Back to News list

Keker, Van Nest & Peters Wins Emergency TRO in Pac-12 Governance Dispute


Representing Oregon State University, a Keker, Van Nest & Peters team secured a temporary restraining order blocking the Pac-12 Conference from holding an unauthorized September 13 board meeting.  In granting the temporary restraining order, the Court ruled that the Pac-12 board is prohibited from holding any meeting pending a preliminary injunction hearing to determine which members are allowed to participate.

Eric MacMichael, Keker, Van Nest & Peters lead counsel representing Oregon State University, said: “The 10 departing schools who have announced that they are leaving to join a competitor no longer have any loyalty to the Pac-12 and cannot be entrusted to make decisions on behalf of the Conference. The Court’s decision protects the opportunity for Oregon State University and Washington State University to determine a meaningful path forward for the Pac-12.”

The firm filed a lawsuit in Whitman County Superior Court in Washington to prevent the 10 departing schools from deciding the fate of the Pac-12.  In the complaint filed on September 8, 2023, Oregon State University and Washington State University allege that the schools who have announced their departure are no longer entitled to vote on the Pac-12 board or decide the future of the Conference.

The Keker, Van Nest & Peters team representing Oregon State University is comprised of Eric MacMichael, Nick Goldberg, David Silbert, Taylor Reeves, and Nate Brown.  Washington State University is represented by Drew Tulumello, Arianna Scavetti, Zach Schreiber, and Katie Clemmons of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.  The case is Washington State University and Oregon State University v. The Pac-12 Conference, No. 23-2-00273-38, Whitman County Superior Court.

About Keker, Van Nest & Peters
For more than 40 years, Keker, Van Nest & Peters has litigated complex, high-stakes civil and criminal cases throughout the nation.  The firm takes the cases where companies, products, and careers are riding on the result. Our clients are high-profile individuals, as well as some of the world’s most successful companies, including Genentech, Google, Instacart, Lyft, Major League Baseball, Meta, Netflix and Qualcomm.  The firm’s areas of expertise include intellectual property, professional liability, class actions, commercial litigation, antitrust, white-collar defense, and appellate.