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Blazers Announce Resignation Of Top Lawyer, Mike Fennell

The Portland Trail Blazers announced the resignation of Mike Fennell, the team's top lawyer.

The Portland Trail Blazers announced Monday the resignation of Mike Fennell, the team's general counsel.

After a successful career spanning some 20 years with the team, Mike Fennell, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the Portland Trail Blazers, has decided to step down. Sarah Mensah, Trail Blazers Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, announced Fennell's departure today. During the transition period, Fennell will serve as a legal consultant. In-house counsel Ben Lauritsen will assume Fennell's duties as acting general counsel.

"The imprint that Mike leaves as a legal strategist, counselor, negotiator and front office executive is a lasting one," said Mensah. "It's hard to see him go, and on behalf of the entire Trail Blazers organization, we extend our deepest gratitude to Mike for his significant contributions, and wish him continued success as he pursues a new phase of his career."

During his 20 years with the Trail Blazers, Fennell has overseen all legal matters for the organization, including key support of player contract negotiations and other team-related issues. Fennell also served as general counsel for other Portland-based affiliates under Paul Allen's business umbrella. Before joining the Trail Blazers in 1992, Fennell was a partner in the law firm of Foster, Pepper & Shefelman, and was among the attorneys representing Allen when he first acquired the Trail Blazers in 1988.

"I'm very appreciative of Paul Allen, and the Trail Blazers executives past and present for the opportunity to serve alongside them in such an exemplary organization," said Fennell. "My fond memories of the Trail Blazers team and my colleagues are too numerous to count. I look forward to remaining a loyal and passionate Trail Blazers fan as I embark on a new chapter in my life."

Fennell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Oregon, and is a graduate of the University of Oregon Law School. His connections to the Portland community are many, including volunteer services on multiple boards of directors, including Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington; University of Oregon Law School Alumni Board; the American Red Cross-Oregon Trail Chapter; the Leukemia Association; the YMCA; and the make it better foundation. Fennell will continue as a board member of the make it better foundation.

Blazers senior VP of Business Affairs J.E. Isaac resigned in June 2011. Blazers president Larry Miller resigned in July 2012.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter