City of San Jose seeks to depose Stand for San Jose

Update 9/5 10:30 AM – If you haven’t seen it yet, the Merc’s John Woolfork has picked up the story and gotten quotes from San Jose City Attorney John Doyle.

Activity regarding the astroturf group Stand for San Jose‘s lawsuit challenging the A’s Diridon land deal appears to have picked up in the last week, as the respondents, the City of San Jose and the A’s, have submitted a request to depose Stand for San Jose and its members. I’ve uploaded a copy of the motion (6 MB PDF) for your perusal.

The thrust of the City’s argument is that it complied with S4SJ’s numerous information requests, while asserting that it has the right to request information about S4SJ’s inner workings to determine if S4SJ has standing. The motion asks for relevant documents related to the operation of S4SJ, as well as a person to represent the group in a deposition. This maneuver comes after repeated requests made by the City for this information. Through attorney Geoffrey L. Robinson from the A’s-hired firm Perkins Coie, the motion asks for some in-depth information.

The matters on which the deponent will be examined include the following:

  1. The standing of Stand for San Jose to assert any or all of the claims raised in the First Amended Petition in this case.
  2. The nature of the beneficial interest held by Stand for San Jose in the subject matter of this litigation and the extent to which those interests differ from those of the general public.
  3. The origin and formation of Stand for San Jose.
  4. The organizational purpose, structure, functions and activities of Stand for San Jose.
  5. The governance, direction, control and/or leadership of Stand for San Jose.
  6. Taxes paid by Stand for San Jose to the City of San Jose or any other public entity.
  7. The funding or financing of Stand for San Jose’s activities.
  8. The legal or financial relationships between Stand for San Jose and its members and/or any persons or entities funding or controlling its activities.
  9. Any actual or proposed use of this litigation to impose regulatory burdens on the City or Real Party in Interest.
  10. The “fees and costs, including reasonable attorneys” fees and expert witness costs” (sic)…

Named individuals in the motion include Michelle Brenot, Robert Brown, Karen Shirey, Fred Shirey, Robert Shield, and Eileen Hannan, who initially didn’t know she’d be a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Just in case you’re wondering where her allegiances lie, here’s her Facebook profile picture.

At least we know where Ms. Hannan “stands”

The challenge is a technical one – if the plaintiffs don’t have standing, the suit can be dismissed. S4SJ claims they have standing by the nature of the suit (originally an EIR challenge). The tax issue is interesting, in that the City is arguing that if the plaintiffs aren’t taxpayers in San Jose they have no standing. The motion will be made on September 21 at 9 AM. (Come on people, I’m supposed to be in an iPhone 5 line at that time! You’re killing me.)

Seriously, this is the first real sign that the legal team that the A’s were assembling in the spring is breaking out some weapons to use in could be a lengthy legal battle. Could the lawsuit blow up if it’s found that the Giants were behind the whole thing (snicker)? I guess we’ll find out.

P.S. – I look forward to reading the various lawyers’ assessments of this motion in the comments. Also – I’m not a lawyer or legal reporter, so forgive my butchery of the legalese.

87 Responses to City of San Jose seeks to depose Stand for San Jose

  1. Mossback says:

    Ballparks and other sports venues are frequent anchors of redevelopment projects in California and elsewhere because the stimulus they provide to local economies and the ripple effects they set off in revitalization. Look at the effects that Phone Booth Park is producing for the nice people of Frisco in terms of housing, entertainment, and other employment-related activities. It’s not necessary to have a precise figure in advance, that’s what expert witness economists are for.

  2. Sid says:

    When the Raiders and Los Angeles Coliseum sued the NFL in Anti-trust court in the 1980s to relocate the franchise there they won hands down. Why?

    The jury ruled by “Rule of Reason” the Raiders should be allowed to relocate to LA despite every owner in the NFL voting against the move.

    What is Rule of Reason? In this case the jury ruled that the NFL has the right to geographically disperse its teams the way it sees fit but it must be done against a “Rule of Reason” for any franchise wishing to relocate.

    In this case it meant if the Raiders could make more money, get more fans, and broaden their image by moving to LA then that had to be weighed logically and reasonably versus the wishes of the NFL or the other owners. They also ruled the LA Coliseum Authority was a victim of anti-competitive behavior as a result.

    In this case, the jury felt it would help the Raiders business to relocate to a much larger market to share with the Rams instead of staying in Oakland and sharing a smaller market with the 49ers. This plus the LA Coliseum being held hostage by the NFL.

    The NFL was trying to play by its own rules and was defeated soundly.

    Now in the case of the A’s to San Jose. MLB has T-rights and it is still debatable on if the ATE even extends that far.

    Even so, the “Rule of Reason” comes into play here. If the A’s can make more money, get more fans, and improve their image then that has to be weighed logically and reasonably against what Bud Selig thinks is right or wrong, a owner vote, or what the Giants think to be theirs.

    The LA Coliseum Authority sued the NFL and Al Davis sued separately. In this case San Jose could sue themselves without the A’s and it would still work because of the fact they are not making the revenue they should be making and not creating jobs because of what is simply put “anti-competitive” behavior.

    That argument still holds true, it would come up in any ATE lawsuit against MLB regarding the A’s moving to San Jose. I agree it gets messy but San Jose’s case is better than most would think

  3. [...] Mercury News and the blog newballpark.org report that the city of San Jose and the A's want a group known as "Stand for San Jose" to produce [...]

  4. pjk says:

    great quote: The group’s own website, in addition to including stock photography of a happy young family apparently rejoicing in their city’s lack of a major league ballpark…

  5. dmoas says:

    xoot, I’ve heard of those studies. But all of those studies assume the city/state/etc. pay a ton of money to build the stadium. The reason they make no money (and/or lose money) is because of the loans they take out to build. Having an essentially “free” one dropped in your lap is a completely different story altogether and removes those costs that kill the profitability margins. SJ will make money off this deal even if they sell the land for below market value and do a little street work (which needs to be done anyway) in order to make it happen. The only questionable thing is just how much money they will make.

  6. duffer says:

    The A’s move to SJ will contribute an additional $136 mil. annually to San Jose’s economy, building the ballpark will provide an extra a $450-$500 mil. annual boost, besides the $136 mil. Also Sid is correct, the courts would likely use NFL rulings as precedent in an A’s lawsuit against the ATE.

  7. xootsuit says:

    This is getting tedious again. I was looking at the problem from an angle different than the antitrust injury pov (which is not a “standing” issue, btw; that’s separate in A/T cases under Associated Gen. Contractors, et al.). In any event, harm to competition is the key to antitrust injury. I suppose you could look at it this way: If cities did compete in a market for pro-sports franchises, the leagues’ restrictions on relocating, etc., would injure that competition. It’s pure phantasm, however. There is no such market.
    .
    “That there is injury is undeniable.” How is a city injured by something that might happen not happening? Does San Jose have an agreement with the A’s to move the franchise to town? What is the specific nature of the existing business relationship between San Jose and the A’s? Without that, you have no state-law tortious interference claim.
    .
    Finally, the damages calculations you outlline make no sense. The routine tortious interference damage calculation typically concerns what the defendant earned in profit after tortiously taking the business deal away from the plaintiff. I was negotiating with Co. X for a 5 year contract to provide services for $1M per year, but the defendant lied to Co. X about the capacity of my firm and tortiously wrested the client away. Damage calculations start at $5M (then pare down toward actually provable expected profits for the 5 years). Your calculations are ephemeral and speculative by comparison.

  8. pjk says:

    re: The A’s move will contribute $136 million annually to San Jose’s economy.
    …Yet there are folks ready to do battle over the paltry contribution of discounted land that San Jose would make to the project.

  9. dan says:

    Stand for San Jose’s “in the news” section hasn’t been updated since December 2011. Curious.

  10. xootsuit says:

    Sid: There a generally two types of A/T cases — per se violations of the Sherman Act, and Rule of Reason cases. Territorial division is typically a per se violation. Prove the conspiracy (really, just an agreement) among horizontal competitors (head to head, like sports franchises) and you prove an A/T violation. In professional sports markets, however, the leagues without the benefit of an A/T exemption like mlb’s usually argue that intelligently limiting franchises’ rights to move actually has pro-competitive effect, oveall. Obviously, that’s often true. Often such circumstances convince a court to apply the Rule of Reason analysis rather than the per se hammer.
    .
    In the Raiders’ cases, the NFL convinced the court to use Rule of Reason analysis. Nonetheless, Alioto et al. were able to prove that the NFL was violating the Sherman Act. If the NFL had an A/T exemption, the NFL would’ve tried to use it to dispose of the case without letting it go to the jury.
    .
    The L.A. Coliseum’s case first got tossed for lack of standing, but the judge allowed an amended complaint. The NFL was preventing the Coliseum Comission from negotiating with any NFL team to move to L.A. The Coliseum competed commercially with other venues. As I said in an earlier post, I do not believe San Jose has put itself in such a position with the A’s. The San Jose expectation, especially with no ballpark in existence, is a mere velleity.

  11. LakeshoreOAK says:

    This could get messy. I told you this thing could drag out in the courts, ML. Granted, there may not be a trial on this if S4SJ has no standing, but the intention is clear: legal posturing has already begun. And if it’s not S4SJ suing San Jose, it’ll be LW suing MLB or somebody suing somebody else. LW, Baer and SJ have been stacking up lawyers for the past, oh…3 years. If you think there will be a peaceful, rapid outcome of this situation then guess again.

    At the end of the day, what will LW have gained by moving to San Jose? By the end of this travesty, baseball in Oakland will be essentially anhialated and three of the Bay Area’s most influential cities will be bitter opponents. Not lost in all of this is the utterly contentious nature of what should be a pleasant pasttime.

    It is long past time for LW to either pull the trigger and start suing people, or drop it and make up with Oakland. Unfortunately, I don’t think LW will even entertain the idea of staying in Oakland (he’s only said it about 1,000 times) so it looks like he’s going to have to sue the Giants and/or MLB. At that point, nobody wins.

    I sincerely doubt the Giants are ever going to give up San Jose. Instead of digging in, LW should realize that this isn’t a lost situation. LW, take the path of least resistance and start marketing to Oakland. We’ll take you back, LW. I, personally, will stand in front of the first live news camera I see and broadcast to the entire world that Oakland is ready to kiss and make up. No more trash talking. No more insulting quotes and sound bites. Enough is enough.

  12. duffer says:

    This appears to be a slam dunk case. The SJ giants are majority owned by the SF Giants, this doesn’t take much effort to connect the dots.

  13. duffer says:

    Also Lakeshore Oak, you could be guilty of wishful thinking. The ATE is on shaky legal ground, the Giants owners group would be very uncomfortable taking their argument in court and expecting to win. The A’s should eventually beat the ATE in court if it comes to that. Recall that the Tampa Bay owners group pierced the ATE twice ( and were quickly awarded the Rays franchise by Selig) The A’s case appears to be much stronger than the Tampa Bay owners group was. Also, the A’s SJ move is Selig’s decision only – not in the giants owners group’s..

  14. LoneStranger says:

    @LakeshoreOAK – “Giants are ever going to give up San Jose”
    .
    No, they won’t, but that won’t stop MLB from taking it away from them. Best interest of baseball, and all.

  15. xootsuit says:

    The Tampa owners group weren’t owners when they sued. They weren’t bound by the arbitration clause in the mlb constitution. If Wolff/Fisher decide to sue mlb, they’ll have to attack the territorial-rights part of the constitution, and, at least for purposes of the lawsuit, the mandatory arbitration clause, too. Wolff/Fisher in effect would be declaring war on all of the other owners. What’re the chances of that happening?

  16. Tony D. says:

    To bad this thing will never get to lawsuits by the A’s against MLB (where in the hell did that come from?). Poor suit will never see his Giants unleash their mighty legal prowess against the A’s and San Jose. Why? BECAUSE A DEAL WILL BE MADE WAY BEFORE ALL THIS NONSENSE OF LAWSUITS AND ATE CHALLENGES! There’s also this little thing called the MLB Constitution that prohibits legal action between the teams. Again, I suggest all who are new here or getting caught up in the rampant legalese to research the Expos to DC saga to see how this should (or will) all play out…no lawsuits necessary ;)

  17. duffer says:

    The giants mgt. knows they have a losing hand – all their rhetoric (which is similiar to xootsuit’s) won’t help them. Perhaps their motive is that they believe they have nothing to lose by opposing the A’s move to SJ, and believe they could obtain a sweeter compensation deal from the A’s by being difficult.

    The Tampa Bay owners group did in effect declare war on all the MLB owners by opposing the giants sale to the McGowan group (which the MLB owners approved). Also, the judges’ rulings in both of the ATE piercings stated that the ATE can only applied to baseball matters – not business matters, and that MLB franchise relocation is a business matter.

  18. Tony D. says:

    @duffer,
    Love your thinking, but just to be fair, the Giants rhetoric has toned down big time since June. We now have Baer and Slaughter silent on the issue by the order of Selig; Baer himself is now on record as stating this issue is a matter for the commissioner and committee to decide. IMHO, their silence speaks volumes and suggests the status quos days are numbered.

  19. duffer says:

    Tony D – . Selig has no incentive to make a ruling – knowing the resulting lawsuits by either the A’s or giants (which Selig obviously fears) would come afterwards. Selig may stall and pass the buck to the next commissioner. The giants owners are no rush for a decision. Also, since the A’s are profitable with the MLB revenue sharing, and the A’s value has more than doubled since Wolff bought the team, the A’s are not in a desperate situation either. The giants owners silence doesn’t mean Selig will be making a decision soon or that Selig will rule in favor of them, they are likely only following Selig’s order.

  20. LoneStranger says:

    Wolff won’t have to sue because the SVLG could sue. They’d fund it themselves, and probably be pretty organized. It’d have standing, at least as a suit.

  21. xootsuit says:

    We’ve been over this many times. The courts that have considered the A/T exemption in the past couple of decades are all over the map. Some have found it broadly applicable, others narrowly. It’s not that hard to be accurate. The fact is this: no one can predict how a court will rule on it here, so there’s risk.
    .
    Also, Selig can’t make a decision about relocation on his own. 3/4 of the owners have to approve any relocation and any change in territorial rights.
    .
    When Haas, near the end of his life, decided to sell the A’s, he was adamant that the buyer had to agree to keep the team in Oakland. Haas himself had bought the team to keep Charlie Finley from moving the team. (If you’re not familiar with the facts, take a look at this, beginning at about page 188: http://www.archive.org/stream/levistraussco00haasrich/levistraussco00haasrich_djvu.txt )
    .
    When Wolff/Fisher bought the team, they understood that TRs to San Jose were not part of the deal. They just decided to ignore the rules they accepted, and they decided to screw Oakland in the process. They may pull it all off. If so, ok. (I’m interested in what’s happening, but, except for the possible impact on Oakland, I don’t care much either way.) But trying to blame the Giants alone for the current stalemate is the product of either a very dim brain or one blinded by fanatic zeal.

  22. LoneStranger says:

    If you want to go over what Haas said, I think you could argue that the spirit of what he meant was that he didn’t want them leaving the area. At the time, there wasn’t really any other place in the Bay Area that they could have moved to, so out of the area they would have gone.
    .
    TBH, I never thought of the team as belonging to Oakland. They are my team. And I’ve lived in North, South and East Bay cities.

  23. duffer says:

    Xootsuit – Selig is the MLB czar – once he makes a decision, the MLB owners rubberstamp it. Selig won’t approve the A’s move unless he gets the 3/4 vote from the owners.

    Also the giants ownership are making the situation ridickulous. This definitely must be truly a first in professional sports – where in a two team fanbase situation, one team opposes the other team further away – and also claim that the other team is intruding into their territory by doing so? – very bizzare.

  24. Lakeshore OAK says:

    @Lonestranger – don’t you think Selig would have done that by now – overrule the Giants and give SJ to the A’s? Yeah, I suppose it could still happen but I’m thinking Selig won’t do that. And the Giants aren’t going to do it either, so….

  25. dmoas says:

    Lakeshore, short answer, no. The long answer is when Selig says the situation is complicated, he’s absolutely correct. Before he can even contemplate putting T-Rights up to a vote he has to be absolutely certain SJ will goes off without a hitch without doing harm to either team. And before he can give a “No” to SJ, he has to be absolutely certain that he’s covered his ass legally and that he can resolve the A’s situation once and for all. And both circumstances have a number of unique variables to navigate through with serious question marks. When you sit down and honestly think about it from all sides, it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that it’s taken over 3 years to set up all the dominoes necessary to make a decision one way or another. Nor should it be surprising if it takes another year or two before we know anything concrete.

  26. Mossback says:

    Isn’t it interesting how xootsuit’s claims and alleged facts are precisely the same as the giants claims and alleged facts? That’s some eery coincidence considering how many are dead wrong according to the factual facts.

  27. Lakeshore OAK says:

    @dmoas – pretty much anybody who is reasonably fit to stand trial has agreed that this process has taken an surprisingly great amount of time. Ask LW. I think he’s been anxious for a decision for a little while now. I’m pretty sure he’d be surprised if it took another year or two before we knew anything concrete.

  28. LoneStranger says:

    What dmoas said, exactly.
    .
    When this whole thing started a few years ago, the number of dominoes that needed to be set up was small and it shouldn’t have taken long before they could be knocked down and the shovel put in the ground in San Jose. When Oakland decided to get back into the game, all of a sudden more ass covering needed to be done, and the number of required dominoes multiplied.

  29. dmoas says:

    Lake, anyone who’s partisan (myself included) thinks this thing has gone on surprisingly long. Three years ago, I didn’t think it was possible for it to go on this long. A big part of that was the thinking that it was just a rubber stamp process. Another big part of that was there was just so much to discuss and it seemed reasonable from our various perspectives that it should be a simple matter to decide. I’m sure Wolff and Baer both thought that too, from their own perspectives.
    .
    But remove bias and partisanship from the equation and sit down and see what’s necessary for the best interest of the game and all those involved within MLB and it’s nowhere near as simple. It leans somewhat heavily towards SJ. If it didn’t, odds are it would have been nixed already. However (and it’s a very big however), it only leans that way under very specific circumstances. It can’t hurt the Giants (which despite some folks belief isn’t a simple determination). It can’t hurt other teams either (which is simpler, but not necessarily straightforward). And it can’t open itself up to unexpected and/or unprepared litigation (both reasonable and unreasonable) from any of a number of parties.
    .
    Whether SJ is approved or not, no one, not even Selig himself possibly, can likely tell you at this point and I wouldn’t take any action or decision to mean too much until an official press release.

  30. Lakeshore OAK says:

    @dmoas – I’m actually impressed that you could make something that Bud Selig and a bunch of legal dudes haven’t figured out in three years seem so simple. Silly me. The answer is obvious: SJ is in the best interest of baseball.

    SJ is a great market for baseball. At the very least there is plenty of disposable income in SJ, which is always going to be attractive to a real estate investor..er, I mean dedicated MLB ownership group. Maybe the A’s can’t move to SJ because SJ is, in fact, in the best interest of baseball. Only problem for the A’s is: the Giants figured that out a few years ago and are already there. The Silicon Valley marketing efforts they’ve been up to for years are now paying off. Do you honestly think they’re going let the A’s move right into the middle of that market without a pretty good fight? The A’s want SJ for the same reasons the Giants don’t want to let them move there.

  31. duffer says:

    Lakeshore OAK – You are buying into the giants b.s., “their army of lawyers” etc., and their false preception as being powerful. The giants do not have the power to prevent the A’s from moving to SJ – they need Selig to refuse the A’s move, otherwise the giants goal will not be possible.

    It is not the giants right to fight for the so-called San Jose territory, they have no claim to it, their claim to it is anti-competitive, and even the ATE may not help them. The San Jose mayor Reed also said that what the giants are attempting is very anti-competitive. Despite their “army of lawyers ” (can they really afford that anyhow ? – they are on a limited budget) The giants do not have the leverage you believe they do. The A’s may actually be in a better financial position, and better able to fight legal battles than the giants can. The fact is that the MLB ATE is not very solid, can be be beaten (as mentioned before, the Tampa Bay owners group has done it previously) and the A’s have a good chance of defeating it if they have to. What the giants are attempting and what actually may occur are two different scenarios.

  32. dmoas says:

    Lake, that’s the sort of bias I was talking about. The A’s moving to SJ *will* have an impact on the Giants, no doubt. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t matter and the A’s would already be there now. One of the (and not the only) reasons holding SJ back is trying to answer the question of just how much of an impact it will have on the Giants. Forget about all the marketing BS, that doesn’t matter that much. They’d still be able to market to them and already have a foot in the door wrt that anyway. Also forget about the Giants’ fighting it. With the MLB constitution, if the other owners approve the shift, the Giants have no legal action they can really take (and *if* it came down to that I don’t think they’d take it any further than a lot of public whining). But you are right in that they’re not going to sit down for it. Hell, they’ve been fighting it for years now and continue to do so. Whether or not SJ is actually in the best interest of MLB is the debatable question and (I’m over simplifying here) the answer lies rather heavily in just how much of an impact it will have on the Giants. There are a lot of variables at play here including whether or not there are viable alternative markets to work with (including Oakland) and/or whether an inferior market *with* keeping the status quo will be a net positive to SJ or a net negative. All of that hinges on the true value of what the Giants actually lose with a move and the scale slides with the various variables in play. Hence: it’s complicated.

  33. Tony D. says:

    @suit,
    We’ve been over this many times…
    Only one reason why the Giants have “rights” to SJ.
    San Jose shouldn’t be banned from obtaining MLB/A’s just because the Giants didn’t exercise those rights in 1992.
    Lew Wolff should be commended for trying to get San Jose a MLB franchise, not chastised.
    lastly, for the umpteenth time, THE MLB CONSTITUTION PROHIBITS LAWSUITS BETWEEN THE INDIVIDUAL FRANCHISES!! that’s not an opinion, its a fact! Why some continue to ignore this is beyond me.
    Oh well, enough from me on this particular thread …

  34. Sid says:

    @Xoosuit- Just because the San Jose does not have a ballpark sitting there makes them any different than the LA Coliseum.

    San Jose has an agreement to sell land to them via options and let them build on that site with the A’s. Like the LA Coliseum Authority MLB is not allowing San Jose to negotiate with other teams to bring a team to this site regardless if a ballpark sits there or not….that is relative to the argument of anti-competitive behavior and Rule of Reason.

    T-rights however are still a big question mark and Tampa Bay proved that years ago and Selig tucked his head between his legs paid them 15M to shut up and awarded them an expansion franchise…..tells you something very distinct. The Curt Flood Act of 1998 still is vague on how far it extends as well in repealing the MLB ATE.

    My next argument that LA did not have is the Media Market.

    The A’s/Giants share media market wise the entire area. Baltimore-Washington do not as each city has its own nightly news. The fact the entire market is shared media wise helps San Jose’s argument. A team cannot relocate 35 miles away to another city in the same media market becaue of another competing business is 100% anti-competitive behavior….This is so obvious, the ATE would be on a tight rope with this argument.

    San Jose people can watch A’s games no problem on TV. Yet they cannot have the team play in their city?

    This shows clearly by “Rule of Reason” San Jose has been the victim of anti-competitive behavior in a worse fashion than the LA Coliseum was….The A’s already exist in the same media market. The Giants argument is so flawed from this perspective what lawyer would want to argue their case in any kind of court I ask? Kangaroo Court? LOL!

  35. bartleby says:

    “This is getting tedious again.”
    .
    Dude, you’re the one who keeps bringing up “antitrust injury.” I think it’s a technical tangent to a sideshow issue, as I believe San Jose has alternate theories that would keep them in court but that the whole point is moot because they would ultimately lose anyway. OK with me if we talk about something else.

    “I was looking at the problem from an angle different than the antitrust injury pov (which is not a “standing” issue, btw; that’s separate in A/T cases under Associated Gen. Contractors, et al.).”
    .
    It has been called a standing issue by some courts and not called a standing issue by other courts. I believe you yourself referred to it as a standing issue in an earlier thread. In any event, you’re really splitting hairs here. I doubt most readers of this blog care about whether it’s technically a standing issue anymore than they care about the technical difference between a writ and an injunction.
    .
    “In any event, harm to competition is the key to antitrust injury. I suppose you could look at it this way: If cities did compete in a market for pro-sports franchises, the leagues’ restrictions on relocating, etc., would injure that competition. It’s pure phantasm, however. There is no such market.”
    .
    Of course cities compete in a market for pro-sports franchises. Has it escaped your notice that San Jose and Oakland are in exactly such a competition right now, notwithstanding the fact that San Jose has to fight with one arm legally tied behind its back?
    .
    “That there is injury is undeniable.” How is a city injured by something that might happen not happening? Does San Jose have an agreement with the A’s to move the franchise to town? What is the specific nature of the existing business relationship between San Jose and the A’s? Without that, you have no state-law tortious interference claim.
    .
    As I understand, the A’s and San Jose have a contract for the Diridon land sale, which would be sufficient to support a tortious interference with contract claim. Regardless, a formal agreement is not a requirement to bring a tortious intereference with prospective economic advantage claim. The name of the tort pretty much says it all: It requires “…intentional and improper interference with another’s prospective contractual relation whether by inducing a third person not to enter the relation or preventing the other party from acquiring or continuing the relation.”
    .
    So to answer your question, yes, the law provides recourse for something that might happen not happening, in certain circumstances.
    .
    “Finally, the damages calculations you outlline make no sense. The routine tortious interference damage calculation typically concerns what the defendant earned in profit after tortiously taking the business deal away from the plaintiff. I was negotiating with Co. X for a 5 year contract to provide services for $1M per year, but the defendant lied to Co. X about the capacity of my firm and tortiously wrested the client away. Damage calculations start at $5M (then pare down toward actually provable expected profits for the 5 years). Your calculations are ephemeral and speculative by comparison.”
    .
    Don’t be absurd. The courts have several measures of damages they can employ, and discretion to choose the one which best fits the facts. The right to host an MLB team is extremely valuable, as evidenced by the fact that municipalities regularly spend hundreds of millions of scarce public dollars to do so. You can say there is actually an active market for this rights, with valuations supported by actual transactions involving real money. This type of valuation is actually far less “emphemeral and speculative” than any measure I can think of that the Giants might use to value their territorial rights in a theoretical lawsuit.

  36. xootsuit says:

    have a few more mai tais. You’ll find something else to repeat.

  37. [...] week, the City and the A’s tried to turn up the heat on Stand for San Jose. They filed a motion asking the court to order the organization to produce witnesses to testify under oath about the origins, membership, and funding of Stand for [...]

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