Suit Against NCAA for Sherman Act Violation, Plus Criminal & Administrative Law Matters - Criminal Law - U.S. Sixth Circuit
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Suit Against NCAA for Sherman Act Violation, Plus Criminal & Administrative Law Matters

Warrior Sports, Inc. v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 09-1395, involved a suit brought by a manufacturer and distributor of lacrosse sticks against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), claiming that, by changing the rule that governs the size of lacrosse stick heads approved for use in NCAA-sanctioned play, the NCAA violated the Sherman Act and tortiously interfered with plaintiff's business.

 

In affirming the district court's judgment on the pleadings in favor of the NCAA, the court held that plaintiff's failure to allege an injury to competition dooms its Sherman Act claim as a matter of law because the new rule applies equally to all manufacturers and plaintiff may compete in the market on the same footing as all other participants.  Further, district court's judgment in favor of the NCAA on plaintiff's tortious interference claim is affirmed as plaintiff fails to allege specific, affirmative actions by the NCAA that corroborate its claim of malice.

Meister v. US Dep't of Agric. & US Forest Serv,, 09-1712, concerned a challenge to the district court's entry of judgment in favor of the United States Forest Service's (Service), in plaintiff's suit claiming that the Service disregarded relevant criteria and failed to comply with several of its own regulations and federal statute in developing its management plan for national forests in Northern Michigan.

In reversing in part and remanding, the court held that the Service has not complied with section 219.21(a)(2)'s requirements of a demand-supply analysis as the Service's estimates of snowmobile and cross-country visitors to the forests are arbitrary.   Also, the Service has not complied with the requirement that it coordinate its recreational planning with that of the State of Michigan with the aim of reducing duplication in meeting recreation demands with respect to gun hunting and snowmobiling.  The court also held that the Service's reasons for keeping pre-designation and club trails open to snowmobile use are arbitrary, and as such, the Service has not complied with section 219.21(g)'s mandate to minimize conflicts between off-road vehicle use and other uses and interests of the forests.  Lastly, the Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it failed to consider whether to close Prmitive and Semiprimitive Nonmotorized areas to gun hunting and snowmobile use, as plaintiff proposed.

Hodgson v. Warren, 09-1488, concerned a challenge to the district court's determination that defendant, convicted of attempted murder, received ineffective assistance of counsel and that the state court's arbitrary conclusion "involved an unreasonable application of...clearly established Federal, as determined by the Supreme Court."  In affirming, the court held that the Court of Appeals' conclusion that defendant did not demonstrate deficient performance was unreasonable within the meaning of the habeas statute, as defendant's counsel knew that a witness would have testified that she was within a few feet of defendant during the shooting, that she could see his hands, and that she could confirm that he was not holding a gun.  The court also held that it was unreasonable for the Court of Appeals to conclude that defendant had not shown a reasonable probability that the result of the proceeding would have been different.

Am. Energy Corp. v. Rockies Express Pipeline LLC., 09-3864, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of a pipeline company's motion to dismiss coal companies' suit to enjoin the building of the pipeline and to recover tort damages from the pipeline company caused by construction of the pipeline, in the parties' third action over a land-use dispute involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) grant of a permit to the pipeline company to build a natural gas pipeline over the coal companies' mine.

In affirming the judgment, the court held that, with respect to the coal companies' claims for equitable relief of one sort or another, they may not seek what amounts to a second round of collateral review of FERC's order, as the FERC has issued its final order and the coal companies have appealed that order to the D.C. Circuit, and the matter lies within that court's exclusive jurisdiction.  Further, the coal companies' request for money damages for conversion are already before the district court in the condemnation action provided by section 7(h) of the Natural Gas Act.

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