Michael Trope

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Michael L Trope
Michael Trope during his NFL agent days in the 1970s.jpg
Michael Trope and Chuck Muncie, 1976
Born Michael Lance Trope
(1951-12-24) December 24, 1951 (age 66)
Los Angeles, California

Trial Lawyer 1987 to Present

Former Sports Agent (1972-1985)
Parent(s) Sorrell Trope, Gloria Trope
Website tropedecarolis.com

Michael Lance "Mike" Trope (born 1951), is a Los Angeles based trial lawyer and former sports agent for over 200 NFL players.[1] Trope was a sports agent from the time he was a 21-year-old senior at University of Southern California, USC, in 1972 until he retired from the business in 1985. Subsequently, after Trope's graduation from Loyola Law School, he was admitted to practice law in California in 1987. As an agent for football stars, Trope was known for negotiating record breaking contracts in the 1970s, including the first million dollar package for an NFL rookie. This caused many publications to refer to Trope, still in his 20s, as a Super Agent by 1977,[2] as well as "Whiz Kid"[3] and "LA's Boy Wonder".[4] Trope is the son of legendary Los Angeles Trial lawyer and philanthropist, Sorrell Trope.[5]


Early years[edit]

Trope graduated from Palisades Charter High School in 1969 and graduated Magna Cum Laude from USC with a major in history in 1973.[6] Trope later graduated from Loyola Law School in 1983 and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1987.

Professional life[edit]

In 1971, 20-year-old USC junior, Trope, decided he wanted to be an agent after watching Johnny Rodgers complete a punt return for 72 yards and a touchdown against the University of Oklahoma, thus leading the Nebraska Cornhuskers to the NCAA national football championship. Rodgers won the Heisman Trophy and Trope, at age 21 signed Rodgers as his first client and became the youngest agent in history to represent NFL players.[7][8]

After graduating from Loyola Law School in 1983 Trope retired as an NFL agent in 1985. Trope was admitted to the California State Bar in 1987, which is also the year Trope wrote the book "Necessary Roughness", a very candid and blunt book about life as an NFL agent.[9]

Sports Agent[edit]

Johnny Rodgers was the 1972 winner of the Heisman Trophy and Trope, in 1973 at age 21 became the youngest agent in history to represent NFL players.[6]

Over the next 12 years, between 1973–1985, Trope represented more NFL first round draft picks than any other agent, including six Heisman Trophy winners;[10] numerous collegiate all Americans and over 200 total contracts.[1]

During Trope's career as a sports agent, Trope's client list included, in addition to 1972 Heisman Winner Johnny Rodgers who went first to the Canadian Football League Montreal Alouettes and later to the San Diego Chargers;[6] 1974 and 1975 Heisman winner Archie Griffin Cincinnati Bengals' first round draft pick;[1] the 1977 Heisman winner Tony Dorsett Dallas Cowboys first round draft pick;[6][8][11][12] 1978 Heisman winner and number one over all NFL draft pick Earl Campbell Houston Oilers;[13] 1980 Heisman winner and first round draft pick Charles White (American football) Cleveland Browns;[4] 1983 Heisman winner and first overall draft pick in the United States Football League Mike Rozier Pittsburgh Maulers;[14] Heisman Trophy runner up Chuck Muncie, first round draft pick to New Orleans Saints;[2][8][15] Ricky Bell first overall NFL draft pick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers;[3] Marvin Powell first round draft pick New York Jets;[16] Lawrence Taylor, first round draft pick New York Giants;[17] W. Clay Matthews, Jr., first round draft pick Cleveland Browns;[18] Wes Chandler, first round draft pick New Orleans Saints;[19] Anthony Muñoz, first round draft pick Cincinnati Bengals;[20] Russell Erxleben, first round draft pick New Orleans Saints.;[21] Lindsey Scott first round draft pick Atlanta Falcons;[22][23] James Lofton, first round draft pick Green Bay packers;[19] Chris Ward, first round draft pick New York Jets;[24] Al Harris, first round draft pick Chicago Bears;[25] Charles Alexander first round draft pick Cincinnati Bengals; Dave Wilson supplemental first round draft pick New Orleans Saints;[26] Warren Bryant first round draft pick Atlanta Falcons;[8] Mike Quick first round draft pick Philadelphia Eagles;[23][27] Johnnie Cooks first round draft pick Baltimore Colts;[23] Kellen Winslow first round draft pick San Diego Chargers; Kevin Brooks first round draft pick Dallas Cowboys;[28] Johnny "Lam" Jones first round draft pick New York Jets; Mike Kenn first round draft pick Atlanta Falcons;[29] Ricky Sanford first round draft pick New England Patriots; Dennis Smith first round draft pick Denver Broncos and many other notable players.

Lawrence Taylor signed a secret deal with Donald Trump and the USFL’s New Jersey Generals, which he later regretted. He asked Trope to attempt to extricate himself from the deal. Trope met with General’s owner Donald Trump and the owners of the New York Giants and negotiated [a] a release for Taylor from the General’s contract; and [b] a new $6 million multi-year deal for Taylor with the Giants. The negotiated deal resulted in Taylor’s receiving a new $6 million plus deal with the Giants, and with Trump receiving full repayment of the $1 million interest-free loan he made to Taylor, plus a handsome profit.[30][31][32]

Trial Lawyer[edit]

Trope graduated from Loyola Law School and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1987.

Trope, as a lawyer, has represented clients in jury and non jury trials in various matters including criminal, probate, breach of contract, wrongful death, and family law matters. Some of his high-profile legal clients have included sports agent Lloyd Bloom,[33] actor Dennis Quaid,[34] actress Garcelle Beauvais,[35] composer T-Bone Burnett, major league baseball players Tim Leary (baseball) and R. J. Reynolds (baseball), NFL player Greg Townsend, Major League Soccer players Paul Caligiuri[36] and Cobi Jones, Larry Birkhead,[37] Shanna Moakler,[38] Pamela Bach[39] Lisa Bonder Kerkorian and Randall "Randy" Douthit, executive producer and director of the Judge Judy television show. [40]

In 2010 Trope obtained the largest recorded child support order, for one child, in the United States for client, Lisa Kerkorian, ex-wife of Las Vegas hotel magnate Kirk Kerkorian, which included a $10 million lump sum payment of retroactive child support, along with future child support payments of $100,000 per month.[41]

In 2013 Trope successfully defended Randall Douthit, in a domestic abuse jury trial in which Douthit's former wife, Patric Jones, sued him for $3 million in damages plus punitive damages. On September 27, 2013 Trope obtained a jury verdict in favor of Douthit finding no liability and vindicating Douthit as to all claims. [40] In 2015 the California Appeals Court upheld the win with Appeal B254719 [42][43]

Books and Media[edit]

Trope has authored two books;

  • Necessary Roughness. Raleigh, NC: Contemporary Books. August 1987. ISBN 9780809248162.[9]
  • Once Upon a Time in Los Angeles: The Trials of Earl Rogers. Glendale, CA: The Arthur H. Clark Company. July 25, 2001. ISBN 978-0870623059.

Trope was interviewed in Washington DC by Larry King on King's radio show in 1987 regarding Trope's book; Necessary Roughness.[44]

Trope appeared on ABC Good Morning America on May 2, 1978 to discuss the NFL draft and Earl Campbell[45]

Trope appeared on Larry King Live with Larry Birkhead after the death of Anna Nicole Smith.[46][47]

Trope is contacted and has been interviewed by various televisions shows and magazine shows seeking his opinion on various high-profile family law cases, included being interviewed and quoted by People Magazine regarding the child custody issues regarding the children of Michael Jackson[48] and the issues involved in the child custody case involving Mel Gibson.[49]


  1. ^ a b c Bill Brubaker, "Trope: 'It's a game that has no rules' ," New York Daily Times, April 14, 1983.
  2. ^ a b Ron Martz, "Just call him 'Super Agent'," St. Petersburg Times, May 4, 1977
  3. ^ a b Patrick Zier, "Rickey Bell:'It Can't Get Worse'," Lakeland Ledger, May 4, 1977.
  4. ^ a b Paul Zimmerman, "Man Here Feeling The Draft," Sports Illustrated, April 28, 1980.
  5. ^ In Support, "In Support," USC, Spring, 1999.
  6. ^ a b c d Sue Ellen Jares, "The Key to Pro Football Success: Good Legs, Strong Body and a Contract Negotiated by Mike Trope," People Magazine, June 27, 1977.
  7. ^ Fun While It Lasted, "#8 Southern California Fun," Fun While It Lasted, 1983.
  8. ^ a b c d Joe Marshall, "This Agent's No Secret," Sports Illustrated, May 16, 1977.
  9. ^ a b Mike Conklin, "Sports Agent Tells Tales On His Own Turf," Chicago Tribune, October 01, 1987.
  10. ^ Kenneth L. Shropshire and Timothy Davis, "The Business of Sports Agents," Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2nd edition May 28, 2008
  11. ^ Greg Hansen, "Bucs Get Ricky Bell ... Dallas Gets Tony Dorsett"," The Evening Independent, May 3, 1977.
  12. ^ A P sport writer, "Ricky Bell, Tony Dorsett are top two picks in NFL draft"," The Modesto Bee, May 4, 1977.
  13. ^ John Papanek, "LET'S MAKE A DEAL," Sports Illustrated, July 24, 1978.
  14. ^ Mike Bruschini AP reporter, "Maulers sign Mike Rozier to 3-year pact," Bangor Daily News, January 10, 1984
  15. ^ Bob Oates, "Super Agent," Sarasota Journal, May 25, 1977.
  16. ^ UPI staff reporter, "Dorsett, Powell up for highest bid," Star News, January 3, 1977.
  17. ^ Associated Press, Giants' Walkout Is Hinted If Taylor Signs at His Price, The New York Times, April 26, 1981, accessed February 17, 2007.
  18. ^ Bruce Lowitt AP Sports Writer, "No Surprises seen in NFL draft," Bangor Daily News, May 3, 1978.
  19. ^ a b Joe Marshall, "It Was The Same Old Song And Dance," Sports Illustrated, May 15, 1978
  20. ^ Jay Greenberg, "The King Of The Block," Sports Illustrated, September 10, 1990.
  21. ^ Gary Myers AP Sports Writer, "The Agent Game," Herald-Journal, April 24, 1980.
  22. ^ Staff Sports Writer, "Sims, White Sign," The News and Courier, June 11, 1980.
  23. ^ a b c John Clayton, "Agent Factor Makes Draft A Tougher Game," The Pittsburgh Press, April 26, 1982.
  24. ^ AP staff writer, "Campbell headed to L.A.?," The Palm Beach Post, April 6, 1978.
  25. ^ Terry Bannon, "Bear rookie meets his match in Page," Daily Herald, July 22, 1979.
  26. ^ AP sports staff, "Saints Draft Wilson," Observer-Reporter, July 8, 1981
  27. ^ AP sports staff, "Quick Demanding Trade," The Dispatch, July 26, 1985.
  28. ^ Michael Kahn, "NFL owners warned of massive holdout," The Houston Chronicle, July 9, 1985.
  29. ^ AP staff writer, "Falcons take Kenn as No. 1 draft pick," Rome News Tribune, May 2, 1978
  30. ^ Bill Brubaker, "Taylor Has Fame, but Needs Help : Linebacker Is Seeking Treatment for Substance Abuse," L.A. Times, April 07, 1986.
  31. ^ Post Wire Service, "Taylor Buys Out of Contract With Generals," The Palm Beach Post, January 18, 1984.
  32. ^ Gerald Eskenaz, "Taylor Buys Out Generals' Pack," The New York Times Sports page 9, January 18, 1984.
  33. ^ Times Wire Services, "Cris Carter, 3 Agents Face Federal Charges," L.A. Times, Cris Carter, 3 Agents Face Federal Charges
  34. ^ L. A. County Court, "Dissolution of Marriage #BD326610," Archived 2010-08-06 at the Wayback Machine. Court Clerk Files L. A. County, July 11, 2000, accessed March 29, 2012.
  35. ^ K. McKinney, "Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon Files for Divorce," My Family Law, June 5, 2010.
  36. ^ Staff Writer, "M.L.S. Loses Case in Arbitration," New York Times, March 22, 1997
  37. ^ Associated Press, "Larry Birkhead is sued by ex-lawyer," USA Today, September 25, 2007.
  38. ^ L. A. County Court, "Dissolution of Marriage #BD450804," Archived 2010-08-06 at the Wayback Machine. Court Clerk Files L. A. County, August 8, 2006, accessed March 29, 2012.
  39. ^ Ken Lee, "Lawyer: David Hasselhoff Not Likely to Lose Custody," People Magazine, October 10, 2007
  40. ^ a b "Hey Do Have any Extra Pip Poop".
  41. ^ Danny King, "Kerkorian to Pay More Than $10 Million in Back Child Support," Daily Finance, October 22, 2010.
  42. ^ "Michael Trope Attorney Wins Appeal B254712 for client Randall Douthit".
  43. ^ Family Law, "Family Law: Lower Court Denial Of Certain Attorney’s Fees Was No Abuse Of Discretion," California Attorneys Fees August 7, 2015
  44. ^ Larry King, "Necessary Roughness." Tune in tonight at 11 on WIP (AM/610) to find out what a tough business professional football is," Larry King's radio show, October 08, 1987.
  45. ^ "Michael L Trope," Internet Movie Data Base, www.imdb.com/
  46. ^ CNN Larry King Live, "Birkhead Responds," CNN Larry King Live, September 4, 2007.
  47. ^ "Michael L Trope," Internet Movie Data Base, www.imdb.com/
  48. ^ Steve Helling and Champ Clark, "Joe and Katherine Jackson Want Those Children!," People's Magazine, June 29, 2009
  49. ^ Elizabeth Leonard, "Rep: Mel Gibson and Girlfriend Are Expecting!," People's Magazine, May 25, 2009

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