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Thursday, January 10, 2019

"Thank goodness I have a law license" so I should know about jurisdiction

Above the Law reports on a lawsuit filed in Texas state court by a Texas attorney against Ticketmaster, after a technical glitch caused him to purchase Hamilton tickets for the wrong day. The Plaintiff, represented by his law firm, claims fraudulent inducement, breach of contract, and Sherman Act violation (the latter based on the fact that the only recourse was to sell the tickets back through Ticketmaster at inflated prices and for an administrative fee). The plaintiff is quoted as saying "thank goodness I have a law license."

But am I wrong that there is a jurisdictional problem here that he ignores or does not see, despite having a law license? There is exclusive jurisdiction over antitrust claims. I am not sure it is should be exclusive, since § 1337 gives district courts jurisdiction but does not make it exclusive. But a 1922 antitrust decision, accepted in Marrese v. Orthopedic Surgeons in 1985, makes the point clear, as does a 1976 case from the Fifth Circuit.

In any event, there is a separate removability question. Ticketmaster is an LLC and unless one of its members happens to live in Texas (doubtful, as it seems everyone associated with the organization is in California), it is not from Texas, creating diversity jurisdiction over the state claims are removable and the case is headed to federal court. (Update: Oops--forgot about amount in controversy--I doubt this case is worth more than $ 75k on the state claims and the complaint does not expressly ask for punitive damages. So maybe the case will remain in state court, just without the antitrust claim.)

Posted by Howard Wasserman on January 10, 2019 at 05:29 PM in Civil Procedure, Howard Wasserman, Judicial Process | Permalink


Michael: Perhaps. Unless this guy is now locked in to getting treble damages and won't settle for the $2000 refund.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Jan 10, 2019 6:54:14 PM

Very interesting one. But the real issues, seem to be more on merits here. Reading the petition,it is not so clear, what were the circumstances, causing him, to hit the " Back " key in his browser, and explaining at first place, what had he done there at this page. Since you can't hit the " Back " function, and go back, to a place, not been before. So,at first place, one can assume, that he was there previously ( he will have to produce a snapshot of the page, from within the history of the browser, and explain it of course ).

However, bit weired, that he hasn't mentioned that the tickets ( the rights ones ) would have been a birthday gift for his daughter, for it does prove or project, on his good faith.

But,he didn't specify, any connection with the Sherman act, or at first place, what was legally wrong here. Even if it is a fact that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, that doesn't prove what is legally wrong here. He will have to prove, legally, that the abuse has to do with being a monopoly, or abusing the power of being monopoly. But, this is only the beginning, down the road we shall know better it seems.

P.S : By the way Wasserman, you may find great interest in those fresh rulings ( NFL, and first amendment ) :





Posted by: El roam | Jan 10, 2019 6:41:49 PM

Yes but isn't even drafting and filing a removal petition more expensive than just refunding the tickets?

Posted by: Michael Froomkin | Jan 10, 2019 6:35:29 PM

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