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Marrese v. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
726 F.2d 1150 (1984)


Dr. Anthony Marrese and Dr. Michael Treister (plaintiffs) were orthopedic surgeons who applied for membership in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (academy) (defendant), a voluntary private professional association. The academy denied the doctors’ applications without providing a hearing or explaining the reasons for denial. The doctors sued the academy in Illinois state court, alleging that the academy was required to hold a hearing on their applications. The state court dismissed the complaint. The doctors then brought an antitrust action against the academy in federal district court, alleging that the academy had a monopoly in the orthopedic-surgery market and had refused the doctors’ membership applications because the doctors competed too aggressively with other academy members. During pretrial discovery, the doctors requested all files pertaining to the academy’s denial of membership applications between 1970 and 1980. The academy refused to produce the materials. The district court ordered the academy to produce the materials subject to a protective order that allowed the doctors to view their own application files and allowed the doctors’ lawyers to view all the membership materials and depose anyone named in them. The academy refused to comply. The district court held the academy in criminal contempt for violating the discovery order and fined the academy $10,000. The academy appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

Dissent (Wood, J.)

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