Tuesday, November 19, 2019

By Rule - Analysis of Joe West v Paul Lo Duca

With MLB umpire Joe West suing former catcher Paul Lo Duca for defamation following purportedly false comments made during a podcast on The Action Network, we asked sports lawyer and former MiLB ump Brandon Leopoldus for his expert analysis in By Rule, our legal discussion segment.

In October, West filed suit against LoDuca and The Action Network alleging that the defendants defamed West's character through spreading of false allegations after Lo Duca, in May, said on the air that West purportedly gave Mets pitcher Billy Wagner favorable ball/strike calls in exchange for Wagner giving West the use of his classic car.

MLB's stringent rules prohibiting bribery and the umpiring profession's reputation of neutrality and integrity would reasonably suggest that such an imagined quid pro quo bribe runs afoul of baseball's policies, and, according to West's complaint, have caused West to suffer harm, including but not limited to his professional relationships and impugnment of his integrity, honesty, and professional fitness.
Related PostJoe West Sues Paul LoDuca Over Bribery Claim (10/22/19).

In May, we fact checked Lo Duca's podcast claims and found they were largely false; similar fact-checking is included by West's legal team in his complaint filed in New York court.
Related PostPants on Fire - Paul Lo Duca's Joe West Accusation (5/10/19).

West is represented in his lawsuit by Nicholas J. Zaita of Lewis Dibiasi Zaita & Higgens and Kevin L. Murphy of Murphy Landen Jones, PLLC, both of whom are also representing Angel Hernandez in his discrimination suit against Major League Baseball.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: By Rule - Legal Analysis of West's Defamation Suit vs Lo Duca (CCS)


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