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Friday, February 27, 2015
Legal aftermath of Adrian Peterson decision

In a new Sports Illustrated article, I write about the legal consequences to U.S. District Judge David Doty vacating an aberration award in favor of the NFL's suspension of Adrian Peterson and the NFL swiftly petitioning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit for review.


I question whether this as an "arbitration" and therefore whether the rules governing review of arbitrators' awards is applicable in this context. The union and the league haven't agreed to arbitration, but rather they have agreed that a player can appeal a commissioner's decision back to the commissioner for reconsideration. Henderson is merely the commissioner's designee. And I don't believe Judge Doty's ruling is based upon the law governing challenges to arbitrators' rulings.

Moreover, if the Eighth Circuit looks at the commissioner's (or his designee) review of his own decision on appeal as an agreed upon "arbitration," the union could argue that it violates the Federal Arbitration Act (which governs arbitration agreements). Many courts have held that a provision in an arbitration agreement in which one party is permitted to select the arbitrator is unconscionable, and therefore invalid.

Anonymous Rick Karcher -- 2/27/2015 4:51 PM  

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