Yes, I know. Only masochists and bored legal scholars are still reading legal documents in this case at this point.
But since the court held an inconclusive status conference this week (I’ve heard “trial in April,” “the judge still hasn’t ruled on the motions” and “cannot comment at this time”), I’ll give an inconclusive status update.
The latest filing from Dan Borislow’s legal team shows how far apart the sides are at this point. It’s a position statement offered before the status conference. Enjoy.
What we have now are a couple of different possibilities for what has happened, depending on whom you believe:
Version A: We made a deal, but the U.S. Soccer Federation said they didn’t think it would work. We went ahead and asked again to see if we could work it out, and they said no. So there’s no deal. Independent of that, our chances of playing in 2012 went from slim to none soon after we agreed to the deal. There’s no point in issuing a temporary injunction for a league that isn’t playing in 2012, and we’ve started the arbitration/mediation process, so shouldn’t we be out of this court right now?
Version B: Seems awfully convenient that USSF told you the deal wouldn’t work. You never had any intention of settling, did you? We’re going to pursue discovery of you and maybe the USSF to find out. (Note: Not exaggerating here — see page 2 of the document above.) This was just a little delaying tactic you made because you knew you were going to lose. (Again, see the document.) We still have a deal, and we’re going to pursue it in case you’re able to get things in gear for 2013.
So that leaves the following questions:
1. What has the USSF allowed or not allowed?
No idea, and they’re not saying. There’s a bit of confusion over whether Borislow would be allowed to sign five national team players, four, one or none, and frankly, I’m not sure it’s worth getting into what each side is saying. The voice that matters is USSF. Which is silent.
2. Would any league take magicJack?
WPSL, likely not, from all that’s been reported. W-League? Haven’t asked. This is relevant for this reason: If magicJack is a member of a league and wants to play some exhibitions, what limitations could USSF place then?
3. What kind of damage could discovery do to WPS?
Maybe someone can tell us what sort of trouble WPS would be in if – and we can’t stress the word if enough — the discovery process finds some sign of bad faith in negotiating the deal, either by having advance knowledge that USSF would say no or that they were already about to pull the plug on the 2012 season.
Conspiracy theories aside, few businesses like to have all their dealings made public. WPS has been keeping things guarded for months — they haven’t gone public with expansion candidates, among other things.
4. Can WPS get a fair hearing in Florida?
I’ll rephrase my own question: Did WPS negotiate the deal with Borislow because they had simply lost confidence in their chances to win in this court? Even though the Jan. 18 hearing that was averted would’ve been WPS’s first real opportunity to present witnesses and make its case against Borislow? All they had done before then was defended (unsuccessfully) its termination procedure.
5. What can WPS do to get out of court?
Agree to play exhibition games against Borislow in 2013? That, along with a couple of smaller issues that don’t seem to be controversial, would satisfy the deal. Then there’s no need for a motion to enforce a settlement or anything else. (Unless some other issue arises.)
6. Why don’t they?
No idea. Maybe a couple of owners balked? Maybe USSF won’t let them?
7. So that leads us back to Question 1?
I’m always happy to crowdsource these legal documents. Comments welcome.