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Horse with shot at Triple Crown has local lawyers

Big Brown could soon become the first horse in 30 years to
win racing’s Triple Crown.

Big Brown could soon become the first horse in 30 years to
win racing’s Triple Crown.

Mike Doctrow could soon become the first lawyer in at least
30 years to represent a Triple Crown winner.

“I am rooting for Big Brown in a big way,” said the Harrisburg attorney, who
is handling licensing and branding issues for the horse.

Big Brown won the May 3 Kentucky
Derby and the
May 17 Preakness Stakes, leaving just the June 7 Belmont Stakes between the
horse and his crown.

Doctrow’s firm, McNees Wallace & Nurick, began to
represent horses by chance. Roy Chapman,
a Philadelphia
auto dealer whose business the firm represented, also happened to be the owner
of Smarty Jones, a 2004 Triple Crown hopeful. Smarty Jones won the Derby and the Preakness but lost the Belmont.

Now, Doctrow and his team are experts in horse merchandise –
T-shirts, hats, books, glassware, bobblehead dolls, stuffed animals and the
like. The lawyers help pick the manufacturers that will make all that stuff,
all in about three weeks. They also must fight frauds. This year, the work
includes co-branding agreements with UPS Inc., the Atlanta shipping firm the horse is named
after.

As with any sport, the event is only part of the story that
matters to people, Doctrow said.

“The personalities behind it are what help to sell
merchandise,” he said. And behind those personalities, their lawyers.

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