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A-Rod’s cousin, Yuri Sucart, files an appeal challenging Major League Baseball’s Biogenesis lawsuit

Aug 20, 2013, 5:01 PM EDT

lawsuit gavel

Alex Rodriguez‘s cousin Yuri Sucart has filed a writ with a Florida appellate court challenging the validity of Major League Baseball’s lawsuit against Biogenesis: the lawsuit which gave Major League Baseball the handle with which to turn Anthony Bosch and others as it pursued Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and other ballplayers who were alleged to have done business with the Biogenesis clinic.

Sucart is not a defendant in that lawsuit, but Major League Baseball did seek to take his deposition and sought to obtain documents and his medical records.  Sucart challenged MLB’s right to do so, seeking an order from the trial court preventing the deposition from taking place. That effort was denied and now he has filed today’s writ with the Third District Court of Appeal.

The basis for the appeal, which NBC Sports.com has obtained, includes some arguments which would relate only to Sucart, such as his rights under The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and his standing as a non-party to challenge the trial court’s orders. But Sucart also challenges the very foundation of the lawsuit, arguing that the trial court has no jurisdiction to hear Major League Baseball’s case at all. The reason: the dispute requires the interpretation of baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement in order to determine whether it was breached and state courts are forbidden from interpreting a collective bargaining agreement by operation of the Labor Management Relations Act.

Major League Baseball will have a chance to respond to Sucart’s arguments.  It will likely be weeks, and possibly months, before the court rules.

Sucart’s attorney, Jeffrey Sonn of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida law firm of Sonn & Erez PLC, told NBC Sports.com that if Sucart’s challenge is successful, it not only would mean an end to the Biogenesis case, but it could make waves for player-owner relations in baseball as a whole:

“In my opinion, if the 3rd district court of appeals agrees with our premise … I think the players would have a tremendous lawsuit against baseball for violation of their due process rights and other claims for violating the collective bargaining agreement. It would be tantamount to baseball knowingly violating the players’ rights. The bottom line is if you make a deal with the players, and you don’t like the deal, go renegotiate it. Don’t run to court. Don’t trample on people’s private rights.”

Sonn went beyond the implications of this writ, however, and offered an indictment of the CBA and Joint Drug Agreement overall, saying, “The method of the CBA, which basically holds you guilty until it proves you innocent, is antithetical to our justice system in that it holds you guilty until it proves you innocent. It is un-American.”

The overarching argument may be a moot one given that the MLBPA and all of the accused players with the exception of Alex Rodriguez have gotten on board with baseball’s Biogenesis investigation, accepting their punishment. With respect to Rodriguez, the evidence Major League Baseball will use against him at his upcoming arbitration has already been obtained.

But this appeal could test Major League Baseball’s ability to aggressively pursue similar cases under the theory it employed when it filed the Biogenesis suit. And, if successful, it could render any discipline it ultimately obtains against Alex Rodriguez the product of evidence that, were the law followed and the suit not filed, would likely have never fallen into baseball’s hands in the first place.

  1. buffal0sportsfan - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Why does he care?

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      Perhaps his cousin’s lawyers are behind this. This suit will help run up the legal fees.

    • chip56 - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      MLB wants to depose Sucart and the questions would likely relate to his involvement as Alex’s drug mule. Sucart doesn’t want to have to answer those questions nor does he want to get in trouble for lying during a deposition so the only way out would be to get the lawsuit thrown out meaning that MLB would have no grounds on which to depose him.

      • righthandofjustice - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        He is complaining because he is not even involved in baseball and MLB has not rights to ask him for anything. And more importantly he is trying to throw out the communist “method of the CBA, which basically holds you guilty until it proves you innocent”

      • Old Gator - Aug 20, 2013 at 10:58 PM

        “Communist method.” To describe a classic big-corporate, everyday big-capitalist technique of using big money to leverage the legal system against the defenseless, in this particular case the “Communists” being the billionaires who run MLB. Great demonstration of discriminating thought being overridden by ideological constipation. This approach has no distinguishing ideology other than force for force’s sake. Another right wing ignoramus engages typing fingers before putting brain in gear.

      • dan1111 - Aug 21, 2013 at 3:41 AM

        The spouting about the “un-American” nature of the CBA is bunk. The agreement is a voluntary contract between two parties, so the rules can be whatever they decide them to be. If they want, suspensions can be based on when Bud Selig sneezes, or whether it is a full moon or not.

        The right to make a contract is a fundamental right in any free nation, and antithetical to authoritarian systems like communism.

    • dickclydesdale - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      The Yankees gave this slimeball a 2009 world series ring & then he sold it. Rings should be for the players not the family and friends. Ridicolous!

      • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM

        You would be shocked at the people who get rings. From all teams, not just the 2009 Yankees. They’re lesser quality and are clearly different, but they go to friends, family, investors, business partners, etc.

      • raysfan1 - Aug 20, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        …and people selling them is not rare.

      • captainloaded - Aug 20, 2013 at 9:23 PM

        I’ll be honest, once the baseball season ends, I’d love to read another six months(from Craig) of why the NFL wronged Von Miller.

      • dan1111 - Aug 21, 2013 at 3:37 AM

        How dare A-Rod have no respect for the ridiculously gaudy bauble that the Yankees gave him! Not only has he tainted the game of baseball, he has also stolen the innocence of the jewelry business.

    • vanmorrissey - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      Connect the dots. His bank account just got a lot fatter thanks to his well paid ‘cousin’, that’s why. Aroids lawyers got together and came up with this strategy. Throw everything against the wall, see what sticks.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:00 PM

        Or: he’s a private citizen that has no connection to Major League Baseball who does not feel he has to answer to Major League Baseball.

        This is akin to your cousin getting into trouble at his job with at General Motors and General Motors coming to you and demanding that you answer its questions under oath.

        You cool with that? I kinda doubt you’d be cool with that.

      • bigharold - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        “Throw everything against the wall, see what sticks.”

        Oh, and legally MLB is in the wrong. His motion not only has merit it likely will work. And, whether they realize it or not, MLB might just be risking losing the precious anti-trust exemption with their heavy handed BS. Monkeying around with collective bargaining agreements is a good way for all this to find it’s way into Federal Court. As it is, MLB essentially usurped the civil court system to coerce a dirt bag into testifying against A-Rod, .. after he already stated he never gave A-Rod PEDs. Was he lying then or is he lying now?? Either way he’s a liar. Another example of MLB overplaying their hand.

        To quote Ted Turner; “..Gentlemen, we have the only legal monopoly in the country and we’re fucking it up”.

      • mondogarage - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:44 PM

        Craig, as a lawyer, I would have thought you’d be familiar enough with the concept of 3rd party depositions to not make the asinine comment of:

        “This is akin to your cousin getting into trouble at his job with at General Motors and General Motors coming to you and demanding that you answer its questions under oath.
        You cool with that? I kinda doubt you’d be cool with that.”

        Yuri may have plenty of good reasons to want to use this tactic in order to quosh his own deposition, but c’mon, you’re better than that. Given Yuri’s relationship to A-Fraud, and to Biogenesis, it is inarguable that he has information discoverable in this case. It’s certainly not surprising he’s doing all he can to fight against that, but you’re kinda straight up trolling the very concept of 3rd party depos in civil litigation, and not very well.

      • pjmarn6 - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        Here is the King CACA coming to the rescue of the druggies again! Too bad that NBC resorts to hiring people like CACA and Sharpton to try and improve their ratings.

      • pjmarn6 - Aug 20, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        King CACA you had your chance to write a comment in the space reserved under the headline. If you want to make comments, then resign your position at NBC and come down to this section as a commenter.

      • pjmarn6 - Aug 20, 2013 at 7:02 PM

        King CACA is that what you are angling for a ring? You are buttering up all the druggies and management so that you can get a lesser quality and clearly different world series ring?

      • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 20, 2013 at 7:24 PM

        I am familiar with third party depositions. I am also familiar with the concept of abuse of process, which MLB’s lawsuit arguably is.

        Third party deponents have the right to attempt to quash subpoenas and one ground is the illegitimacy of the underlying lawsuit. Especially where, as here, the actually-named defendants aren’t fighting the case at all. Indeed, they are in league with MLB, making this a rigged lawsuit.

        But sure, if you’re so familiar with all of this that you wouldn’t defend Sucart here if you were his lawyer, please, enlighten us as to why.

      • raysfan1 - Aug 20, 2013 at 8:14 PM

        Speak for yourself, pj; one of the best things about this blog is that the writers do interact with the commenters.

        Thumbs down for repeated attempts at insulting people with lame nicknames.

      • Old Gator - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:01 PM

        And lame juvenile nicknames at that.

      • badintent - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:49 AM

        Send Yuri to Gitmo And Old Gator to Gaza to be with his Hamas brothers.Send NSA and IRS management Commies to Egypt for some Army riot smackdown.

  2. rayburns - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    The Scorched Earth Policy continues….

    • righthandofjustice - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      No… A-Rod’s cousin is doing this for all the players to throw the communist powers that give MLB the powers to hold every player guilty until they are proven innocent.

  3. apkyletexas - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    A-Rod keeps mashing, Yuri keeps stirring the pot, and the Yanks keep winning.

    Yankees own the front pages and back pages of the New York media again.

    What’s not to love about the Bronx Bombers? You getting your money’s worth yet, Steinbrenner?

    They should give A-Rod a bonus for stirring up all this attention.

  4. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Craig, if Sucart is successful, could that preclude any evidence from being used in the arod arbitration hearing?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      Doubtful. It’s not a criminal proceeding. It’s not like there’s a “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine at play.

  5. beefytrout - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    By the end of this thing, I bet the lawyer’s fees stack up almost equal to a-rod’s contract.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      The fees for both sides put together won’t add up to even 1/10 of one year of A-Rod’s salary.

      • beefytrout - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        a-rod has lawyers from four different firms working on his stuff. Are top shelf lawyers in NYC expensive? do you think MLB went ahead and hired public defenders?

        while I was speaking in hyperbole earlier, I bet the legal fees will actually shoot well past the 2.75m you threw out.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 20, 2013 at 7:16 PM

        It’s not going to last long enough to get where you want it to go, bro – I used to do billing for a white-collar law firm.

        MLB uses Proskauer and will hire outside counsel for specific matters, like for instance San Jose’s lawsuit challenging MLB’s antitrust exemption in an effort to lure the Oakland A’s. They hired a guy who is based in San Francisco – he’s known as a tippity-top antitrust trial lawyer and he’ll be lead counsel and coordinate with Proskauer – so yeah, they get the best of the best.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 20, 2013 at 8:39 PM

        unclemosesgreen

        The fees for each side, let alone both combined, will easily eclipse 1/10th of of yr of A-Rod’s salary. You’re only talking about $3 million or so dollars here. This has been going on for a while and it will continue for awhile.

        Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat just had his divorce finalized. He had to pay his ex-wife $5 million dollars (I don’t know the other details). His attorney fees for his divorce were $10 million dollars. I heard that he paid for her lawyers in addition to his.

        Even so, 1/10th of A-Rods’s one yr of salary won’t come close to paying off the attorney’s for either side let alone both sides…

      • badintent - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:52 AM

        Wrong. Dead wrong. Law firms bill lunch,dinner and throne time . and $5 for photocopies.My best friend worked for Trump’s firm. Talking about billing.

      • beefytrout - Aug 22, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        “It’s not going to last long enough to get where you want it to go, bro.”

        you sound like my ex-GF.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:31 PM

        Haha – that’s up there with “ok but wash it first.”

        All of this is making A-Rod suffer in the only way that really gets to him anyhow.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      A-Rod prolly spent 1/3 of his Monday cash wad for Yuri’s lawyers’ retainer fee.

    • righthandofjustice - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      Sucart’s case doesn’t require many man-hours. It won’t be expensive. And if he wins, the government will take over the legislative issues from there. That won’t cost him anything.

      • franbotel - Aug 20, 2013 at 8:03 PM

        Dont tell them that; they are jealous and hoping A rod ends up broke, not happening. I always wonder why fans get so involved in athletes money especially in a sports like baseball that has no cap

      • Old Gator - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:03 PM

        Anyone can end up broke. It’s not a complex concept. If they pay you two hundred million dollars and you spend two hundred million dollars, you’re broke. Tell me you’ve never seen this happen. A-roid is not too big to fail. No one is.

      • righthandofjustice - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:41 AM

        The fact is A-Rod’s cousin filed just a writ. It is not a civil lawsuit that will cost him millions. The case won’t long either way. If he wins and proceeds to force some clauses of the CBA to be rendered unenforceable or amended, it may be a long process, but what will be used is our tax money.

  6. joeflaccosunibrow - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    Speaking of immigration reform, A-rod has the employment piece figured out. He’s got more family on payroll than Sears

    • Old Gator - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:08 PM

      Meanwhile, here we are in Macondo, struggling to achieve full legal indigenousness for our pythons, tarantulas, monk parakeets, northern snakeheads and Danton’s toad. People think it’s easy to climb out of a flower pot, crawl out of a cluster of bananas or escape from a terrarium some idiot left unlatched and go out and make a life for yourself in a world where you don’t really belong. It’s not. All we’re asking for is fairness.

      And an opportunity to clean up all those stray dogs, cats and raccoons out there.

  7. myhawks1976 - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    righthandofjustice,

    first off, esl classes are not expensive. invest. your posts are like a second graders mad lib.

    second. actually MLB has the right to ask anyone for anything. they do not have subpoena power and would hold very little power if someone outside the game had no interest in cooperating, bit that doesn’t mean they can’t ask.

    third off, communist powers? roflmao. put the bong down my houka tokin’ friend. MLB has less power and sway than either of the other two major sports. notice what is the only sport without a salary cap? football has one. basketball had one. hell, even hockey has one. the only reason there is even testing in baseball is Congress got involved and baseball became fearful of its antitrust status.

    I will say it again. this is all part of ARods teams plan to force an environment so toxic the Yankees agree to pay him to retire and this case never sees arbitration. it’s their best out. and quite smart.

    • righthandofjustice - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:17 PM

      Mr myhawks,

      First of all, there is a reply button if you want to directly reply to my post. You don’t need to make a new post to seek more attention.

      Second, who said I need grammar police to post in these forums? And I want to know what contribution your comments on my grammar add to our discussion, and to forum mods, if this kind of abusive trolling remarks are even allowed here?

      Third, MLB’s communist powers are illustrated in their guilty until proven way of handling violations, total lack of transparency in handling issues and inconsistencies in dealing punishments.

      Forth, MLB has the rights to ask anybody outside baseball for anything but so does everybody outside baseball to go to the government to make things fair.

    • bigharold - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      “.. MLB has the right to ask anyone for anything. they do not have subpoena power and would hold very little power if someone outside the game had no interest in cooperating,..”

      They do have subpoena power if they file a lawsuit and get a civil court judge to issue a subpoena, .. which is what they did.

      http://www.law360.com/articles/460510/a-rod-s-cousin-tries-to-duck-deposition-in-drug-clinic-case

    • hondoheaven47 - Aug 20, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      Dude. Dude. It’s not good form to make fun of someone’s sentence structure and then use little capitalization, “roflmao,” and misspell hookah (or hooka, if you prefer).

  8. billybawl - Aug 20, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    This argument might work if, e.g., MLB were suing either the MLBPA or a player for some state law claim that required interpretation of the contract. The rationale is that a court would need to resolve the defendant’s rights under the CBA to decide the state law claim, so the case should be dismissed in favor of the CBA’s method of resolving contractual disputes — arbitration.

    But I don’t see how Biogenesis has any rights that would be implicated under the CBA, or would even be a party to an arbitration under the CBA. Let alone whether a non-defendant, who isn’t even a player, has standing to raise this challenge.

  9. doggeatdogg - Aug 20, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    MLB and the MLBPA have AR to thank for how the next CBA agreement will be formulated. The owners will cut off their noses to spite their faces for one thing: No more guaranteed contracts. It’s over. They might even go as far as restructuring the league to fight the union and perhaps abolish the antitrust agreement. Disagreements about PED and other violations may have to include the courts to sort them out. They need to define what constitutes PED, etc. so players even if testing negative are held accountable. They need to clarify how HGH, testosterone infusions, and anabolic steroids affect the game. We may have an idea, it enhances the already skilled athlete, but this now needs to be included in the new CBA with amendments as (cheating) technology improves

    Interestingly enough, people fail to mention that while MLB or even the Yankees have been heavy handed, players have cheated and in essence, committed fraud to stay in the game and continue getting contracts. MLB should have legal recourse to go after drug mules involved in fraud against MLB.

    Funny how this is happening to the Yankees who want to hog all the best players and give crazy contract. There is a lesson here for a cap and no guaranteed contracts. And maybe it’s time to send this to federal court.

  10. ndrick731 - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Just because MLB wants to talk to him doesn’t mean he has to talk to them. Just say no. He is only the face of the suit. Aroid is actually behind the filing and is just using this jack ass like a puppet.

    • righthandofjustice - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      He didn’t want to talk but MLB made him to through the trial court. That’s why it is ridiculous since he has absolutely nothing to do with baseball, not a part of the Collective Bargaining process, and not even remotely related to the investigation. His lawyer claimed such powers given to an organization, whether government or private, happens only in a communist country.

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