Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bellator Suffers First (Small) Defeat In Nevada Litigation with Zuffa

Following up on my earlier coverage of Zuffa's lawsuit against Bellator and Pavia -- my most recent post with earlier links is here, on November 8, 2010, Bellator filed a motion to stay discovery pending resolution of its motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction

Essentially, Bellator argued that it was likely to prevail on its jurisdictional motion and so to avoid unnecessary expense to Bellator, the Court should order that discovery not take place while it resolved the motion.  Zuffa obviously opposed arguing that the jurisdictional motion was not likely to prevail and that the inconvenience of some discovery (and expense) would not be overly burdensome.

On January 3, 2011, the Court sided with Zuffa and denied Bellator's motion to stay discovery.

The Court summarized the case as follows:
This case involves, among other things, allegations of trade secret violations between entities involved in the organization and promotion of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sporting events. Currently, Defendant Bellator’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction (#8) is pending before the Court. Bellator seeks to stay discovery during the pendency of that motion.  Plaintiff, Zuffa, opposes the motion.
After citing the relevant standard, the Court held as follows:
Here, lack of personal jurisdiction is not so clear that discovery would serve no purpose.  A viable argument exists for this Court to exercise its jurisdiction over Defendants in this case.  Defendants have not identified good cause for the Court to protect them from discovery. Some inconvenience and expense is not sufficient to establish good cause. Twin City Fire, 124 F.R.D. at 653. Filing a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction that may or may not be granted is not extraordinary justification for a stay of discovery. If such were the case, delays in civil cases would be numerous. That result would be contrary to the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding. FED. R. CIV. P. 1.
I will keep monitoring to see how the Court resolves Bellator's motion to dismiss, but my prediction based on this ruling (specifically, the "viable argument" language above) is that the Court is going to deny Bellator's motion.

Fight Lawyer