Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Pretty Soon You'll Need a Scorecard to Keep Track of the Lawsuits.

Pretty soon they will need to print a scorecard to keep track of all of the lawsuits that a local high school baseball team has generated.

The high school baseball career of J.D. Martinez did not go as his father had expected, according to today's Los Angeles Times. "[H]is father [a physician] sued [the] coach at Corona del Mar High, saying [coach] John Emme had derailed his son's college and pro prospects by making him pitch too much. Both cases were dismissed." (D. McKibben, "Slander Case Follows Pair of Lawsuits", Los Angeles Times, January 25, 2005, p. B3.)

Yesterday, it was Coach Emme's turn, as he "continued to testify in his $1-million defamation and slander suit against Marc Martinez, J.D.'s father." (Id.) "Emme, the coach at Corona del Mar for the last seven seasons, says the negative publicity from the lawsuits and the elder Martinez' media comments had hurt his reputation." (Id.) However, "under cross-examination, Emme said none of this had caused him to lose his job, suffer a loss in pay, seek medical attention or stop him from applying for a college coaching position." (Id.)

According to the Times, "'[d]isappointment' lawsuits, such as those Martinez filed, are part of an emerging trend in which parents take on school districts and coaches over the handling of their children. In some of the cases, parents have argued that coaches had done a poor job of showcasing their children to college or pro scouts. In other suits, parents contended coaches and trainers failed to help young athletes reach their potential. These types of lawsuits began to surface about 10 years ago, but experts said last year that they were not aware of any case in which a court had ordered a financial judgment." (Id.)