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Molinas v. National Basketball Association

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
190 F.Supp 241 (1961)


Facts

Jack Molinas (plaintiff) was drafted by the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) (defendant) Fort Wayne Pistons, which later moved to Detroit. After signing a contract and beginning to play for the team, Molinas admitted that he had regularly bet on the Pistons to win games and profited around $400. When NBA Commissioner Maurice Podoloff learned of Molinas’ betting, he suspended Monlinas indefinitely for violating Section 79 of the league’s constitution and Clause 15 of his contract—both of which prohibited gambling. During subsequent years, Molinas requested to be reinstated on several occasions. Podoloff denied Molinas’ requests saying that he was such a “cancer to the league” that he must never be allowed to re-enter it. In the meantime, Molinas attended, and graduated from, Brooklyn Law School and was admitted to the New York State Bar. Molinas then filed suit against the NBA in the U.S. District Court for enacting and enforcing a rule which constituted an “unreasonable” restraint of trade in Molinas’ services in violation of antitrust laws.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kaufman, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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