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Major League Baseball hires the lead prosecutor from the Ollie North trial to fight San Jose

Jul 3, 2013, 1:35 PM EDT

Major League Baseball put out a press release a little while ago announcing that they’ve hired a lawyer to fight the San Jose antitrust lawsuit:

 Major League Baseball has hired John W. Keker, a partner in the San Francisco firm Keker & Van Nest LLP, to serve as its lead counsel in the lawsuit filed in federal court by the City of San Jose, California on June 18th, it was announced today.

Keker specializes in complex antitrust, commercial and intellectual property cases and securities cases.  Regarded as one of the country’s top trial lawyers, Keker was the lead counsel for the U.S. legal adviser to the group of Ecuadorian citizens who successfully won an $18 billion judgment against a corporation over environmental damage in their country, the largest single pollution judgment ever imposed.  Keker recently won a defense verdict for an employee who was targeted in a Securities & Exchange Commission enforcement action in New York.  In 1989, Keker was the chief prosecutor in the Iran-Contra trial involving Oliver North.  He has represented Google, Standard & Poor’s and many corporate executives throughout his four-decade career.

Big guns, as you would expect.

Still, kinda weird as I can’t recall baseball issuing press releases about legal matters before. Certainly not the hiring of counsel.  It makes me feel like they’re just matching San Jose’s obvious p.r.-first approach in the drafting and filing of the lawsuit and that this case will be every much a battle in the media as it will be in the courts. So:




  1. chill1184 - Jul 3, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Anyone know if any of of the council members of San Jose are up for election?

    I have a theory that if MLB is bringing out the big guns for this case (providing it ever goes forward) is to get a mind set in the citizens of San Jose. Meaning that if people see that the city would also have to spend big bucks for lawyers to counter MLB’s the would scream loudly for the city to back off (and rightfully so).

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      Looks like the next election for San Jose City Council is the mayoral race in 2014.

    • APBA Guy - Jul 4, 2013 at 12:21 AM

      The SJ counsel is doing this on contingency, meaning they get paid (outside of filings and expenses) only if SJ wins. SJ’s financial exposure is minimized in that regard.

  2. beerjunkie - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    No one gives a crap. Fold the A’s and Marlins and be done with them. And drop Selig in a boiling pot of water and watch him die.

    • dcarroll73 - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      No, no. Have you never watched Shogun? The proper method is to start with the condemned in a pot of cool water and then to heat it slowly to boiling. This exhibition could set new pay-for-view records since Selig is so beloved.

    • tablescrappy - Jul 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      Clearly people care. And with the A’s in first place it hardly seems like folding them is a solution that is reasonable or even within the realm of possibility. Kudos to you though for the myopic analysis, knee-jerk and silly “solution” and graphic barbarism. You must be fun after the ninth six-pack.

    • chill1184 - Jul 3, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      Whats your rationale for folding the A’s? I sure would love to hear it

  3. gloccamorra - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Come on! This is a frontal assault on the all-holy baseball anti-trust exemption. MLB has to fight tooth and nail, or it will be just like the NFL, unable to stop teams from moving around at will. Next thing you know, the Royals will be in Bayonne, New Jersey, the Rays will be in Little Rock, the Brewers will be in Altoona, the Mariners will be in Sin City itself, Las Vegas, with all those gamblers, and the divisions will be all screwed up. Bringing in the big guns to stop all that carnage is worthy of a press release.

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