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Duke Law School will host a panel discussion focused on the labor issues impacting professional sports leagues this Friday, Oct. 29, 2004 . The dialogue, entitled "Labor Strife & Economics: The Present & Future of the National Hockey League," will be held in Room 3043 from 4-6 p.m. , and a brief reception will follow. Sponsored by the Duke Sports and Entertainment Law Society, in conjunction with the Law School ’s Business Law Society and Fuqua's Sports & Entertainment Business Association , the event is free and open to the public.


The National Hockey League (NHL) entered into a player “lockout” on September 15 th, 2004 , putting the scheduled 2004-05 season in serious jeopardy.

According to ESPN, the NHL contends that rising average salaries, which have grown from $733,000 in 1994-95 to $1.83 million in 2003-04, have largely contributed to league-wide losses of $1.8 billion over the last ten years. As a result, the league’s representatives have temporarily suspended all games until a new, more economically viable collective bargaining agreement can be reached. Almost 25% of the NHL’s players have signed on with European clubs for the upcoming season, signaling that this work stoppage is not a temporary setback in negotiations but may represent a serious crossroads for North America’s 4 th largest team sports association.

The Panel

Friday’s event will focus on labor disputes and, in particular, the financial implications and legal intricacies surrounding the NHL's collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Panelists representing a wide range of opinions on these matters include:

  • Jim Lites, President of the Dallas Stars (NHL)
  • Jim Cain, former President & COO of the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL)
  • Robert Batterman, a senior partner at Proskauer Rose who is directly involved in the current National Hockey League and Major League Soccer CBA negotiations
  • Richard Berthelsen, General Counsel for the NFL Players Association
  • Jeffrey Mishkin, a partner at Skadden, Arps and former executive vice-president and chief legal officer of the NBA.

Duke Law Professor Paul Haagen, an expert in sports law and advisor to numerous premiere athletes who have graduated from Duke, will serve as moderator.

Initial questions for the panel include the ramifications of the present lockout, and its larger impact on the league's future and profitability. The panel will also examine broader labor issues in professional sports leagues such as the NFL, the NBA, and Major League Baseball.

For more information, please contact Teddy Schwarzman, vice president of speakers and events, Duke Sports and Entertainment Law Society, 917-301-5077,