Michael Vick Analysis

Every once in a while, I have the opportunity to contribute as a guest to the Sports Law Blog.  A link to the website is under the Blogroll to the right.  The Sports Law Blog is the leading blog for sports-related legal analysis.  Both the regular contributors and guests provide keen insight on a wide variety of issues.  A recent post by Michael McCann, a law professor at Mississippi College School of Law, caught my eye.  Professor McCann, who also writes a monthly column for SI.com, opines regarding the on-going Michael Vick episode.  

Chapter 1 – Sports Agents

The first reading assignment is Chapter 1.  It pertains to sports agents, an issue that is always interesting to students.  Read the entire chapter.  However, you need only skim Exhibit 1-1 and Exhibit 1-2.  Read the entire U.S. v. Walters case. 

If you want to read more about the world of sports agents, I would recommend two additional resources.  The first is a book called The Business of Sports Agents.  The authors are Kenneth L. Shropshire (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania) and Timothy Davis (Wake Forest University School of Law).  Details about the book can be found at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0812236823/qid=1116423332/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/104-3401789-1356728?v=glance&s=books.  I own the book and have read it twice.  I published a book review about the book several years ago in the ABA’s Entertainment and Sports Lawyer.  The second resource is available online at http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1002&context=melissa_neiman.  The author has earned both a J.D. and M.D., which is a very unique combination.  I have yet to read the article, but it was recommended to me on good authority.  I plan on reading it in the coming weeks. 

Note – the two supplemental materials mentioned in the preceding paragraph are not required reading.  You will not be tested on material in either supplement that isn’t otherwise discussed in the textbook or during the lectures.  

How to Brief a Case

In anticipation of the case brief assignment (and subsequent oral defense), it is important to have some guidance on how to brief a case.  The best resource I have found to date is published by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  It can be found at http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/research/brief.html.  Make sure you understand the difference between an “appellate brief” and a “student brief.”  The assignment in HPER K511 concerns a “student brief.”  As the foregoing link explains, the student brief should contain seven elements.  They are:

1. Title/Citation

2. Facts

3. Issues

4. Decision(s)/Holding(s)

5. Reasoning/Rationale

6. Separate Opinions (Concurring and/or Dissenting)

7. Analysis

How to Read a Legal Opinion

Reading a legal opinion for the first time can be difficult.  The textbook for HPER K511 contains a number of cases.  To date, the best “how to” guide I have come across will soon be published by Orin Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University Law School.  It can be found at http://volokh.com/files/howtoread2007version.pdf.  I recommend that all students print off and read the guide before tackling the first reading assignment.  In addition, the guide will be invaluable when writing your case brief, as you will need to know the case inside out before beginning the oral defense portion of the assignment. 


I spent some time today refining the syllabus for the HPER K511 course I am teaching this semester.  I expect to post it on this website Monday afternoon.  In addition, I plan on posting the syllabus on IU’s “Oncourse” website, with instructions for all students to regularly check this website for course updates and supplements. 

Tech Update

I received some invaluable tech help from the Indiana University experts yesterday.  My laptop is now up and running with Office 2007 and my wireless connection was activated.  I am still experiencing some glitches with this website, but hope to resolve them soon.  Stay tuned…

Welcome Again

My last day as Associate General Counsel at Octagon in Washington, DC was August 17, 2007.  I arrived at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana on August 18, 2007 to commence my doctoral studies.  In addition to my pursuit of a Ph.D., I will also teach various sports law courses and assist departmental professors with their research.  In the Fall of 2007 I will be teaching HPER K511 (Sports Law) and plan on using this website as a resource for the class.