Law of Cards: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar v. Upper Deck Trial - Day 0.5 - UPDATE

Law of Cards: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar v. Upper Deck Trial – Day 0.5 – UPDATE

UPDATE (4/12) - This morning it was announced the trial would be continued on Monday, delaying the start for a couple of days.

According to my firm's invaluable law clerk, Norry, the pregame warm-up for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar v. Upper Deck case is in the books. Starting around 9 AM this morning, the court heard arguments on the parties' motions for sanctions.

Legal translation: Both sides argued that because of bad behavior by the other side, there is no need for a trial and they should automatically win.

For the most part, these motions were denied.

Legal translation: No one gets an easy win here. The trial will go on.

There were two specific and important issues that were addressed, however. First, Jabbar's attorneys will be able to ask McWilliam questions about the Konami litigation. Abdul-Jabbar's attorneys allege they need answers to show intent. This is a win for the plaintiff because the Konami litigation involved admissions by Upper Deck of counterfeiting.

Second, the judge indicated that Abdul-Jabbar's attorneys can go after McWilliam personally under an "alter-ego theory."

Legal translation: The plaintiff is free to argue that McWilliam and Upper Deck are one in the same.

This is good for the plaintiff because the more defendants in the case (Legal translation: the more deep pockets in the case), the better.

I think it's important to note that the attorneys on both sides were cordial with each other during the hearing. There was no yelling, kicking or screaming by anyone. Contrary to most television courtroom dramas, that is the norm for such cases, and it's good to see that's what happened here.

The rest of the status conference was continued in the judge's chamber, but it sets up what should be a good case tomorrow.

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Paul Lesko is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy and the chair of its Intellectual Property Department (http://www.simmonsfirm.com). 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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