Law of Cards: Upper Deck Files for Sanctions in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Case

Law of Cards: Upper Deck Files for Sanctions in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Case

The Kareem Abdul-Jabbar v. Upper Deck battle is scheduled to go to trial on Thursday, April 12. Tomorrow, however, a hearing will take place where both sides will ask the judge to sanction the other. Abdul-Jabbar's motion for sanctions was previously discussed here.

In its most recently available filings, Upper Deck is now fighting for sanctions against the plaintiffs. Upper Deck accuses Abdul-Jabbar's attorneys of touting the "alleged" and/or "allegedly unsubstantiated" (depending on which side of this case you are on) "intoxication" of its CEO Richard McWilliam in their motions too hard. Upper Deck alleges that Abdul-Jabbar's attorneys did this, knowing that the press would seize on "the most salacious (and unsubstantiated) portions of these most recent motions."

Legal translation: First, Upper Deck vehemently disagrees that McWilliam was intoxicated at any of the depositions in this case. Second, Upper Deck accuses Jabbar's attorneys of repeatedly beating this "unsubstantiated" and irrelevant issue in its papers to win this case (or force a settlement) via "the press" rather than in the courtroom.

Upper Deck states that these actions have irreparably harmed both McWilliam and Upper Deck and, therefore, the plaintiff should be sanctioned.

The hearing will, obviously, be heated and will likely set the temperature for the trial.

I won't be surprised if the judge yells at both sides, tells them to play nice and reserves the right to sanction someone later.

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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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