Sunday, September 14, 2008

Duke Lawyer: Our football team sucks; You're right, says court

When Duke University backed out of a four game contract with the University of Louisville, the Cardinals sued the Blue Devils for breach of contract. Duke, citing a contract provision that allowed them to avoid damages of $150,000 per canceled game if Louisville could find a replacement team of "similar stature", argued that the Duke Blue Devils were the worst football team in its division, and thus Louisville should have easily been able to find a replacement:
... a quick synopsis of Kentucky Judge Phillip Shepherd's decision is that Louisville was not entitled to damages because the contract said that Louisville could not get damages if it was able to replace Duke with teams of "similar stature." The Court observed that at oral argument, Duke . . . persuasively asserted that this is a threshold that could not be any lower." The Court adopted Duke's argument that any football team playing in former Division 1-A and many in former Division 1-AA were of "similar statute" to Duke, and dismissed the case.

Read the article from the North Carolina Business Litigation Report here.

Here's the video of the Duke lawyer's argument before the judge:

It's not often as a lawyer you get to argue that your client isn't liable because they really, really suck. :)

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