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3d DCA Watch -- There's No Depos in Baseball!



Well, in today's key bunker utterance, there apparently are non-party depos in baseball:
In the lawsuit below, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball alleged that eight defendants tortiously interfered with contracts between the Commissioner and the Major League Players Association, including collective bargaining agreements that prohibited the use of certain performance-enhancing drugs. The complaint alleged that the defendants participated in a scheme to distribute the drugs to players, resulting in damages to the Commissioner.  Although not parties to the lawsuit, Sucart and Gomez were subpoenaed to be deposed. In response, they filed various motions for protective orders to quash the subpoenas.

In resisting the subpoenas, Sucart and Gomez argued that the resolution of the tortious interference claims will require the trial court to interpret the collective bargaining agreements, and that these claims are therefore preempted by Section 301 of the federal Labor Management Relations Act. 29 U.S.C. § 185. 
Ok, I'm getting a little sick of preemption arguments -- they seem to be everywhere, and allegedly applicable to everything -- surely there must be something for our local courts to do besides determine that there are other, better forums for any particular dispute to be resolved.

Still, this one does have some surface appeal.

What did the Robustly Robed Ones hold?

Hiding relying at least partially on the high standard of review, the 3d said "game on":
The instant lawsuit is not between parties to the collective bargaining agreement over the collective bargaining agreement. Instead, it is a lawsuit between one party to the collective bargaining agreement and various third parties over a tort. The collective bargaining agreement is, at best, ancillary to the plaintiffs’ cause of action. In this context, it is significant that Sucart and Gomez have failed to identify any specific provision of the collective bargaining agreement which is in dispute and which will need to be construed as part of this lawsuit. In fact, it is alleged in the second amended complaint that certain parties to the agreement have already admitted that the use of performance enhancing substances violated the collective bargaining agreement and that some Major League Baseball players acknowledged breaching the agreement in this regard.

Accepting these allegations as true, as we must at this stage of the proceedings, it would appear that little or no interpretation of the agreement would be necessary to resolve the Commissioner’s claims here, and certainly not to the degree that the claims would be preempted by Section 301.
This is an interesting case  -- no doubt we will be hearing more about it in the near future.

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