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The University of Maryland v. ACC: The Saga Continues


  terps2 This past  January, I wrote about the University of Maryland v. ACC legal saga.  As you may recall, in November 2012, Maryland announced it was leaving the ACC for the Big Ten.  In response, the ACC brought suit against Maryland in North Carolina state court seeking a declaratory judgment that a withdrawal payment provision in the ACC Constitution was a valid liquidated damages clause enforceable against the university.  The ACC alleged that Maryland’s withdrawal from the ACC subjected the university to a mandatory penalty in the amount of $52,266,342.  My previous post concluded with the news that that Maryland had just filed a 53-page counterclaim alleging antitrust violations by the ACC.  The counterclaim was widely interpreted as an application of serious and resolute settlement pressure. It is becoming increasingly clear that both sides would like to see this lawsuit resolved prior to Maryland’s July 1 departure date.  On that day, the ACC will welcome the University of Louisville into its conference, and Maryland will officially become a member of the Big Ten.  To that end, the two adversaries have mutually agreed upon a mediator to explore the possibility of settlement.  The ACC’s willingness to participate in arbitration suggests that the conference is willing to accept less than the $52 million and that they recognize considerable risk in moving forward with further litigation. The Honorable John R. Jolly, Jr., the Chief Special Superior Court Judge for Complex Business Cases for the North Carolina Business Court, signed the order appointing Bethesda, Maryland based neutral, Jonathan B. Marks, Esq., as the arbitrator.  According to the order, mediation must be completed no later than July 10, or nine days after Maryland is scheduled to depart the conference.  Mr. Mark’s decision will likely provide final resolution to this matter, as time is of the essence and there will only be substantially curtailed appeal opportunities. Like Mr. Marks, Joseph, Greenwald & Laake represents individuals and businesses when submitting disputes to arbitration or mediation.  The Firm’s lawyers have appeared before all major arbitration tribunals and have represented clients in hundreds of mediations. Final resolution appears to be on the short term horizon.  The attorneys at JGL are following this matter closely.  Be sure to check back frequently for updates.  Feel free to contact Jarrod Sharp with any questions at

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