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Monday, May 27, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Judge Calls Two Strikes Against A-Rod’s Foes

MANHATTAN (CN) - The powerhouse law firm Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani swung and missed twice Friday in a hearing on whether they picked the right ballpark for their $380,000 lawsuit against Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez.

Based in San Francisco, Gordon Rees stepped up to the plate in New York's Southern District, home to Yankee Stadium, earlier this year for legal fees that the firm claims to have accrued while defending A-Rod against doping allegations.

Their lawsuit never got to first base, but the battle over jurisdiction went into extra innings.

To get the case into federal court, Gordon Rees had to prove "diversity of jurisdiction" between Rodriguez and the firm.

Their first complaint misstated the citizenship of Rodriguez, who lives in Florida, and U.S. District Judge William Pauley found Friday that amended action failed to show that Gordon Rees has no partners living in the Sunshine State.

"It's amazing to me that a major law firm can't properly plead subject matter jurisdiction," Pauley said.

He gave the firm one final chance to demonstrate that the parties are playing on different turfs.

"The third time will either be a charm or a strikeout, right?" Pauley asked.

Gordon Rees must make their case to the court within one week.

Pauley urged the parties to hustle.

"Maybe we'll get to the merits before A-Rod gets to spring training," Pauley quipped.

"Maybe," he hedged. "I'm not so sure at this point."

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