By Jeffrey S. Kravitz, Esq.

Marvin Miller died and there will be obituaries in most media outlets for this pioneer. His contribution to the profession was summed up by former All-Star third baseman Ron Cey, who I heard speak the other night. Cey is now an executive with the Dodgers and the discussion was about the how the game had changed over the course of the years. His immediate response was "Thank God for Curt Flood," the courageous player who challenged the baseball reserve clause. Before the legal challenge, players basically had to either accept management’s contract or withhold their labor.

Well, without Marvin Miller, there would have been no Curt Flood. As head of the players’ union, he directed and supported that fight, resulting in what are now record breaking salaries. What also needs to be pointed out is that baseball itself has prospered, growing from a $10 billion business in 1995 to a gross receipts business of over $30 billion last year. Miller had what has been described as the demeanor of an accountant and that in part allowed the American public to view him as a sane representative of (high priced) labor, rather than as a bomb thrower. The greatest player….obviously Jackie Robinson, but how many kids have baseball cards with union leaders on them?  

By Jeffrey S. Kravitz and Sekou Campbell

According to the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, the NFL has reached a tentative agreement to end its lockout of the referees. 


Ed Hochuli, whom Jeff Kravitz has worked with (as a lawyer not a ref), reads “Rules. Lots of Rules.” This year, during the lockout, Hochuli even held a boot camp during the NFLRA’s negotiations with the NFL. So, the professional officials will likely be ready when they return tonight to don the zebra stripes in the Ravens v. Browns game. The NFL no doubt values its referees, but this labor dispute begs a larger question: How does a sports league, worth billions of dollars, valuate referees in the marketplace?



Referee valuation poses a set of issues distinct even from player strikes or lockouts because referees gain value when they lose prominence. When a referee or umpire calls a “perfect” game, they rarely do or should get mentioned.  Their “invisibility,” however, challenges their sports league employers to come up with a workable economic model for their market. Perhaps sports leagues now have the information they need to appropriately evaluate the market strength of invisibility.


By Jeffrey S. Kravitz, Esq.

The NFL is clearly struggling with substitute referees. Over the weekend, one such was removed from a New Orleans Saints game because he was a Saints fan. CBS Morning News today featured the controversy and the outcry re the integrity of the game.Same with judges. It is axiomatic that good judges make better decisions overall than bad ones. In California, the state judiciary is struggling with severe budget cutbacks. All suffer. I sat through four hours of court time as a judge was forced to do a double law and motion schedule due to furlough days. He performed heroically, but the State has to come up with more money for the courts to ensure the integrity of the process.


 Scott Weston contributed to this post. 

 On May 5, 2010, reported that Dwyane Wade’s estranged wife file an emotional distress suit against actress Gabrielle Union. Wade and his wife are in the middle of a heated divorce.


Some belief that the lawsuit is nothing short of pure harassment and leverage.  She tried the same claims within the divorce and failed.   She will have a difficult time proving up her case, especially since the divorce alone and major custody battle would be the primary cause of any child’s stress at their age.   The wife has already failed to follow court’s orders in the divorce and is facing a difficult custody battle.  


Can you imagine losing custody to an athlete whose time commitment and demands are so great?  You would have to be a complete disaster to face such a risk.  She may be concerned the Court may put the kids with Dwayne and has sour grapes against this gal because she actually may have a good relationship with her kids.  Maybe she hopes to cause a rift between Wade and his girlfriend by dragging her into litigation and hoping she says to Wade she can’t stand it.  The lawsuit may be short lived.