Miami Law Students Advance to Semifinals at Tulane Baseball Arbitration Competition


Ryan Appel, Jamie Sadler and Josh Brandsdorfer

The adage “hard work pays off” has once again proven true. Miami Law’s moot team advanced to the semifinals of the Tulane Law’s Annual National Baseball Arbitration Competition, finishing with a 4-1 record, and ultimately placing 4th overall.

The effort and commitment of third year students Ryan Appel, Josh Brandsdorfer, and Jamie Sadler, coupled with the financial support from the Law Activity Fee Allocation Committee (LAFAC), has once again helped Miami Law establish itself as a perennial championship contender at the baseball arbitration competition.

The competition, which drew 36 teams from around the country, randomly assigned participants to represent either the team or the player in three separate salary arbitration hearings for Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals, Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago Cubs, and Josh Reddick of the Oakland Athletics. The first portion of the competition required participants to submit written briefs arguing on behalf of their assigned positions. Competitors were then ranked based on their brief scores to determine seeding for the second portion of the competition, the oral arguments.

In the oral argument portion, teams competed head-to-head against one another for each of the three hearings, and each team supported their position by creating and presenting exhibit books that highlighted the key statistics in their favor. The 8 teams with the best records advanced to day 2, which featured the quarterfinals, semifinals, and final rounds. The oral arguments were judged by various baseball professionals, including respected Major League Baseball agents and front office representatives from teams such as the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels, and the Chicago Cubs.

In the brief section of the competition, Miami Law finished 5th overall. In head-to-head oral arguments, Miami Law finished the first day of competition with a 3-0 record after beating Elon University, Florida International University, and Ave Maria School of Law in the preliminary rounds. They advanced to the second day, where they defeated Rutgers University in the quarterfinals. While they were eliminated 95-93 by a strong team from The University of Chicago-Kent in the semi-finals, their bailiff acknowledged that the Miami Law’s arguments were the best of the entire competition.

“Attending the competition was an amazing opportunity,” said Brandsdorfer. “While preparing for the competition required a lot of work, it was extremely rewarding because it was a topic that the three of us are passionate about. The fact that we made it to the semifinals showed that our in-depth understanding of the arbitration process, intense preparation, and persuasive oral arguments paid off with the judges.”

Last year’s team, which made it to the quarterfinals, also included Appel.

“I was thrilled to go back to Tulane with a great team,” said Appel. “The level of competition was better this year and I could not be more proud of our preparation, execution, and accomplishments. I have been very fortunate to have had outstanding teammates, both this year and last year, who were committed and shared my passion for the game.”

“We really appreciate the opportunity to participate in this competition,” said Sadler. “We were able to represent the school, become familiar with the baseball arbitration process, and meet some of the top people in the baseball industry. We are especially grateful to practitioners Darren Heitner, Jason Sosnovsky, and Claire Zovko, who judged our practice rounds and gave us valuable constructive criticism that ultimately helped us at the competition.”

Though this year’s competitors are graduating in May, the team remains optimistic about Miami Law’s chances at the competition going forward. “We are really proud that we were able to add to Miami’s history of strong performances at Tulane and we have no doubt that ‘The U’ will continue to field competitive teams in the future,” Appel said.