A claim by the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the Las Vegas Sun has breached a decades-old Joint Operating Agreement can move forward in Clark County District Court, a judge ruled Wednesday.
But the prospects of the claim may depend significantly on another legal matter — a lawsuit filed this week in federal court by the Sun against the R-J.
Clark County District Judge Timothy Williams heard arguments from the legal teams for both newspapers before ruling that the R-J could proceed with its claim that the Sun — which is delivered inside the R-J — is an inferior product and that the JOA, which is set to expire in 2040, should be terminated.
Wednesday’s hearing, which lasted for about an hour at the Regional Justice Center, came a day after the Sun filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging any attempt by the R-J to end the JOA prematurely would be a violation of antitrust laws.
Much of Sun attorney James Pisanelli’s argument before Williams centered on what he said was the need for the matter to be heard in federal court as opposed to state court.
“The Review-Journal’s attempt to terminate this JOA must be scrutinized by the only court that has jurisdiction to do antitrust scrutiny, which is the federal court,” Pisanelli said. “Federal court has exclusive jurisdiction over antitrust laws.”
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