Category Archives: MLB

Florida Judge Voluntarily Resigns Amidst Ethics Investigation

On Thursday, March 10, 2016, Florida’s Judicial Qualifications Commission filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in state court, determining Judge John F. Lakin had formally resigned from the bench as of the previous Monday. Judge Lakin had come under fire from the Commission, which investigates and prosecutes ethical violations of state judiciary members, in the latter half of 2015 after it had been revealed he had not only accepted, but also requested, tickets to Tampa Bay Rays baseball games from a law firm contemporaneously arguing…

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“You’re Out” — Yanks Pitcher Suspended 30 Games

On Tuesday March 1, 2016, Major League Baseball announced it had suspended New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman for the first 30 games of the upcoming season. Spawning from an October domestic violence incident in which Chapman allegedly choked his girlfriend and illegally fired gunshots in his garage, the suspension comes as the first under the League’s new domestic violence policy. Chapman, through his attorney, also released a statement on Tuesday, saying he would not be appealing the suspension; although, he refused to…

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Judge Rules Baseball Game Reports Must be Turned Over

On Friday, January 29, 2016, California District Judge Joseph Spero ordered Major League Baseball to disclose game reports in minor leaguers’ proposed class action suit. The players have alleged that the MLB conspired with its 30 member teams to suppress the wages they earned. The players sought access to the game reports to show the MLB did not keep formal time records of when they worked. In response, the league argued the game reports would not be able to prove anything and therefore had no…

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Judge OKs MLB Antitrust Settlement

On Monday, January 25, 2016, a federal judge gave her approval of a settlement agreement between the MLB and sports fans over territorial blackouts and high prices for out-of-market sports packages. The suit began four years ago when a group of sports fans sued the MLB, the National Hockey League (NHL), individual clubs, Comcast, and DirecTV. According to the fans, the defendants agreed in the early 1980s to divide up the country into geographic territories so that only one or a few teams could broadcast…

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Businessman Alleges Major Leaguer Paid Human Smugglers

Gilberto Suarez — a South Florida businessman who finances the transition of foreign baseball plays to Major League Baseball  in exchange for a portion of their contract — filed suit in a Florida federal court on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 alleging that his client breached a contract and instead paid human smugglers. According to the complaint, Suarez made an arrangement with Miguel Alfredo Gonzales, a newly-defected Cuban prospect, who was in need of a sponsor. Suarez claims he agreed to pay Gonzalez’s expenses in exchange…

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Recent Antitrust Settlement a Win-Win for MLB and Sports Fans

Joseph Hanna, Chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Sports and Entertainment Law Practice Group, weighed in on a recent settlement between Major League Baseball and sports fans over territorial blackouts and high prices for sports packages. The settlement came just moments before a trial was set to begin on Tuesday, January 19, 2016. As Joe concludes in the article for Law360, “They could have gone to trial, and who knows how it would have been decided. The opportunity to settle a case and have what…

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MLB Fans’ Antitrust Suit Settles on Brink of Trial

Tuesday, January 19, 2016  was supposed to mark the beginning of a trial between sports fans and Major League Baseball (MLB) over territorial blackouts and high prices for sports packages. However, just moments before the trial was to begin, the two sides reached a settlement. The suit began four years ago when a group of sports fans sued the MLB, the National Hockey League (NHL), individual clubs, Comcast, and DirecTV. According to the fans, the defendants agreed in the early 1980s to divide up the…

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Sports Litigation and Cases to Keep an Eye on in the New Year (Part I)

2015 was a year full of highly debated controversies in the world of sports litigation. However, the debating isn’t over quite yet as some of the most notorious cases of 2015 will have litigation continuing into the new year. From “Deflategate” to the FIFA corruption scandal, this post is part one of notable sports cases you should be sure to follow in 2016. “Deflategate” Appeal Deflategate was one of the most talked about controversies in sports in 2015, as it involved allegations of the ever-popular…

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MLB, NHL, and NBA on the Hunt for Default Judgment Against Online Counterfeiters

On December 11, 2015, MLB, NHL, and NBA league affiliates filed for a default judgment in an Illinois federal court against online counterfeiters who have failed to respond to the leagues’ pleadings. League affiliates brought suit in October, seeking to prevent unidentified online counterfeiters from continuing to sell products that infringe upon their respective trademarks. Additionally, the leagues claimed $2 million in damages against each defendant retailer for trademarks that have already been infringed upon. The leagues contend that online counterfeiters — believed to be…

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MLB Commissioner Encouraging Ballparks to Extend Netting Amid Class Action

On Wednesday, December 9, 2015, Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred recommended all 30 MLB teams extend safety netting behind home plate to the end of each dugout. Currently, there is a class action lawsuit pending in a California federal court seeking to force the MLB to extend the safety netting from foul pole to foul pole. The MLB was hit with the lawsuit in July by season-ticket holder Gail Payne on behalf of all season ticket holders in currently unprotected areas of MLB…

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