DCKickball Legal Defense Fund
DCKickball was sued on February of 2006 by WAKA for allegations of copyright infringement and defamation, among other charges. The timing of the suit coincided with the opening of registration for the 2006 Spring season, and initially there were concerns about DCKickball being able to operate in 2006. Thanks to support from its players, DCKickball found representation in the firm of Novak Druce & Quigg LLP and was able to take the fields for the time being.
Media coverage of the suit:
- 5/18/07 – Washington City Paper
- 5/08/07 – CNBC
- 5/08/07 – DCist
- 5/07/07 – Sacramento Bee
- 3/06/06 – Washington City Paper
- 7/04/06 – CBS Early Show
- 3/09/06 – Sports Law Blog
- 3/02/06 – DCist
The DCKickball Legal Defense Fund was created to provide an opportunity for people and organizations who care about protecting the rights of independent kickball league across the U.S. to operate without interference or intimidation.
At the moment, Novak Druce & Quigg is currently working without compensation on behalf of the league and players of DCKickball. Without their generosity, DCKickball would not be operating today.
However, there are still prohibitive costs involved in defending ourselves in this case (trial expenses, court costs, depositions, expert testimony, etc). The best estimate for a vigorous defense of the suit is $50,000. In this regard, DCKickball needs as much help as it can get. Thus the creation of the Defense Fund.
What a minute, shouldn’t DCKickball pay for its own defense? Good question, read our response.
When DCKickball was served with the lawsuit, many of you asked me “How can I help?” I think, being buried in the operations of the league, I was able to put the realities of the lawsuit in the background. But over a year has gone by, and the lawsuit is still here. If you’ve enjoyed being a part of DCKickball or if you want to support our right to play, here’s how:
All funds collected here will go towards the costs of defending DCKickball from its lawsuit. Every little bit helps. Please remember that PayPal will charge a transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30 on whatever you donate.
Total On-Line Donations to the Defense Fund: $1407
Other Donations: $1,694
What happens to money that’s left over? Good question, read our response.
- Jana Richardson
- Rachel Weiner
- Paul Furlong
- Manny Franklin
- Colleen Finn
- John Powers
- Carrie Knittel
- Sarah Renner
- Will Adams
- Aaron Jeanguenat
- Erin Weber
- John D Giorgis
- Nicole Coletta
- Nancy Duff
- Mary Lee Rabasa
- Rochelle Ochs
- Awesome Helicopter Ninjas
- Heather Newbill-Hernandez
- Allan Hsu
- Angelique Aitken
- Brad Erdman
- Sarah Eynon
- Matthew Toigo
- DC Dan
- Eileen Campbell
- Team KABLLICKI
- The Little Rock Kickball Association
- Paul Garvey
- Kevin Knapp
- Columbia/District Mid-Season Party (June 2006): $250
- Summer Kickball Invitational: ~$2,000
- Fall DCKickball Registration: ~$3,000
If you would rather not be listed, just email us. DCKickball will also be happy to link to you or your organization. Thanks!
Spread the Word
Another vital element towards combating this suit is raising awareness of what is going on. The suit was filed in February of 2006 and quite a bit of time has gone by. But the suit hasn’t gone away, and people need to realize that this is an ongoing issue for everyone that has a stake in the suit’s outcome.
Help us by adding this badge to your site! Click here to get the code!
Official Response (March, 2006)
DCKickball is being represented by Novak Druce & Quigg:
The suit WAKA has brought against us continues, and we are presently challenging it on several grounds. Our kickball season will go forward regardless of the outcome of our initial challenges to the suit, which simply ask the Court that the lawsuit continue in the District of Columbia, where we all play, and not in a Virginia Federal Court, as well as asking that WAKA clarify to us some of its claims.
We fully challenge all claims raised by WAKA and believe that its lawsuit against us is without merit and is simply being brought to chill the competitive environment in DC of the kickball leagues. Without competition, WAKA could simply take more and more of the game away from us all, seeking even more profit by giving even less back to the players.
“The DCKickball season and its divisions will continue to operate and there will be no interference experienced by any player or sponsor as a result of the WAKA lawsuit. We expect to be able to deal fully with all the WAKA allegations in Court, and that at the end of the day DCKickball will walk away from the suit without any liability to WAKA. This will be a win for the sport and all players, not just DCKickball,” said Greg Novak of Novak Druce & Quigg, the Washington DC lawyers for DCKickball.
Shouldn’t DCKickball Pay Its Own Way?
Question: Shouldn’t DCKickball pay for its own defense? I think on balance you’re correct. If DCKickball was a large, established company it should be expected to foot the cost for its legal costs. Legal defense, these days, is simply part of doing business.
However, DCKickball doesn’t have the resources to combat the lawsuit. That was true in 2005 when we were a not-for-profit, and its true this year as a for-profit. The transition of the tax-status didn’t change the fact that we are still a fairly small league, and once all the costs and expenses are subtracted out, only generated a tiny profit.
So, the point of the fundraising is simply to allow people to support the defense of a league that they would like to see around in the future. Without the aid and support of its players, DCKickball might simply not survive, and to people who are looking forward to future seasons, this would be a shame.
Everyone has their own opinion on this matter, and we definitely don’t want people to feel pressured into donating. It’s a personal choice.
Where Will the Unspent Money Go?
All money that we raise that is not spent on defense of the lawsuit will be donated to charity. We will accept nominations for charities, and then conduct an on-line poll. The remaining funds will then be split among the top 3 or 4 charities.