The team of Dan DaSilva, Calvin Jonker, and Jacob Martin, all second-year law students, placed 8th out of 36 teams in the 2018, 11th Annual Tulane International Baseball Arbitration Competition in New Orleans, held at Tulane University Law School. The team was also recognized with the “Best Oral Advocacy Award,” placing it first among all teams. An amazing feat considering the team competed in three less rounds than the semi-finalists and finalist teams. The Pepperdine Law team clearly made a strong impression on the arbitrators.
Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law LL.M. Candidate and attorney Jeremy Evans coached the Pepperdine team, who attended the annual competition as either a coach or competitor for the 9th time. Evans coached the 2012 Championship team and brought in former competitors and now practicing lawyers James Hess and Daniel Nguyen to provide feedback and insight prior to the competition. Second-year law student Nolan Dilts was instrumental in helping the team prior to leaving for the Big Easy.
In the first round on Thursday, the Pepperdine Law team beat the team from Vermont Law School and the arbitrator was Dave Prouty, former Major League Baseball Players Association (“MLBPA”) General Counsel and now a consultant to the MLBPA.
In the second round, the Pepperdine Law team beat the team from Catholic University Law School in Washington, D.C. with Alex Winsberg, General Counsel of the Los Angels of Anaheim as the arbitrator.
In the third round, the Pepperdine Law team lost by one-point to former champion and eventual finalist in this year’s competition, Pace University School of Law. The score of 97-96 was likely the highest in the competition. However, by Thursday evening, both teams advanced to the quarter finals. The arbitrator was Cayce Peterson, an attorney in New Orleans and co-founder of the competition eleven years ago.
On Friday, in the quarter finals, the Pepperdine Law team lost to Brooklyn Law School with the player agent arbitrators of Scott Pearson and Jay Reisinger. The team lost by one-point and did not advance to the semi-finals.
The University of Virginia School of Law won the competition for the second time. The rounds consisted of club versus player, specifically Ken Giles, relief pitcher for the Houston Astros, Jake Lamb, third baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Michael Wacha, starting pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. The team also wrote four ten-page briefs and had to prepare and utilize substantial exhibits.
The Pepperdine community should be extremely delighted with the team’s work ethic and results. It is of note that the team’s flight was canceled at 5:00 a.m. the morning of a 7:20 a.m. flight departure because of snow and below 20 degree weather in New Orleans. The team, through a little faith and prayer, rallied and after being routed through Austin, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri, arrived in New Orleans for the Wednesday night networking mixer and of course the competition described above the following day. Thankfully a direct flight on the way home provided for well-needed rest. The team will be back next year to compete again.