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Defamation lawsuit against Ryan Braun thrown out

Jun 13, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

Ryan Braun Getty Images

Last August, after Ryan Braun got his Biogenesis suspension, his former friend, Ralph Sasson, sued Braun for defamation. The upshot: Sasson claimed that Braun doped while playing for the University of Miami, committed academic fraud, and accepted money while a student. He said that he helped Braun successfully appeal his original suspension back in 2011, and that Braun then turned around and talked smack about him to various people.

Whether there is any truth to that is unknown and will forever be unknown as a matter of law, because Sasson’s lawsuit was thrown out yesterday. Why? Because he was basically acting like a loose cannon/nutcase as he served as his own lawyer:

Now Ralph Sasson has finally struck out;  a judge on Wednesday dismissed his case with prejudice as a sanction for the  plaintiff’s “egregious” and persistent misconduct in the litigation . . . In a detailed, 15 page order issued Wednesday, Van Grunsven granted defense motions to dismiss the case as a sanction. The order recounts the history of Sasson’s sometimes over-the-top demeanor and questionable legal strategy throughout the case.

The biggest is violating the judge’s order that deposition testimony be sealed by telling people about what other people said in depositions. But it also sounds like he committed the full panoply of pro se plaintiff asshattery: frivolous discovery, refusing to produce his own discovery, name-calling and everything else.

Everyone hates lawyers, but they’re around for a reason, folks. It’s possible this guy had a legit claim against Braun. It’s possible that he didn’t. But being a self-lawyering jerk cost him any chance to make his case.

  1. jxegh - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    If Braun’s former friend a self-lawyering jerk, what is Braun?

    • dluxxx - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      A self-jerking lawyer.

      Did I do that right?

  2. The Cub Den - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Braun should be charged with theft for stealing an MVP Award.


    • nbjays - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      Right after we charge Bonds for stealing 4 of them…

      • The Cub Den - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        You got that right!

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        You got that right!

        How did Bonds steal them again?

      • nbjays - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        Same way Braun did, apparently.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        Well one might argue that Braun was cheating when he won his. Since cheating is breaking the rules (PEDs). However, PEDs weren’t against the rules when Bond won his; therefore….

  3. stex52 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    Hey, someone who is more of a jerk than Braun. I’m impressed.

  4. ralphrc - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    No. Everyone doesn’t hate lawyers, but they do hate idiot tabloid so- called sports writers who are just looking to dig up dirt on athletes to sell papers and website ads. Wait until you’ll need a lawyer, and we’ll see your reaction.

    • nbjays - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      Um, you did know that Craig is a lawyer, right?

      Remember… 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

    • whatacrocker - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      He IS a lawyer, numbnuts.

      • ralphrc - Jun 15, 2014 at 10:04 PM

        He must suck at it.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:10 PM


      • sabatimus - Jun 14, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        Good god I’m coughing I’m laughing so hard.

  5. tfbuckfutter - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    “Everyting dat guy said was buhlchit”

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      What is a yut?

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        You were serious about dat?

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    Jerks suing jerks for calling jerks jerks.

    • dluxxx - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      I don’t like your jerk-off name, I don’t like your jerk-off face and I don’t like you. Jerk-off.

      • antaresrex - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        Forget it, Mr. Sasson, you’re out of your element.

  7. tubbman27 - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    Ryan Braun has a small, shriveled, dark, Jewish penis.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    • nbjays - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:37 PM

      Whereas YOU are a big dick!

  8. plmathfoto - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Can’t wait for the Braun defenders (if any are left) to trumpet this as a victory and/or a decree of innocence, actually I can wait.

    • ezthinking - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      No, it is a victory for the civil justice system as it demonstrates that merit-less lawsuits are thrown out.

  9. jimmyt - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    PEDs were against the rules before Bonds was even playing. They were illegal drugs and all illegal drugs have been banned by MLB for a long time.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      They were illegal drugs and all illegal drugs have been banned by MLB for a long time.

      No, they weren’t.

      SBNation: You wrote a famous memorandum to all MLB clubs in 1991 warning about steroid issue. It stated, in part: “The possession, sale, or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance by major league players and personnel is strictly prohibited. Those involved in the possession, sale, or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance are subject to discipline by the commissioner and risk permanent expulsion from the game.” Your whole basis for the memorandum was the violation of federal law. You’re a lawyer. And yet it was utterly ignored. Why? And, had it been heeded, how would the sordid history of the past two decades be different?

      Fay Vincent: The letter was ignored because it didn’t affect the players. They were thoroughly protected by collective bargaining. But I wanted to make a moral statement to them and legal one to everyone else. The union told them to ignore it. The only way a change could be made was through collective bargaining. The union argued that testing violated players’ civil liberties. The union had strong, bright lawyers who concocted a bulletproof legal argument.

      I knew the memo would be ignored. But even more surprising was that no one in the press covered it. It turned out to be right, though. Federal law, much later, would assert itself.

    • paperlions - Jun 13, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      Yep, just like the bowls of amphetamines in every club house, which have been illegal without a prescription (indeed, you couldn’t even get “greenies” in the US) since about 1970. While these things may have been technically banned, no one really cared if players used greenies or steroids until records were broken….because players had been using them regularly and commonly since at least the 1960s.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        Here’s a simple thought exercise. Assuming jimmyt is correct (he’s wrong, but bear with me) and PEDs were already banned, then why did they have to ban them again in ’06?

      • paperlions - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        Did they ban them, or did they just institute testing protocols and penalties for failed tests?

        Technically, he is correct. MLB had a rule on the books that banned the use of any drug that was scheduled, which included steroids as soon as they became a schedule drug in 1991 (or so). The problem of course, is that there was no protocol for testing or for violating the ban and there were no established parameters for penalties, making the bans toothless PR rules (which is exactly what they were).

      • ezthinking - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:10 PM

        Maybe we also should consider that testosterone and various supplements are not illegal then or now. Quite ironic that MLB Radio, MLB and the MLB Channel (NBC for that matter) willingly take money from advertisers selling testosterone, HGH elevating drugs and various other ‘supplements’ to bring you commentary that ballplayers shouldn’t use what their advertisers are peddling.

      • paperlions - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        Testosterone is illegal without a prescription. It is a Schedule III drug. Such drugs have medical uses and can be dispensed and prescribed for such approved uses. Dispensing those drugs for non-approved reasons or possessing them without a prescription is illegal.

      • ezthinking - Jun 14, 2014 at 12:20 AM


        Testosterone precursor drugs, like most the shat that is sold, are not Schedule III drugs.

        Please understand, I don’t think anyone should take them, but peddling and profiting from the sale of the drugs and precursor drugs and then slamming players for using them meets the definition of ‘hypocrisy.’

        – noun –
        the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      Demonstrably false.

    • sabatimus - Jun 14, 2014 at 9:56 AM


  10. drewsylvania - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Let me get this straight. Braun is a total ***wad, yet then the lawsuit against him gets thrown out because his former friend is a total ***wad?

    Some real winners all around.

  11. sabatimus - Jun 14, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    Sounds like Braun wasn’t the only one doing drugs…

  12. bbk1000 - Jun 15, 2014 at 6:39 AM

    “and that Braun then turned around and talked smack about him to various people.”

    Geez, that sounds so unlike Braun….no, not really….

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