Anaheim Advised by Panel of Preeminent Trial Lawyers to Continue Case Against Angels Baseball, L.P.
ANAHEIM TO APPEAL DENIAL OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND ADD PROMINENT ATTORNEY ANDREW GUILFORD OF SHEPPARD, MULLIN, RICHTER & HAMPTON TO LEGAL TEAM
ANAHEIM, Calif. - (February 15, 2005) - The Anaheim City Council announced today that it has authorized an appeal of the recent decision of Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter J. Polos denying the City's application for a preliminary injunction to prevent the Anaheim Angels from using the name "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" pending a trial of the City's lawsuit.
"We recognize that most pretrial appeals are not successful, but the Anaheim City Council feels that this decision merits further review and the City must pursue every available legal means to obtain the benefits that were promised the people of Anaheim under the contract in 1996," said Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle. "This is only an intermediate step in what may be a lengthy legal process. We regret that Arte Moreno and the Anaheim Angels' management have forced us to pursue this lawsuit and continue to implore him to reconsider this misguided marketing effort."
The City Council recently engaged the services of a panel of three preeminent trial lawyers to evaluate the merits of the City's current litigation against Angels Baseball, L.P.
"The purpose was for the City Council to have an independent evaluation by three trial attorneys who are recognized to be among the best in the State of California," said Mayor Pringle. "We felt that the citizens of Anaheim deserved this additional due diligence in a case of this magnitude. We are extremely pleased that this panel concurs with the opinions of our legal counsel on the merits of the case."
The attorneys were Wylie A. Aitken of Aitken, Aitken & Cohn, Andrew J. Guilford of Sheppard, Mullin Richter & Hampton, and Thomas R. Malcolm of Jones Day. Each of the attorneys has been recognized as among the 100 most influential attorneys in the State. Aitken is a past President of the California Trial Lawyers Association, Guilford is past President of the California Bar Association, and Malcolm is a former President of the Orange County Bar Association. Each reviewed the existing legal documents and discussed the case with the City's lead attorney, Michael Rubin of Rutan & Tucker. On February 8, 2005, these attorneys presented their findings individually and collectively to the Anaheim City Council and were unanimous in their recommendation that the City should continue to vigorously litigate the naming issue.
The City Council also decided to retain the services of Andrew J. Guilford to serve as co-counsel for the City in the case. Guilford will have a prominent role in the pending appeal and trial of the case.
"I am pleased to join the hard-working, knowledgeable legal team and to work with Mike Rubin on this important case. I am convinced of the merits of the City's legal position and look forward to prevailing in court," said Mr. Guilford.
All legal expenses and associated costs in the case against Angels Baseball, L.P. are being paid from the City's enterprise operation and its Convention, Sports and Entertainment Department. The department is partially funded by profits derived by the City under the current stadium lease with the Anaheim Angels. There is no money being taken from the City's General Fund to support this litigation.
"The fees for outside counsel and the division of labor in the case will be established in a manner which takes best advantage of the strength of our legal team, yet minimizes the legal expenses we will incur," stated City Attorney Jack L. White. The City Attorney is currently negotiating a fee arrangement with Mr. Guilford.
Founded in 1857, the City of Anaheim is one of the nation's premier municipalities and California's 10th most populous city. As the oldest and largest city in Orange County, Anaheim covers 50 square miles, with more than 340,000 residents and 2,085 employees. The municipal corporation's annual budget is $1.098 billion. The city boasts world-class organizations such as the Anaheim Angels, Boeing, CKE Restaurants, Inc., L-3 Communications, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Pacific Sunwear and The Walt Disney Company. Annually, Anaheim also welcomes millions of visitors to the city, truly making it where the world comes to live, work and play. For more information, please visit www.anaheim.net.
CONTACT: John James Nicoletti, City of Anaheim 714.765.5060