Law of Cards: Upper Deck Slams Distributor in Lawsuit Response

Law of Cards: Upper Deck Slams Distributor in Lawsuit Response

Two months ago, J&T Hobby sued Upper Deck, alleging that UD fraudulently violated a distribution agreement the two companies had shared for over 15 years. UD filed its response to the lawsuit on October 11 and came out with its guns blazing.

UD attacks J&T's complaint for being "uncertain, ambiguous, and unintelligible," for failing to provide an adequate factual basis for the claims made, and for filing after the statute of limitations expired.

Legal translation: "Judge, we have no idea what the heck J&T is saying. There's no support for anything. And, from what we think J&T is saying, this action is a couple years too late."

In its filings, UD states that "[t]his action stems from a fifteen year business relationship" where UD would manufacture and sell goods to J&T, and J&T would distribute them throughout the United States. UD claims this lawsuit is a "transparent effort [by J&T] to ignore their payment obligations to Upper Deck." UD is also ticked that the lawsuit "vindictively and improperly" names UD's CEO Richard McWilliam as a defendant.

Within its filings, UD also informs the court that J&T's lawsuit is not the first (or allegedly even most relevant) lawsuit between the parties because UD filed a lawsuit against J&T on November 7, 2011, seeking payment from J&T for two years of missed payments. In that case UD is seeking $1.5 million in damages. UD has filed a motion for default judgment.

Legal translation: "Hey judge, we are already suing these guys for breach of contract, and we think we're about to win. This case is just pointless retaliation."

A hearing on UD's motions in the J&T v UD case is currently set for December 21. Given the variety of issues, it will be an interesting hearing.

To view UD's filings, click on the below links.

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Paul Lesko is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy and the chair of its Intellectual Property Department ( Don’t hold the fact that Paul is a lawyer against him, he’s also a rabid baseball and college basketball fan, and an avid baseball card collector. Paul can be found on Twitter @Paul_Lesko and Google+.

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