According to Hamline Law Adjunct Professor Louis Schiff, “Baseball is a highly legalistic game which involves much more than just the two teams playing. Baseball is more than just the national pastime. It is a business that affects the nation.”
This notion forms the basis of the law school course developed by Schiff – a Broward County (Fla.) court judge, Hamline Law alumnus and dedicated baseball fan – that provides a close examination of “the role attorneys have played in the formation of organized leagues and the roles they have played in labor and management.” Schiff is quick to add, however, “This is baseball, so this course will be a lot of fun.”
Twenty-five Hamline Law students – the course maximum – have registered for the course, which marks the first time such a program has been taught to law students in a major league ballpark. The two-day class will be taught in the Tom Kelly Room in the Twins’ executive offices inside Target Field. The class has been invited to remain for the evening game against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, July 20.
“All of us with the Twins are thrilled to have this opportunity to host this dynamic group of law students,” Twins President Dave St. Peter said. “We have tremendous respect for Hamline Law and look forward to future collaborations.”
According to Hamline Law Assistant Dean Dave Jarzyna, the course filled quickly. “The Twins are great partners and have been very gracious in providing this opportunity for our students,” said Jarzyna. “What better place to learn about how law intersects with baseball than right inside the executive offices of a big league club? I’m sure this will be an experience our students won’t forget.”
Particular attention will be dedicated to exploring cases involving the rights of owners and players to enter into contracts; the power of the baseball commissioner; the integration of baseball; litigation regarding ownership of balls and bats that have made their way into the stands; litigation arising under tort law for the responsibility of team owners; litigation over baseball memorabilia; and how baseball rules and gamesmanship teach players and fans the nature of judicial interpretation and function.