Law of Cards: Judge Says the UD v UD Show Will Go On

Law of Cards: Judge Says the UD v UD Show Will Go On

As we reported two weeks ago, Upper Deck International (UDI) filed a motion to stay the Upper Deck v. Upper Deck saga for six months in view of its Netherlands bankruptcy proceeding. Well, the court did not like that motion, and denied it.

Legal translation: The UD v. UD Jerry Springer Show will go on.

Maybe.

As the court stated, "Whether UDI chooses to proceed is, of course, up to UDI and its lawyers. But if it does, the parties must comply with the dates set in Magistrate Judge Crawford's May 23 order."

UDI is now in an awkward position. It's bankruptcy representative in the Netherlands said it will no longer pay for the case but the judge is saying the case must go forward. And, as most people know, lawyers typically don't work for free. So, what does this mean for the heated case?

Unless UDI can get approval to pay for the case, or can find a way to go forward on this matter on some type of contingency, it's likely going to end abruptly.

It's too bad because this was such an entertaining case.

I think the court might have been just a little bit ticked about having just written a 25-page order ruling in UDI's favor, and now, finding out it was all for naught. In discussing whether UDI was "likely to prevail on the merits" (a factor the court considered to see if a stay was warranted) the court commented:

UDI hasn't shown that it is likely to prevail, and for a simple reason: UDI doesn't even allege that UDC's counterfeiting was designed to interfere with or disrupt UDI's Konami contract. In fact, that allegation would be nonsensical because UDC's counterfeiting was self-destructive. Konami sued UDC over it. Because of this pleading deficiency, UDI can't establish that its tortious interference claim is likely to succeed on the merits. And this means a stay is unwarranted.

Legal translation: When a judge uses the word nonsensical about one of your claims, that's not a good sign.

So, despite this case being a powder keg of name-calling, it's likely going to fizzle out.

I don't know about you, but I'm going to miss this case.

And in case you're curious and like reading official legal documents, here's the four-page denial.

The information provided in Paul Lesko's "Law of Cards" column is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered in the sports industry. This information is not intended to create any legal relationship between Paul Lesko, the Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC or any attorney and the user. Neither the transmission nor receipt of these website materials will create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the readers.

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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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