Law of Cards: Court Filing Hints End of Upper Deck v Upper Deck

Law of Cards: Court Filing Hints End of Upper Deck v Upper Deck

It does not happen very often, but sometimes legal documents that look boring contain rather exciting statements. For example, take a recently filed document from the Upper Deck v. Upper Deck case entitled STIPULATION AND JOINT MOTION TO EXTEND DISCOVERY AND OTHER PRE-TRIAL PROCEEDINGS.

Legal translation and generalization of document title: Hey Judge, even though this is a lawsuit, and it looks like we hate each other in our filings, we're holding hands now and jointly asking for more time to meet the next few deadlines. I mean, this case is really tough and all, and we're asking nicely, so, please? Don't worry, we'll go back to arguing later. But for now, just a little more time please? Thanks, Judge! You rock!

Normally, I don't read parties' requests for extensions of time because, well, they're filed all the time and rarely say more than "this case is hard" and "we need more time" and "we're asking nicely and together, so pretty please?"

But, this is UD v UD, so I decided to check this document out.

Legal translation: Actually, it's been a really slow couple weeks for legal filings in the trading card world, and the brief I'm drafting in another case is so boring, so, I needed a quick break.

The UD court document started off as expected with the normal mumbo-jumbo like "this case involves an international dispute" (legal translation: this case is hard) and "the parties believe that more time is necessary to allow them to complete discovery and all other pre-trial proceedings…" Legal translation: we need more time.

But then, BAM!

…also, considering Defendant Mr. William's passing, the parties also wish to schedule a settlement conference with Magistrate Judge Crawford at the end of February 2013, to determine whether at this stage the parties’ dispute can be settled and much of the further costs of further litigation and discovery may be avoided.

Huh, what? You guys are giving up?

Two quick thoughts about this paragraph. First, it's Mr. McWilliam not Mr. William.

Second, is it just me, or is there an implication that now that Richard McWilliam is no longer involved in the case, that the Upper Decks can probably wrap it up? Are they implying McWilliam was the reason the case went on as long as it did?

A pretty good read for a document I almost didn't download!

We'll have until early March to see if this document's hint about the official end of UD v UD is correct. I suspect that the next joint document the Upper Decks will be working on will not be an extension of time, but rather will be called "settlement agreement."

Selfishly, what this document really means to me is that from now on I'm going to have to download and read every filing in every trading card case. Because who knows what hidden gems could be buried among the legalese?

Ugh.

If I'm going to do that, Topps, Upper Deck, Panini, Leaf, etc, please, please, please try and spice up your filings. Please!

You can read the latest document here.

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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