it; he didn’t want to look back 50 years later and say he didn’t pursue something he wanted to pursue

Advice for before you jump into law school.

  • You need to learn the ropes of the law because it’s so big and it’s not what what it looks like on TV
  • Law school is a way to approach life. You’re supposed to look at the world as grey, not black and white.
  • You have to look at the argument and understand both sides of the argument.

What’s next in sports betting.

  • Each state taking on the issue and opening up the markets.
    • 10-12 states are going to follow
    • 6 states have legislation on the books
    • 3-4 are actually operational
    • New Jersey has a true mobile prodiver (SportsKings)
  • This will revolutionize sports betting in the US and once other states see the markets flourish, more states will adapt.