Plaintiff Called Out in Ball Game with Court of Appeals

Baseball fans may enjoy this opinion from Ohio Court of Appeal Judge Mark Painter. In a taxpayer suit against the Cincinnati Reds and the City of Cincinnati alleging failure of the city to collect stadium rent from the Reds, Judge Painter managed to lighten up the complex legal analysis by sprinkling baseball phrases throughout the 20-page opinion.

Judge Painter offers this succinct play-by-play in the opening paragraph:

In keeping with the less than stellar history of stadium construction in Cincinnati is this lawsuit involving the Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati, and Hamilton County. It has twisted and turned, parties have been thrown out and substituted, and none of the parties can agree on the rules of the game. The Reds, Cincinnati, Hamilton County, the taxpayer-plaintiff, and the trial court have become enmeshed in a series of procedural and legal double plays and errors. It is difficult to determine who, if anyone, is on first.

We resolve the case by calling the plaintiff out.

City of Cincinnati ex rel. Ritter v. Cincinnati Reds, 782 N.E.2d 1225, 1229–30 (Ohio Ct. App. 2003).

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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