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MLW VS. WWE LAWSUIT UPDATE

By Mike Johnson on 2022-06-24 22:01:00

Earlier today, MLW filed a motion with The United States District Court, Northern District of California, requesting that the court shorten the time for the Initial Case Management Conference between the two sides, moving it up to 9/29.

In their motion today, MLW noted that the Court had arranged for a Case Management Conference between the two sides, then moved it back to October.  MLW stated in their motion that they cannot begin discovery (the gathering of facts, including requests for information from the other side) until that Case Management Conference is completed and have requested WWE sit down for a conference, but WWE has refused to budge, citing that there will be a ruling on whether the Court will side with WWE's Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit scheduled for 9/29.

MLW has asked the the Court push the Case Management Conference up to 9/29, citing that "MLW will suffer substantial harm and prejudice without the Court’s intervention because, under WWE’s interpretation of the Federal Rules, the Rule 26(f) conference would not be required to be held until October 6, 2022, more than four months after the motion to dismiss has been fully briefed.   During this time, the parties will be foreclosed from conducting discovery."

MLW also argued, "Moving the Initial Case Management Conference from October 27, 2022 to September 29, 2022 – the same date that the Court is set to hear oral argument on WWE’s motion to dismiss – would promote judicial efficiency and enable the parties to proceed with discovery more expeditiously."

MLW requested the court set a Case Management Conference for 9/29 at 11 AM or as soon as possible thereafter, requesting the following timeline, should the court rule in their favor:

-September 8, 2022 – Last day for Parties to (1) Meet and Confer re: initial disclosures, early settlement, ADR process selection, and discovery plan; and (2) file ADR Certification signed by Parties and Counsel

-September 15, 2022 – Last day for Parties to File Stipulation/Motion for Order Changing Time re Initial Case Management Conference

-September 19, 2022 – Last day for Parties to file Joint Case Management Statement, pursuant to the Court’s Standing Order for Civil Cases IV(B)

- September 22, 2022 – Last day for Parties to file Rule 26(f) Report and complete Initial Disclosures or state objection in Rule 26(f) Report

-September 22, 2022 – Last day for Parties to File and Serve Administrative Request to Appear Telephonically at Initial Case Management Conference

-September 29 – Initial Case Management Conference

The 19-page lawsuit filed by MLW this past January alleged intentional interference with contractual relations, intentional interference with prospective economic relations, a violation of the Sherman Antitrust act and more, including allegations that WWE interference caused the cancellation of a signed MLW deal with FOX-owned streaming platform Tubi and prevented ViceTV from coming to terms with MLW, each preventing MLW from acquiring revenue that would have come from those deals.

WWE has argued back against those allegations and the two sides are currently waiting for a court ruling on where thing stand in the advancement of the lawsuit.

During a post-MLW Battle Riot IV media scrum last night in New York City, I asked MLW CEO Court Bauer whether MLW had been approached about settling their lawsuit with WWE in the wake of the allegations and investigation into Vince McMahon, as McMahon and Oliver Luck have settled their lawsuit related to the XFL.

Bauer responded, "No comment.  I can't comment on pending legal other than we are looking forward to our day in court and as we go through this process, I continue to be increasingly optimistic that when we get to court, it's going to be favoring, uh, Court." 

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