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Sports Arbitration Cases and their Practical Compliance with the Code of Ethics for Arbitrators in Commercial Disputes - Essay Example

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In 1977, a joint committee of the special committee of the American Arbitration Association (AMA) and a special committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) prepared the original Code of Ethics for Arbitrators. In 2003, this was revised by an ABA Task Force and a special committee of the AAA emphasizing neutrality and construction on the conduct of arbitrators with ten canons…
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Sports Arbitration Cases and their Practical Compliance with the Code of Ethics for Arbitrators in Commercial Disputes
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Download file to see previous pages One prominent and lingering case was of the Major League Baseball's (MLB) and the Major League Umpires Association in 1999 arbitrated by Alan Symonette, chosen by both parties. The case, filed in 1999 with actual hearing from December 13 to August 29, 2000 took months for the working out of legal papers as Symonette wrote his 100-page decision.
Both parties expressed positive and negative reactions with Symonette's decision showing impartiality on his part and adherence to the canons of the code with Canon I explicitly stating "An Arbitrator should uphold the integrity and fairness of the arbitration process." Symonette proved his responsibility to both the MLB and the umpires by having their needs and disputes meet halfway as nine umpires were hired back inclusive of back pays while the 13 other umpires who were dismissed remained as they were.
Under Canon I, section F stating "An arbitrator should conduct the arbitration process so as to advance the fair and efficient resolution of the matters submitted for decision. An arbitrator should make all reasonable efforts to prevent delaying tactics, harassment of parties or other participants, or other abuse or disruption of the arbitration process," as well as Canon IV's "An Arbitrator Should Conduct the Proceedings Fairly and Diligently" under section E, "When the Arbitrator determines that more information than has been presented by the parties is required to decide the case, it is not improper for the arbitrator to ask questions, call witnesses, and request documents or other evidence, including expert testimony," Symonette have shown careful deliberation despite the lingering of the case (AP, 2005).
NBA Teams vs. Player/s
Another example of an National Basketball Association (NBA) arbitration case is that of Nate Huffman and the Toronto Raptors arbitrated by Roger Kaplan jointly approved by both parties. The case involving the termination of a three-year contract of Huffman after only six months had the team contend that Huffman did not fully disclose his medical history of his knee problems prior to signing the contract. Kaplan ruled out that Raptors have to pay the remaining $2.56 million on Huffman's terminated contract. With an implication that Huffman did inform the management about his knee problems, Kaplan have shown careful deliberation and adherence to Canon I's section E provision that "When an arbitrator's authority is derived from the agreement of the parties, an arbitrator should neither exceed that authority nor do less than than is required to exercise that authority completely. Where the agreement of the parties sets forth procedures to be followed in conducting the arbitration or refers to rules to be followed, it is the obligation of the arbitrator to comply with such procedures or rules. An arbitrator has no ethical obligation to comply with any agreement, procedures or rules that are unlawful or that, in the arbitrator's judgment would be inconsistent with this Code."
By referring to the contract signed by the Toronto Raptors and Huffman, Kaplan complied with the agreement of the parties in conducting the arbitration process. The Raptors showed unclear message by claiming Huffman did not f ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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