Building Best Practices…and Some Baseball too

I posted two articles on SSRN this past week–an oldie but goodie (as John has phrased them) and a new book chapter with co-bloggers Jill Gross and John Lande.

The oldie is an article I wrote in 2001 called Baseball Diplomacy examining how Major League Baseball was involved with Cuba (trying to play games there, recruiting, etc.) and the evolution of U.S.-Cuban relations vis-a-vis the sport.  Now that we are normalizing relations, I expect that much more baseball diplomacy will occur.

The book chapter, Teaching Students to Be Problem-Solvers and Dispute Resolversis part of the Building on Best Practices anthology due to be published this spring by Lexis.  As editor Deborah Maranville posted last month on the Best Practices for Legal Education blog:

The book is a follow up to CLEA’s Best Practices for Legal Education, the 2007 volume by Roy Stuckey and others that inspired this blog.  Like Best Practices, this book will be distributed for free to legal educators.  Lexis has promised to make it available in electronic format through their e-book library and to provide print copies on request.  Look for it in four to six months — if all goes smoothly perhaps in time for the AALS Clinical Legal Education Conference in early May.

The coverage of Building on Best Practices is wide-ranging.  To quote from the Introduction, “[t]his volume builds on the call to link mission and outcomes; emphasizing the themes of integrating theory, doctrine and practice, developing the broader spectrum of skills needed by lawyers in the twenty-first century, and taking up the question how best to shift law school cultures to facilitate change.”

Advance praise for the book has included:

  • “[M]ilestone in legal education . . . that legal educators will rely on as much as . . . on the first Best Practices book.”  (Patty Roberts, William & Mary)

  • “Educational for folks who don’t know much about experiential education and insightful for those who do. . . .Really something to be proud of . . . an invaluable resource to schools as they go to work on implementing the ABA’s new requirements for learning outcomes and assessment. . .The perfect product coming out at the perfect time.” (Kate Kruse, Hamline)

I wrote the first part of the chapter on Best Practices in Teaching ADR and Jill and John wrote the second half of the chapter focusing on Practical Problem-Solving.  Our abstract is:

No matter what area of law students might end up practicing, dispute resolution and practical problem solving (ADR and PPS) will play a central role. Litigators resolve far more cases through voluntary processes than through trial. Transactional lawyers negotiate the terms of a deal. Government lawyers often are called to resolve interagency disputes and claims against the government. Defense attorneys and prosecutors routinely negotiate plea arrangements. In-house counsel work both internally and externally to resolve conflicts on behalf of their company.

Reports on what lawyers should know, including the MacCrate Report and Educating Lawyers, regularly list problem-solving, negotiation, and dispute resolution as skills that lawyers should have. Best Practices for Legal Education called for law schools to educate students in problem-solving and in practical wisdom, in order to solve clients’ problems effectively and responsibly.

Law schools can, and many do, educate future lawyers in the knowledge, skills, and values inherent in the problem-solving approach in two ways. The first is to develop a specific and distinct Alternative Dispute Resolution curriculum. It is a best practice for every law school to make such courses available to every law student. The second is to incorporate the problem-solving orientation and skills throughout the curriculum. This is an emerging best practice. Both are addressed.

Hope that our colleagues find these helpful.  Happy reading!

One thought on “Building Best Practices…and Some Baseball too”

  1. As a huge baseball fan it has been interesting to see how teams treat Cuban players especially now with the political tensions lessening. After years of hearing horror stories surrounding the defection of players and their travels to the U.S., Leonys Martin and Jose Fernandez come to mind initially. Martin was subject to extortion and kidnapping and Fernandez dodged bullets. These type of stories are the norm, but the pay off is worth it, the Cuban players that have come over have mostly been exceedingly successful in the Major Leagues and signed huge contracts.
    On Feb. 23rd of this year the Red Sox were willing to wager 31.5 million dollars that Yoan Moncada would be successful, he is 19. Many American players feel that this type of money for a kid out of high school is absurd since the amount of money they can make is limited by the MLB through the draft.
    It would seem the MLB and individual teams would both be interested in having a more workable system in place both for the players and the teams. It is in no ones interest to put these players who are worth millions of dollars at risk to get to America. Nor is it fair to equally talented players from America to be limited in the amount of money they can make on their first contract when Cuban players are not so limited. (Teams are limited in the total amount of bonus money they can spend internationally, therefore these types of signings are limited by any individual team). In Boston’s case they had exceeded their bonus allotment and therefore paid a 100% tax to MLB of 31.5 million. Therefore they really invested around 63 million in Moncada.

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