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Judge Seeks More Plaintiffs in Baseball Fight

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A federal judge ordered attorneys representing minor league baseball players in a labor dispute with Major League Baseball to find potential class members linked to California.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Spero ruled in a putative class action from lead plaintiff Aaron Senne, who claims Major League Baseball underpays its amateur players. Senne played for the Miami Marlins organization from 2010 to 2013.

Senne sued three Major League clubs, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball dba Major League Baseball, and Commissioner Bud Selig in February 2014. Eventually, all 30 Major League teams were added as defendants.

Eleven teams sought dismissal in November, claiming they were not subject to jurisdiction in California .

Baseball's attorneys argued that the teams' limited contacts with California do not satisfy the court's standards for personal jurisdiction.

In a hearing Friday, Spero told plaintiffs' attorneys to submit an amended complaint with potential new class members who can be shown to have worked for their teams in California.

"You need an individual representative plaintiff for each of these clubs that are contesting jurisdiction," Spero said.

In separate motions also addressed Friday, defendants' attorneys asked the judge to transfer the case to the Middle District of Florida because that's where "the largest concentration of parties and witnesses can be found."

Spero said it is unlikely he will transfer the case, because it is a "nationwide case" with many parties inside and outside of California.

The case has not yet been granted class certification.

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