​Alternative Dispute Resolutions & United States Professional Sports
​Alternative Dispute Resolutions & United States Professional Sports

​Alternative Dispute Resolutions & United States Professional Sports


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An engaging textbook on the U.S Legal system, sports law research and more.

            Table of Contents

Chapter 1: United States Legal System

 A.    Branches of the U.S. Government

 B.     U.S. Court System

 C.     U.S. Legal Process

Chapter 2: Sports Law Research

 A.    Sources of Sports Law Research

 B.     Locating Sports Law Resources

 C.     Case Analysis Method

Chapter 3: United States Professional Sports System

 A.    NFL

 B.     MLB

 C.     NBA

 D.    NHL

 E.     Other Leagues

Chapter 4: Types of Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADRs)

 A.    Arbitration

 B.     Negotiations

 C.     Mediation

Chapter 5: Laws Governing Alternative Dispute Resolutions

 A.    Federal Arbitration Act of 1925

 B.     Uniform Arbitration Act 1955

 C.     Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1998

 D.    Amateur Sports Act of 1978

 E.     ADR in Collective Bargaining Agreements

Chapter 6: Legal Issues in Alternative Dispute Resolutions

 A.    Conduct ADRs

 B.     Contract ADRs

 C.     Doping ADRs

 D.    Rule ADRs

 E.     Salary ADRs

Chapter 7: Maximization Approach

 A.     Revenue Maximization

 B.     Stakeholder Maximization

 C.    Win Maximization

Chapter 8: Student Activities

 A.    Short Lawsuits

 B.    Long Lawsuits

 C.    Practice Questions

 D.    Summary

 E.     Further Readings


After reading this book, you will be able to:

  • Explore and understand the laws governing U.S. alternative dispute resolutions (ADR)
  • Discover and evaluate the main legal issues in U.S. ADR applications
  • Know and familiarize yourself with common ADR cases specific to U.S. professional sports
  • Examine and critique the possible impacts of ADR on win, profit, and stakeholder maximization in U.S. professional sports

            Case Finder

Note: The purpose of these cases is to consider the legal issues that are pertinent and their possible consequences to identify the most effective and efficient mitigation steps for players, managers, teams, and leagues.

         List of Tables & Figures

        Glossary of Terms

The terminology of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can be overwhelming. The purpose of this glossary is to promote familiarity with common ADR words for students and those who do not work with ADR issues regularly. We have attempted to include common and brief terms used when studying, researching, teaching, and discussing disputes with lawyers, attorneys, agents, sports managers, and journalists. The most basic and useful jargon specific to ADR are described as follows:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – An alternative to the normal court system that focuses on enabling parties to achieve better or similar results, with minimal direct and indirect cost.
  • Arbitration – A traditional, private process in which the parties agree to be bound by the decision of a neutral third party, the arbitrator, whose award is usually legally enforced as a court judgment.
  • Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) – An agreement written between an employer (i.e. the NFL) and a trade union (i.e. NFL players union) setting forth the terms and conditions of employment and provisions for pay rates, hours of work, sometimes the arbitration process, etc.
  • Common Law - the body of governing principles & rules of action derived from past practices, customs and traditions.
  • Conflict – A process in which people on the same team have different overall goals.
  • Conflict Resolution – A process to resolve disputes between people with different interests.
  • Damages - Is the amount of money a client recovers in a law suit such as economic damages (lost profits or income) or non-economic damages such as physical and emotional injuries.
  • Defendant – An individual, company, or institution sued or accused in a court of law.
  • Depose - To testify under an oath or by a sworn affidavit
  • Due Process - The right of notice, the opportunity to be heard and defended in orderly court proceedings and the right appeal.
  • Equal Protection of the Law - The right of equal treatment by the law and law enforcement agencies for all persons under similar circumstances.
  • Expert Determinations – A process in which an independent third party, acting as an expert rather than judge or arbitrator, is appointed to decide the dispute.
  • Injunction - A prohibitive ruling issued by a court directing a person or agency to refrain from performing a specific act.
  • Laws – Are a collection of rules and regulations that governs the affairs of a community and are enforced by a legal authority. Laws aim to provide consistent order and justice.
  • Litigation – A method of dispute settlement involving an impartial third party hearing arguments on both sides and issuing a judgment. Litigation is generally a publicly adversarial process that tends to create a winner and loser.
  • Mediation – A process through which a third party assists the disputants in finding a mutually acceptable solution.
  • MLB – Major League Baseball
  • MLS – Major League Soccer
  • NBA – National Basketball League
  • Negotiation – Direct talk among the parties about conflict, conducted with the goal of achieving an amicable resolution.
  • NFL – National Football League
  • NHL – National Hockey League
  • Ordinances - Are statutes at the local level.
  • Plaintiff – A person who initiates or institutes a case or lawsuit against another in a court.
  • Precedent - The utilization of previous court decision in judging a similar court action with comparable circumstances. Binding precedent must be followed by all courts within that system at the same or lower level while persuasive precedent can come from any court system.
  • Revenue Maximization (RM) – The goal of increasing revenues from tickets, merchandizing, broadcast rights, and other sources with a target of attaining profits.
  • Settlement Agreement – A brief document to set forth in clear and understandable language the salient terms of a negotiated agreement.
  • Stakeholder Maximization (SM) – The incorporation of the interests of the constituents (customers, fans, members, etc.) in achieving organizational goals.
  • Stare Decisis - Latin word for “to stand by things decided” so as to adhere to precedents of previous cases as sources of law.
  • Statutes - A written law passed by a legislative body or congress
  • Win Maximization (WM) – Defeating a sporting opponent as indicted by win-loss records, trophies, medals, rankings, etc.