San Jose Will Appeal MLB Antitrust Case to Supreme Court

A week after a federal appellate court rejected San Jose’s lawsuit challenging Major League Baseball’s exemption from antitrust laws, the City Council voted to appeal the case to the highest court.

San Jose sued MLB in 2012 in an effort to eliminate territorial restrictions that the league has used to keep the Athletics from moving to the South Bay. Had MLB worked with San Jose “in good faith,” Mayor Sam Liccardo says, the South Bay would have a world-class stadium by now and millions of dollars in new tax revenue that could fund police, libraries and other city services.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig formed a committee six years ago to study the A’s relocation from the decrepit O.co Coliseum. Nothing ever came of it. San Jose felt backed into a corner—and no one puts baby in the corner!—so it decided to sue. Attorneys from the firm Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy are taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court on contingency, which means taxpayers aren’t subsidizing the lawsuit.

“Litigation was our last recourse, and the City Council knew from the outset that success would likely require a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit the 1922 decision that created MLB’s exemption from antitrust laws,” Liccardo said. “Every other professional sport in America and every other American industry must abide by antitrust laws.” He went on to add that the league’s “antiquated exception, and the sense of entitlement displayed by the league’s billionaire owners … is outrageous.”

Jennifer Wadsworth is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

10 Comments

  1. Attorneys from the firm Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy are taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court on contingency, which means taxpayers aren’t subsidizing the lawsuit.

    For me it’s not a cost issue, but one of local perception of San Jose. Oakland isn’t a city you want to steal a ball team from through a series of legal maneuvers.

    Just saying. I think Libby can take Sam in a fight.

    • So, I’m just a country boy and I don’t have any idea how these things work.

      If this fancy law firm wins, how do they get paid? Are they going to claim monetary damages? Do they expect the court to award them attorneys fees?

    • Thats NOT saying much . Scam Liccardo grew up in Saratoga , so you know he’s never been in in a real fight . put me down for $20.00 on Libby

  2. I have been following this Goofy endeavor, since Gonzales and Stone held up a misspelled sign, at Spring training.
    What is so mind Boggleing is that the whole city council voted to go for broke. Not one stood ground to negate the direction the Snake Oil Charmers are luring most knuckleheads. That is very discomforting. What’s next?
    What I see from behind my Anvil is more of the same BS, The state of the city does not need a bunch of losers bouncing about.
    What the hell is going on here. Reed gives Tom 6 million to improve the facades on San Pedro and Tom builds a look alike gas station. Can we get back to reality?

  3. What a total waste of time and money.

    Roberts states: Attorneys from the firm Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy are taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court on contingency, which means taxpayers aren’t subsidizing the lawsuit.

    Well tell me how much this city has already paid on this worthless case and how much they have already paid on land purchase and how much they have set aside to further the crap. I don’t want to here contingency I want to hear hard facts on money already spent.

    • The city of San Jose is flush with money, just this last month they paid their outside attorneys more taxpayer money to continue their lawsuit against their employees….Reaching out and building bridges with the employee groups?

  4. Is there a link to the fee contract between the City and the Cotchett firm? Has Metro/SJI sought a copy via a Public records Act request?Who pays costs? The firm’s private jet can’t be cheap.

    • That’s a question professional journalists would ask. Don’t expect an answer here.

  5. So “staying the course” is the path San Jose City Council chose to go . Take a look at the City of San Jose’s track record of when it goes to Court. It is dismal at best . both this lawsuit and the continued lawsuit over measure B ( already ruled Unconstitutional) will be thrown out . for the record , I would love to have a team here in San Jose. BUT i would love to see Reed/Liccardo eat some serious crow for what they have done and are attempting to do to San Jose