I was interested in the Baseball Arbitration Class & Competition mainly because I grew up playing baseball, and saw this as an opportunity to combine my passion for the law with my personal love of sports.
Thankfully, we had a really cohesive team that prepared thoroughly before and during our trip. That preparation led to us performing very well – and reaching the semifinals – against tough competition from other schools from across North America. Luckily, both my employer and Spring Semester professors were very accommodating and supportive in allowing me to go to New Orleans.
My biggest takeaway will be learning how to become a better oral advocate for clients. That opportunity to listen, analyze, and respond to opposing counsel arguments effectively was a tremendous experience I look forward to applying in the legal profession.
I became involved in the International Baseball Arbitration Competition by enrolling in the baseball arbitration course held in Camden. I currently attend Rutgers Law School at the Newark location, but completed the baseball arbitration class at the Camden campus. This was my first experience at the Camden campus (as well as my first trip to New Orleans) and both were incredibly memorable.
I walked in the first day of class with very limited knowledge about the Detroit Tigers, Michael Fulmer, or baseball in general. However, over the span of a week, I completely immersed myself in the topic and developed a love for the game.
The class culminated with a mock arbitration, held in front of a panel of three judges, where my partner and I zealously argued on behalf of our client, Michael Fulmer, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. I prepared for the oral argument by composing a brief, creating PowerPoint visuals, and conducting research outside of the classroom.
Both the class and competition were incredibly exciting and engaging experiences. I had the opportunity to not only learn about baseball arbitration, which is a very unique form of alternative dispute resolution, but also work with phenomenal coaches and experts in the field. I would recommend participating in this course and competition to any law student with an interest in gaining hands-on experience in a fascinating area of law.
James B. Sullivan
I previously took a Sports Law class with Dean Andrews, which I enjoyed. So, that influenced my decision. Additionally, I enjoy sports in general, and baseball specifically. So, I jumped at the opportunity to combine my affinity for sports with a competition setting that would sharpen my oral advocacy skills.
Preparation consisted of things applicable to most moot court/arbitration competitions, e.g. drafting briefs, studying statistical charts (evidence), reviewing prior arbitration results (case law), outlining our argument, and anticipating opposing counsel's arguments in order to rebut their assertions.
Our coaches and faculty were great. Obviously, their knowledge of baseball and oral advocacy was superior. Their biggest piece of advice was to focus on knocking the rebuttal out of the park (pun intended) as the rebuttal is often where a case is won or lost.
The experience was great. The faculty, coaches, and teammates were all phenomenal. Tulane was a gracious host and the judges were all very accommodating in sharing their knowledge of baseball, arbitration proceedings, contracts, etc.
I am a part-time student with a full-time job, a wife, and two children. So, it was tricky finding time for this competition. Recognizing the value of this unique opportunity, I decided to take a couple of vacation days at work to make the trip. Most importantly, my wife, she stepped up and shouldered the load at home in my absence like the rock star she is.
The ability to formulate a cogent argument and advocate persuasively is a necessary and valuable skill in the practice of law. I don't know if I'll ever participate in sports litigation in the future, but the skills learned and applied during this process are extremely transferable.