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NSU Law Professor and Co-Author Look to Hit Home Run with “Baseball and the Law” Textbook

Professor Robert M. Jarvis

Professor Robert M. Jarvis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FORT LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla.

Take me out to the ball game!
Take me out to the court room!

Ok, so maybe Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer didn’t include that last line in their classic 1908 song, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game!” But they could have, given that baseball and the law go together like peanuts and cracker jacks.

Indeed, baseball’s entire history could be told through its court cases. And now, it has been.  In a new textbook, “Baseball and the Law: Cases and Materials,” written by Robert M. Jarvis, a law professor, and Louis H. Schiff, a Broward County Court judge, baseball’s development unfolds through its many brushes with the law.

“We thought it was important for law students to know more about baseball than just box scores and statistics,” says Jarvis, a faculty member since 1987 at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law.  “With this book, professors across the country have an exciting new way to teach their students the law.”

As Jarvis and Schiff point out in their book, baseball’s legal roots stretch all the way back to 1791, when Pittsfield, Massachusetts, passed an ordinance prohibiting baseball from being played within 250 feet of the local church to protect the building’s windows. Offenders were forced to pay a fine of five shillings — the equivalent of about $25 today.

Since that early connection, baseball and litigation have become two favorite American pastimes. “Like baseball, law touches every aspect of society,” according to Jarvis.  “So what better way to prepare tomorrow’s lawyers than by studying baseball?”

Jarvis and Schiff are hoping that their book will lead the nation’s 205 law schools to add baseball law to their curricula. As Jarvis notes, “Since 1990, there have been roughly a dozen law schools that, at one time or another, have offered such a course.  But until now, every professor had to piece together his or her own materials which is a daunting task.  Our book collects everything in one place that a teacher needs to teach baseball law.”

After an introductory chapter that details the role lawyers and judges have played in baseball’s evolution, Jarvis and Schiff examine player salaries, franchise relocations, steroids, fan safety, broadcast rights, and gambling.  Other key topics covered include racial and sexual discrimination, tax planning, asset protection, bankruptcy, and the expanding use of technology.  The final chapter focuses on the legal issues surrounding amateur and youth baseball.

Published by Carolina Academic Press, the 1,040-page work, which took nearly three years to write, is encyclopedic in its scope. “We really tried to be exhaustive,” Jarvis says.  “So students will find between the covers lawsuits as old as Mahn v. Harwood, an 1878 patent dispute, and as new as City of San Jose v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, a 2015 antitrust case.  We also included a great deal of pop culture—everything from movies like A League of Their Own and Field of Dreams to characters like Charlie Brown and George Costanza.”

Professor Jarvis will be offering “Baseball and the Law” during NSU’s Summer 2016 semester (which begins May 9). To learn more about the book, please visit http://www.cap-press.com/books/isbn/9781611635027/Baseball-and-the-Law.  To contact Professor Jarvis, please email him at jarvisb@nova.edu or call him at (954) 873-9173.

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Shepard Broad College of Law: Nova Southeastern University’s College of Law offers a cutting edge, skills-centered academic program in three-year full-time and four-year part-time divisions. With its recently redeveloped clinical programs, every NSU Law student is guaranteed a live-client experience. In-house clinical studies are supplemented by full-time field placement opportunities practicing law in Florida, across the United States, or select locations throughout the globe. To solidify student success after graduation, NSU Law pioneered a curriculum on the business of lawyering through the Global Law Leadership Initiative. NSU Law students have a myriad of curricular opportunities, including a rich, diverse curriculum, concentrations in International Law or Health Law; dual degree programs abroad in Rome, Barcelona, or Prague; dual degree programs at many of NSU’s 17 colleges; and much more.  For more information, please visit: www.law.nova.edu/

About Nova Southeastern University (NSU): Located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional degree levels. A private, not-for-profit institution with more than 26,000 students, NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, while maintaining a presence online globally. For more than 50 years, NSU has been awarding degrees in a wide range of fields, while fostering groundbreaking research and an impactful commitment to community. Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is 1 of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification, and is also the largest private, not-for-profit institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education’s criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. Please visit http://www.nova.edu/ for more information about NSU and realizingpotential.nova.edu for more information on the largest fundraising campaign in NSU history.

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