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ACC Lawsuit Against FSU Comes to a Screeching Halt

ACC Lawsuit Against FSU

The ACC’s lawsuit against Florida State comes to a screeching halt on Friday as a North Carolina judge puts a stop to all proceedings.

Judge Louis Bledsoe III issued a ruling Friday putting a stay on all discovery and further court-related work on the case, pending FSU’s appeal at the state supreme court. The school is appealing a previous ruling by Judge Bledsoe that denied its motion to dismiss the case.

Lawyers for the school have given official notification of the intent to appeal the ruling at the state supreme court level. They have yet to actually file the case. Based on the court’s regular calendar, (it is dark throughout the Summer), and the future docket, it is unlikely that the state high court can hear the case before 2025.

Reasons to Keep Going; Reasons to Stop

Both sides were heard in Mecklenburg County court earlier this month on Florida State’s motion to stay all discovery, pending the appeals process. At the time, FSU’s counsel indicated that if they lost at the state level, they could consider appealing to the US Supreme Court. With today’s decision by Judge Bledsoe, that could sideline the ACC’s case against Florida State for one to two years.

In the hearing on the motion to stay, ACC attorneys had argued that discovery was continuing in Leon County, Florida, (FSU v. ACC), while there was a stay. The difference is the stay in Leon County is temporary as FSU attorneys file an amended complaint. Judge John Cooper, (Leon County), indicated at that time that once the amended complaint has been filed, and the ACC has had its 20 days to respond, the stay on discovery will be lifted.

Judge Defines Decision

In his 11-page ruling in Charlotte on Friday, Judge Bledsoe said, “Under North Carolina law, the longstanding general rule is that an appeal divests the trial court of jurisdiction over a case until the appellate court returns its mandate.” He later added, “[t]he lower court only retains jurisdiction to take action which aids the appeal and to hear motions and grant orders that do not concern the subject matter of the suit and are not affected by the judgment that has been appealed.”

This will further speculation that the two sides will be destined for a settlement. From the ACC’s perspective, it would have to be at a dollar amount high enough to quash the thoughts of other schools leaving the conference. From Florida State’s standpoint, any settlement would have to be favorable enough to the school to convince them to drop their lawsuit against the ACC in Leon County.

Further hearing dates in Leon County are pending. That is also the case in Clemson v. ACC in Pickens County, SC, and ACC v. Clemson in Mecklenburg County, NC.


ACC Lawsuit Against FSU



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