Posted by : Matthew Wild | On : June 21, 2008

On June 9, 2008, the Sixth Circuit rejected a coach’s challenge to the NCAA’s disciplinary rules because he did not allege that the disciplinary rules implicated commercial activity or that he suffered antitrust injury. Bassett v. Nat’l Collegiate Athletic Ass’n, No. 06-5795, 2008 WL 2329755 (6th Cir. June 9, 2008). The Sixth Circuit held that to state a claim under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, “there must be a commercial activity implicated.” Id. at *5. The court further held that “the appropriate inquiry is whether the rule itself is commercial, not whether the entity promulgating the rule is commercial.” Id. (citations omitted). The court then rejected the challenge because the enforcement of disciplinary rules is not a commercial activity. The court also held that plaintiff did not allege antitrust injury. To satisfy this element, the plaintiff had to allege an “anticompetitive effect on the coaching market.” Id. at *7. The coach’s exclusion based on enforcement of the disciplinary rules was insufficient to establish an antitrust injury. It should be noted that the decision contains good dicta explaining when the rule of reason as opposed the per se analysis applies and the nature of the rule of reason analysis.



Posted by : Matthew Wild | On : May 16, 2008

In In re Scrap Metal Antitrust Litig., No. 06-4511, 2008 WL 2050820 (6th Cir. May 15, 2008), the Sixth Circuit affirmed the $20 million jury verdict.  The Sixth Circuit rejected defendants’ Daubert challenge premised on the claim that plaintiffs’ expert relied on unreliable data.  The court characterized this type of attack as one directed to the results and not the methodology and therefore should not be excluded under Daubert.  Rather, “vigorous” cross-examination should be sufficient to reveal to the jury these flaws.  Notably, the defendants’ expert conceded that even use of the flawed data should not affect the results because those data moved in parallel to the defense expert’s data.  This decision illustrates the importance of showing in a  Daubert challenge that any flaws were actually material to the result.  “Pitfalls to Avoid in Proving Price-Fixing Damages,” Antitrust Litigator (Spring 2006) — linked in the Articles page above — examines strategies to pursue in Daubert challenges.  The Sixth Circuit also affirmed class certification holding that the predominance requirement was satisfied because there was a class-wide method to prove damages