Thursday, August 6, 2015

Once More Unto the Breach With Zuffa's New York Lawsuit


Get ready for the next round in the saga of the UFC's lawsuit against the State of New York, because an appeal has officially been filed.

When last we left the UFC's lawsuit, it was dismissed by Federal District Court Judge Kimba Wood on the grounds that Zuffa lacked standing. It was Judge Wood's view that because there was never actually a UFC event that was shut down by New York's 1997 Combative Sports Law banning pro MMA events, the UFC was out of luck when it came to being able to take the State Attorney General to court over the matter.

But, as is often the case when a party has the deep pockets to match its desire, the fight isn't over. On Tuesday, attorneys representing Zuffa filed an appellate brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. It's important to note that the Court of Appeals doesn't hear issues of fact, only issues of law, which means that all the facts that came out in the trial phase via discovery will be the only facts of the case going forward. There will be no more evidence gathered, no more witnesses called and no more testimony. The Court of Appeals only cares if the law as interpreted by Judge Wood was interpreted correctly.

It's Zuffa's argument that it wasn't, and the Court of Appeals should either answer the Constitutionality questions about the Combative Sports Law itself, or kick it back down to the District Court and make them re-examine the case.

Here are the most salient points of the appellate brief:

Baffling New York Corruption Case Is Baffling


Yesterday a politician in New York plead guilty to corruption charges. This is nothing shocking - it is New York, after all. But what's completely and utterly baffling about it is who the politician was, and what the charges were over.

Here name is Melinda Wormuth, and she was the Town Supervisor for Halfmoon, a town outside of Schenectady (which isn't far from Albany). The FBI got her to accept money in exchange for favors in a sting. The pretense of the sting? Mixed martial arts.