Wednesday, January 15, 2014
A-Rod case: Where’s the motion for an injunction?
By Steve Kallas (posted by Rick Morris)
As everybody knows by now, it really hit the fan with Alex Rodriguez’s legal team filing a complaint in federal court in Manhattan against Major League Baseball (“MLB”) (and Commissioner Bud Selig) and the MLB Players Association.
While little attention has been paid to the Complaint (the overwhelming majority of coverage has gone to the now-public Fredric Horowitz arbitration decision (with no redactions)), it seems to this writer that something was missing with the papers filed; that is, a motion for a preliminary injunction (or a stay of the arbitrator’s suspension decision; we’ll go with injunction for the rest of this article).
Make no mistake, without such a filing, this Complaint, in and of itself, doesn’t offer A-Rod a chance to actually play baseball come Opening Day.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
According to a number of published reports prior to Monday’s filing, A-Rod’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, said that A-Rod’s legal team would be filing for an injunction this past Monday. Apparently, no motion papers for an injunction were filed yesterday.
Well, according to Ken Davidoff and Rich Calder in the New York Post:
“Team A-Rod didn’t file for an injunction as threatened, attorney
Joseph Tacopina said Monday, because such action wouldn’t be
necessary until the start of the regular season – the Yankees
start their schedule on April 1 – and there is hope this case can
resolved by then.”
Wow! Let’s look at those two reasons.
THE CASE MIGHT BE RESOLVED BY THEN?
What? There is zero chance, it says here, that this case can be resolved by April 1 with the result that A-Rod is allowed to play on April 1. It’s hard to believe that Joe Tacopina would be making such laughable statements.
Could it be that there has been some discussion between MLB and A-Rod’s people that would result in a suspension of less than 162 games to make everything go away? You know, 100 games, 125 games, 150 games?
That’s the only possibility this writer can come up with.
SUCH ACTION WOULDN’T BE NECESSARY UNTIL THE START OF THE REGULAR SEASON (APRIL 1)?
Well, clearly A-Rod’s lawyers aren’t going to wait until April 1 to file a motion for an injunction. Since January 13 (the day the complaint was filed) is literally only 78 days away from Opening Day, it says here that the lawyers really can’t wait very long. In fact, if they wait until, say, March 1 to file papers, a judge will very likely say you filed your complaint back on January 13 and you waited until now to file a motion for a preliminary injunction?
It says here that a motion for a preliminary injunction has to be filed sooner rather than later.
Just the motion papers alone take time (as in a few weeks): that is, A-Rod files his motion for a preliminary injunction, the responding defendants (at least MLB and the commissioner, maybe the Players Association (that will be interesting)) then have a certain amount of time to answer. Then A-Rod’s lawyers file a reply brief and, possibly, the responding defendants may request to file a sur-reply brief, which is usually only allowed at the judge’s discretion.
After that, the judge can order (if he wants) oral argument on the motion or even a hearing with specific witnesses.
As you can imagine, this all takes time.
SO, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Again, as this case file (as of Monday, January 13) has no motion filed for a preliminary injunction, this complaint alone cannot get A-Rod on the field by opening day. A motion has to be made for such relief and it says here that a preliminary injunction motion should be made sooner rather than later.
We’ll see what happens next.
@ COPYRIGHT 2014 BY STEVE KALLAS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED