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<xTITLE>Mediation in Sports</xTITLE>

Mediation in Sports

by Keith Seat
July 2011 Keith Seat News Editor, Keith Seat, summarizes the recent application of mediation to resolve a number of high value commercial sports disputes.

  • NFL owners and players continue mediation efforts as ordered by the court, with involvement of multiple representatives from each side. BusinessWeek (June 9, 2011); WKRN (May 6, 2011)

  • Lack of mediation blamed for rejection by Major League Baseball of proposed television deal for the Los Angeles Dodgers, which may require MLB to take over the team for sale. Karl (June 30, 2011); Huffpost Los Angeles (June 20, 2011)

  • Maryland is required by state law to provide mediation to help obtain a new simulcasting agreement between Rosecraft Raceway and thoroughbred racing’s representatives, if the parties are not able to negotiate an agreement privately. If state-led mediation does not result in a deal by October 1, the law requires arbitration. Baltimore Sun (June 30, 2011)

  • A written apology and other terms reached in mediation have resolved defamation litigation by boxer Manny Pacquiao against executives of Golden Boy Promotions, although the case continues against the Mayweathers. GMA News (June 1, 2011)

  • Australia’s Arena Football League players are headed toward mediation to resolve a dispute over division of revenues after an historic meeting of players in five venues around the country. Sports News (June 29, 2011)

  • Resolutions reached earlier this year after five months of mediation over leadership of the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation have not yet been implemented, so issues continue. (June 25, 2011)

  • A horseracing dispute in Jamaica between the United Book Makers’ Association and Caymanas Track Limited over quadrupling of rights fees is heading to mediation facilitated by the government. Go-Jamaica (May 9, 2011)


Keith L. Seat is a full-time mediator and arbitrator who can effectively assist parties in resolving a wide range of telecommunications, antitrust and other commercial disputes. With over twenty years of legal experience as a mediator, arbitrator, litigator, advocate before executive branch agencies, and key staffer in the legislative and judicial branches, Mr. Seat brings a wealth of experience to his work as a mediator and arbitrator to help parties reach successful resolutions of complex disputes.

Mr. Seat began his legal career in a federal clerkship with U.S. District Judge William H. Becker, and then litigated antitrust and commercial disputes for many years at a major Washington law firm, Howrey, Simon, Arnold & White, where he first worked on telecom and technology issues. In 1993, Mr. Seat was named General Counsel of the Antitrust, Business Rights and Competition Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he served for four years, playing a significant role in the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Returning to the private sector in 1997, Mr. Seat rounded out his experience with a senior in-house counsel position at MCI, one of the nation’s largest telecommunications firms. At MCI, he gained a first-hand appreciation for the important perspective brought to issues and disputes by in-house decision-makers. Mr. Seat also deepened his knowledge of telecom issues and gained experience addressing competition-related issues in the corporate setting, as well as helping resolve disputes among large organizations.

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