Copyright (c) 2010 Seton Hall Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law
Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law
ARTICLE: FINAL-OFFER "BASEBALL" ARBITRATION: CONTEXTS, MECHANICS & APPLICATIONS
SETON HALL JOURNAL OF SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW
20 Seton Hall J. Sports & Ent. L. 85
Benjamin A. Tulis*
Final-offer arbitration limits an arbitrator to choosing a final offer made by one of the parties involved in an arbitration proceeding. 1 Conventional arbitration, on the other hand, allows an arbitrator to make an unrestricted settlement choice without the prior submission of offers by the disputants. 2
The most discussed use of final-offer arbitration is its application in Major League Baseball ("MLB") salary arbitration. Because of its long-term presence and apparent success, final-offer arbitration is sometimes referred to as "Baseball Arbitration." 3 Major League Baseball is unique in that final-offer arbitration is used solely to select a specific salary that is then inserted into a players existing contract. 4 But final-offer arbitration has also been utilized in other contexts, such as public employment, a context in which final-offer arbitration is sometimes codified to resolve bargaining impasses. 5 Although state statutes governing arbitration may share certain goals, the execution of these public employment statutes is inconsistent.
Final-offer arbitration is typically utilized in "interest" arbitration. Interest arbitration involves submitting disputes that arise from a disagreement over what terms or conditions to include in an agreement. Public employment interest arbitration involves the arbitration of disputed terms of a collective bargaining agreement, such as wages or health insurance benefits. Salary arbitration in MLB is a unique form of interest arbitration in that it deals with a player's individual contract, rather than the terms of the league's collective bargaining agreement. This paper will analyze final-offer ...
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