Judge: NBA has to turn over relocation documents

By Denis Gorman Modified: April 28, 2008 at 5:29 pm •  Published: April 28, 2008
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NEW YORK — A federal judge ruled Monday that the NBA must release internal documents about the Sonics relocation to Oklahoma City to the City of Seattle.

During the 90-minute hearing in Federal Court, Judge Loretta A. Preska also said that should it become relevant, NBA Commissioner David Stern could be deposed.

Early in the hearing, Preska sent both groups to the jury room to come to a resolution regarding which documents were fair game. She admonished the parties, saying, “(These discussions) should have already happened."

“I would characterize it as a success,” said Paul Lawrence, the lead lawyer for the City of Seattle. “Our basic goal was to get the documents pertaining to the move and we got them. We’re also going to get a deposition, so we’re happy about that.”

A lawyer representing the NBA said that the league, “had no comment on pending litigation."

Neither Stern or President of League and Basketball Operations, Joel Litvin, were present the courtroom.

The NBA owners voted 28-2 on April 18 to approve the Sonics relocation to Oklahoma City. The City of Seattle has sued to hold the Sonics to the two remaining years of their lease.


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