Monthly Archives: April 2011

Today’s Events – Baseball And The Law: America’s National Pastimes

Click here to watch a live webcast of the event, starting at 10:30 a.m.

The Albany Government Law Review will host its Spring 2011 symposium TODAY, Monday, April 11, 2011 from 10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.  This all-day event will include several panels discussing a variety of topics, including enhancing drug use, labor negotiations and collective bargaining, stadium development, intellectual property rights in the age of new media, player representation and contract negotiation and the history and development of free agency.

Participants to date include:

  • John Thorn, Official Baseball Historian, Major League Baseball
  • Henry D. Fetter, Author, Taking on the Yankees: Winning and Losing in the Business of Baseball
  • Joseph Gunn, New York City Corporation Counsel
  • Eric Bowman ’90, Founder and Senior Partner, Bowman Law Firm
  • Martin Schwimmer, Partner, Leason Ellis LLP
  • Moshe Bonder ’03, Regional General Counsel – Americas, CG Power Solutions USA, Inc.
  • Katherine Baynes, Partner, DLA Piper LLP
  • Michael Klein, Town Attorney, Town of Ramapo
  • David Fernandez ’92, Partner, Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP
  • JR Rickert, President and CEO, National Sports Management
  • David L. Snyder, Professor, Department of Sports Management, State University of New York College at Cortland
  • Rick Murphy, Vice President, General Manager, Partner, Tri-City Valley Cats
  • Douglas Gladstone, Author, A Bitter Cup of Coffee: How the MLB and The Players Association Threw 874 Retirees a Curve
  • Hank Domin, Sports Editor, Albany Times Union
  • Professor Paul Finkelman, President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy, Albany Law School

For details about time and room location, click here. The symposium is free and open to the public.

For additional information, contact Ian Group at 518-472-5863.



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GLR Meets MLB: Albany Government Law Review’s spring symposium, Baseball and the Law: America’s National Pastimes

Written by Brady Begeal, Topics Chair, Albany Government Law Review Member

The Albany Government Law Review’s spring symposium entitled “Baseball and the Law: America’s National Pastimes” kicked off with a provocative lecture by Professor Paul Finkelman on steroids in baseball.  His presentation, “A Contrarian View of Steroids: What’s Wrong with Being All You Can Be?” challenged many mainstream opinions and viewpoints of modern baseball players who use steroids.

Professor Finkelman began by giving the audience his thoughts on the Barry Bonds perjury trial.  He explained that the government’s prosecution of Bonds is a selective prosecution, used to make a public example of Bonds.  Finkelman went on to argue that the use of steroids in baseball is not a new phenomenon, and that players have been using drugs and performance enhancers since baseball began.  Many of the most beloved Hall-of-Famers were known to abuse illegal substances, including steroids.  Finkelman presented little-known substance abuse facts about players like Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, Keith Hernandez, Pud Galvin, and Babe Ruth.

The lecture continued with Professor Finkelman asking the audience, “Is using steroids really ‘cheating?’”  Finkelman referenced the Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa time period as the “wild, wild west” where steroids weren’t even a violation in baseball.  He also explained that amphetamines called “greenies” were readily used and accepted in baseball as a way for players to play 160 games and not burn-out.  So, is it really fair to condemn McGwire, Sosa, and others, and to exclude them from the hall of fame?

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The Fate of the Marital Union: Is DOMA Approaching Its Last Day?

Written by Lisa Alexander, Public Relations Chair, Albany Government Law Review


DOMA’s days might be numbered.  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.[1] While the DOJ will continue to appear in litigation and “represent the interests of the United States,”[2] it will no longer argue that Section 3 of DOMA is constitutional as it is applied to same-sex couples.[3] This decision has sparked heated debate and a flurry of proposed legislation.  Though riddled with controversy, the facts support that the executive made an appropriate, and arguably necessary, decision.

A Brief History of DOMA

The Defense of Marriage Act was enacted in 1996.  The crux of the current controversy is Section 3, which defines marriage as a “legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”[4] DOMA was enacted, at least in part, as a response to Hawaii’s Supreme Court decision Baehr v. Lewin.[5] In Baehr, the court found that while the applicant same-sex couples did not have a fundamental right to marry pursuant to the right to privacy, they could argue their equal protection theory on remand.[6] The possibility that homosexual men and women might attain a marriage license in Hawaii and that their home states would have to recognize the unions’ legality under the Full Faith and Credit Clause was too much for Congress to bear. DOMA easily passed through both the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.[7]

The legislative record illustrates Congress’ judgments about the definition of marriage and the morality behind it.  Some members of Congress firmly believed that marriage could only be between a man and a woman.  For instance, Representative Barr remarked that “[M]arriage throughout the entire history of not only our civilization but Western civilization has meant the legal union between one man and one woman.”[8] Others emphasized that the homosexual marriage question was a moral one, and that such marriages were morally wrong.  Representative Hoke remarked:

One of the things that was said during the debate that I think is probably the most preposterous . . .  is that Congress has no business legislating morality . . . The fact is that we legislate morality on a daily basis. It is through the law that we as a nation express the morals and the moral sensibilities of the United States, and what is morality except to decide what is right and what is wrong? That is what morality is all about.[9]

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Filed under Constitutional Law, Equal Protection, Human Rights, Matrimonial Law

Baseball And The Law: America’s National Pastimes

The Albany Government Law Review will host the symposium “Baseball And The Law: America’s National Pastimes” on Monday, April 11, 2011, from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Albany Law School.

The symposium will span a variety of topics, including stadium development, intellectual property rights in the age of new media, player representation and contract negotiation, the history and development of free agency, performance enhancing drug use, and labor negotiation and collective bargaining.

Continue reading

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Filed under Sports Law, Uncategorized