Law 768 - Sports Law Simulation

Steven K. Derian

Steven K. Derian

Lecturer in Law
A.B. UC Berkeley, 1974
M.A. California State University, Long Beach, 1978
J.D. UC Hastings, 1983
UCLA Faculty Since 1987
Course Description:

This course will provide experiential opportunities for students interested in practicing in the sports industry in the United States. Each student will participate in one major experiential project over the course of the semester. For example, past students have worked with the General Counsel for the Los Angeles Dodgers and corporate counsel for Toyota to negotiate and draft a mock sponsorship agreement; other students have conducted a mock NBA player salary negotiation with the assistance of the Golden State Warriors' General Manager and an experienced agent; other students have participated in a mock Major League Baseball player salary negotiation and/or salary arbitration with the aid of an experienced agent and the Angels Assistant General Manager. Many of the meetings with the industry experts will take place outside of class hours and off-campus. Each project requires substantial written work (though the written work does not qualify for SAW credit).

This is a five unit graded course. On Tuesdays we will cover substantive legal issues pertaining to both professional and NCAA team sports in the United States. Representative issues include: labor law issues, antitrust law issues (including those raised by the collective bargaining process, player drafts, and NCAA rules), individual player-club contract issues, player-agent issues, and gender equity issues. On Thursdays, students will participate in a series of skills exercises.  Some of the exercises will be transactional in nature; students will engage in contract drafting and negotiations.  Other exercises will involve advocacy.  In conducting the advocacy exercises, students will play the role of advocate or judge in problems involving the substantive law that we will cover on Tuesdays; advocates will write briefs and engage in oral argument, and judges will preside over the argument and draft opinions.  There will also be a final examination that will count for 25% of the final grade.

This course is designed to provide relevant knowledge and experience for students interested in representing professional sports leagues, teams, sponsors, professional athletes, the NCAA, and/or NCAA student-athletes. The course is also designed for students who simply have an interest in sports and the law and are willing to work at gaining negotiation, drafting, and advocacy experience. Enrollment is limited and admission is by consent of the instructor.

Course Learning Outcomes:

1.  To learn, and to learn to apply, relevant contract, labor, antitrust, labor exemption, agent regulation, and Title IX law (to legal issues that arise in the sports industry).
2.  To spot issues in, revise, and negotiate contracts (that are common in the sports industry).
3.  To learn to make effective legal arguments both in writing and orally (in the context of current sports law issues).

Course Information:
​Faculty Term Course Section ​Schedule ​Units Requisite Satisfies SAW
Steven Derian 21S 768 LEC 1 TR 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM 5.0 No No
  Experiential course enrollment through separate process; deadline: Noon on 11/6/20. See ENROLL.LAW.UCLA.EDU. Early drop deadline: 5:00pm on 1/29/21. This course may shift to hybrid instruction (i.e., students have the option of participating in-person or remotely) at some time during the spring semester.
Textbook Information:
Textbook for Spring 2021 LEC 1
Fisher and Ury. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In   3rd ed., rev. ed.  
ISBN: 9780143118756. Penguin. REQUIRED $17.00
Fox, Charles M. Working With Contracts: What Law School Doesn’t Teach You   2nd ed.  
ISBN: 9781402410604. Practising Law Institute. REQUIRED $34.95
Weiler, et al. Sports and the Law: Text, Cases, Problems  6th ed.  
ISBN: 9781640202351. West Academic Publishing. REQUIRED $246.00