Patrick W. Fleming serves as the director of the Poker Players Alliance’s Litigation Support Network. An attorney with his own private practice in Portsmouth, NH, Fleming specializes in criminal defense and civil rights litigation.
Fleming has always had a love of competitive gaming, from chess to complex military history simulations. His father taught him how to play poker when he was in his early teens, and Fleming frequently played in his father’s regular game and throughout his college and law school years. In 2004, Fleming discovered online poker and quickly became a frequent player under the screen name “skallagrim.”
With the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006, Fleming, like many others, was incensed and determined to do something to overturn this ineffective “prohibition.” It was at that time that Fleming joined the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) and began posting about legal challenges on various poker forums.
One of the many legal strategies Fleming advanced was proving in court that poker is a game where skill is the predominant factor (and therefore legal in most states). In conjunction with professional poker players, Fleming helped craft the argument that has become the foundation for the PPA’s legal and legislative battles.
In 2008, Fleming directly approached the PPA and proposed that it create a formal “Litigation Support Network” to assist PPA members who found themselves confronted with legal issues regarding their playing poker. And, of course, as part of that assistance, the LSN would provide the basic framework to advance the skill argument. The PPA accepted Fleming’s proposal and asked him to direct it. He has done so since that time and continues to look forward to future legal successes on behalf of the PPA and poker players around the world.
Fleming earned his undergraduate degree from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, majoring in Philosophy and his law degree from Boston College Law School. After 5 years as a Public Defender in New Hampshire, Fleming opened his own private law office and continues to operate as a sole practitioner in New Hampshire. He lives in Portsmouth, NH, with his wife Janet.