Fun with the Cubs and Lawyers

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So as you know from last night, a couple rooftop buildings, specifically the ones that are going to be blocked by the relocated right field big screen (approved by the Landmarks Commission, but whatevs), are suing the Chicago Cubs for something or other.  The document is 58 pages long (you can find a link in the previous blog introducing the lawsuit) and from my quick glance, looks like it was written like an Onion article.  So I circulated it around to some Twitter buddies.

Before I get into that, a couple of lawyer types on baseball Twitter had opinions.  Here’s Wendy Thurm:


Most folks on the Twitter machines, whether they are lawyerly or not, seem to think that the anti-trust stipulation is bunk because MLB is exempt from anti-trust regulation.

And here’s Brett at Bleacher Nation with an opinion as a former litigator as to how this got into court:

*(I know. You are reacting appropriately when you furrow your brow trying to figure out how it is unlawful for a professional sports to team to have a monopoly on selling its own tickets. The rooftops essentially make an argument that they have a right to sell tickets to Cubs games, and thus there’s a broader market for Cubs tickets, so it would thus be unlawful for the Cubs to try and fix prices among the Cubs and the rooftops. As I’ve said before: when a company’s life is on the line in litigation, any and all arguments are made. This argument, whatever its ultimate merit, does help get the case in federal court, because it is a federal cause of action not directly tied to the revenue-sharing agreement (which is, itself, subject to arbitration).)

Makes me feel like I should have become a lawyer instead of trying to cure cancer or educate disadvantaged youth!  Nah, not really.  But it sure would help me save some money when going through my taxes and mortgage issues, eh?

Anyway, friend of the blog Eric Michel had a lot of fun quips after actually going through the lawsuit.  Eric is also a lawyer (I’m pretty sure he passed the bar and gets to practice and all that).

On antitrust:

On the actual document itself:

And finally, similar to my earlier query about whether this violated the contract by taking it out of the arbitration process as well as the part where the Landmarks Commission approved everything, thus making the renovation exempt from suit:

As an update, Fangraphs has a good article recently published about the lawsuit and how the Cubs are still positioned favorably, even if potential litigation still looms.

The law is confusing. But from my general point of view, this is a last-ditch effort and if Wendy Thurm is right, then the Cubs can just keep doing what they’re doing and hopefully either settle out of court or bankrupt the rooftops in litigation.  I had a good laugh though, not that I’m feeling particularly cocky, but man, that lawsuit is written so kooky.


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About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

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