Sports and the Law: Examining the Legal History and Evolution of America's Three "Major League" Sports: MLB, NFL and NBA

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Fall 2012 Course
Meets: Th 1:15pm - 4:15pm in Hauser Hall Room 104
3 classroom credits

This basic Sports Law course will offer an overview of the three major sports that dominate the American sports scene today: Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the National Basketball Association. The Course will devote approximately equal time to each of these 3 major sports, and compare/contrast the similarities and differences among them, from an historical legal perspective. Specifically, it will evaluate the legal evolution of the 3 major leagues, and examine how the Supreme Court’s, other Courts’ and Arbitrators’ landmark decisions have affected the path of each league’s progress. In so doing, practical examples of the cutting edge issues for practitioners in each of these 3 leagues will be offered. "Hypothetical" examples of negotiating, drafting and litigating the most significant issues in each of these 3 sports will be analyzed in group settings. Negotiation strategies, contract-drafting techniques and litigation-related resolutions will be explored within each group. Class participation and successful completion of weekly assignments will count for a significant portion of the student's final grade. Enrollment is available to second year, third year and LLM students. For JD students who take this course, it will satisfy one half of the Option 2 writing requirement.

Students taking this course and who are interested in sports law clinical placements during Winter or Spring 2012 are also strongly encouraged to enroll in the 1-credit Fall 2012 "Sports Law: Advanced Contract Drafting Seminar" (NOTE: This is a separate seminar). This seminar will provide students the opportunity to negotiate and draft agreements that a lawyer advising a sports team would encounter. Students in the Seminar will learn about the various components of complex deal documents and have the opportunity to then draft these documents. Students in the Seminar will also explore and experiment with negotiating strategies. Overall, the goal of the Seminar is to have students master skills related to negotiating, drafting, and analyzing the various "moving parts" of complicated agreements regarding stadium leasing; naming rights; sponsorship; media rights; food and beverage; provision of medical; hospital and financial services; state-operated entities; and purchase and sale of sports teams. Any students who have been wait-listed for this course (and hope to enroll) are encouraged to attend the first class session.

Subject Areas: Business Organization, Commercial Law, and Finance .