Sweeping Victory for Major League Baseball Players Association

Department of Justice v. Major League Baseball Players Association

We scored a sweeping victory for the Major League Baseball Players Association in its high-profile battle with the U.S. government. During a federal investigation of Bay Area Lab Cooperative for suspected steroid distribution, federal agents obtained a search warrant for records pertaining to 10 baseball players. When the warrant was executed at a testing facility in Long Beach, however, the government seized and promptly reviewed the drug testing records of hundreds of players in Major League Baseball. Agents also seized urine samples from samples from a facility in Las Vegas.

We successfully convinced three federal judges that the government had violated the players’ Fourth Amendment rights. We then went on to argue the case twice before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit—first before a three-judge panel and then before an 11-judge en banc panel of the court. In 2009, the en banc panel ruled that federal investigators unlawfully seized drug testing records and urine samples of the athletes. In 2010, the court issued a revised opinion, upholding its finding in favor of the ball players. This victory helped lead partner Elliot Peters earn the Recorder's "Attorney of the Year" award.

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