Thursday, April 22, 2010

Two Guys Talkin' Sports

Carl Mayer and Bruce Afran: Some people may think that these two lawyers have way too much time on their hands. Others might think that maybe their getting their signals crossed. But maybe if you're a Jets fan, you'd like to see these two guys on the front line next fall.

These two NJ lawyers---one of them a Jets season ticket holder---filed a lawsuit arising from the New England Patriots' secret videotaping of New York Jets coaches in a game at Giants Stadium in 2007. The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia heard oral arguments Wednesday.

I would certainly imagine that President Obama will be watching the results of this case and the Solomon-like judicial prudence of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals as they ponder what to do for lawyers and Jets fans Mayer and Afran.

The Patriots were caught taping signals by Jets coaches, a violation of league rules, during the opening game of the 2007 season. New England won 38-14 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford.

Mayer and Afran assert that the Patriots' actions "violated the contractual expectations and rights of New York Jets ticket-holders" who paid to watch a game played in compliance with the league's rules; that teams that participate can't commit fraud on ticket holders; and that "the Patriots violated federal racketeering laws as well as New Jersey's consumer protection laws by concealing material facts-the existence of the videotaping-from paying customers."

I am certainly sure that this will make for better relations between the Garden State and Massachusetts, also.

The lawsuit asserts that fans should be compensated for all games played in Giants Stadium between the Jets and Patriots since Belichick became head coach in 2000---and that fans are entitled to triple that amount-or $184.8 million in compensation. Earlier U.S. District Judge Garrett Brown Jr. in Trenton dismissed the case when he ruled that a ticket seller only contracts to provide entry to a ticket holder "to view whatever event transpires."

Mayer and Afran have been to court many times before ---unsuccessfully---to try to get McGreevy to leave office, and to try to get then Governor-elect Corzine, upon assumption of office, from appointing someone to fill the balance of his Senate term.

At one time Mayer ran in a primary against Rush Holt for Congress---and lost. And, no, Mayer did not sue Congressman Holt when he failed to win the primary.

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