Carla Varriale-Barker is an accomplished litigator who is at home in a courtroom, board room or classroom. She represents a portfolio of clients in the sports, recreation, amusement and hospitality industries with a client-centered practice focusing on tort, discrimination, contract, insurance and premises liability matters, including the defense of claims arising from alcohol service, security lapses, discrimination in places of public accommodation, sexual abuse and molestation.

She is chair of the firm’s Sports, Recreation & Entertainment practice group and co-host of the firm’s podcast, TortsCenter.

Carla counsels clients involved with the U.S. Center for SafeSport, an organization established by Congress to address sexual abuse, bullying and other misconduct, and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements. She is an adjunct instructor at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies where she has taught in the Sports Management Program since 2008.

Prior to joining Segal McCambridge, Carla was a founding partner of a women-owned law firm. She has also written for the American Bar Association about diversity and inclusion and the importance of mentorship and sponsorship.

Carla earned her J.D. from New York Law School where she was part of the Order of the Barristers and the Moot Court Executive Board. She holds a B.A. from Boston University.

Outside of work, she enjoys exploring art and design, writing and practicing yoga.

app download

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • American Bar Association
  • Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
  • International Amusement and Leisure Defense Association
  • Sports Lawyers Association
    • Member, Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, 2022 – present
    • Co-Chair, Women’s Affinity Group, 2023

Practice Highlights

Representative Matters

  • Obtained a summary judgment win for a client in a Supreme Court, Suffolk County water park case.

News & Events



  • “Legal Responsibilities – Chapter 11”, contributing author, Sports Facility Management Text Book – 5th Edition, 2023
  • “A More Perfect Union: MMA Athletes and Unionization,” Michigan State International Law Review, 2019

Speaking Engagements

  • “College Athletes Netting Income Raises Ethical Hurdles for Lawyers,” Perrin Conferences, 2023
  • Raising the Curtain: Risks of Playing Multiple Roles on the Ethical Stage,” Celesq® and West LegalEdcenter, 2023
  • “Issues and Opportunities: Careers in Sports Law,” 2023 Sports Law Symposium, 2023
  • “Ethics in Negotiating in Sports Entertainment and Other Universes,” 2023 Annual Meeting for the Entertainment Arts & Sports Law Section (EASL), 2023
  • Featured Guest, Sports Law Expert – A Podcast, Hackney Publications, 2022
  • “Inclusion and Belonging: Moving Beyond the Binary,” DEI and Sports Virtual Speaker Series, Fordham Gabelli School of Business, 2022
  • “Legal Approaches to Addressing Allegations of Sexual Abuse in Sports,” National Sports Law Institute 33rd Annual Conference, Marquette University Law School, 2022
  • “Incident Reporting and Litigation: From the Venue to the Courthouse,” IIFX Virtual Town Hall, 2022
  • “Trends in Sexual Abuse and the Status of Litigation,” Perrin Conferences Virtual Sexual Abuse Litigation and Coverage Conference, 2022
  • “More Than a Mentor: How to Sponsor for Success,” CLM 2022 Annual Conference, 2022
  • “Olympics 2020 in 2021: On Your Mark, Get Set, Go… Hopefully,” Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Spring Meeting, New York State Bar Association, 2021
  • “Women in Sports Law,” Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Society panel, St. John’s University School of Law, 2021
  • “Negligent Security Litigation – Preparing for the Unexpected,” National Sports Safety and Security Conference, 2021