SAN JOSE -- Ask most lawyers about their achievements and they'll tick off a list of courtroom victories. Joseph Cotchett boasts of his losses.
The award-winning attorney, now representing San Jose in its antitrust lawsuit against Major League Baseball for impeding the Oakland A's planned move to the city, proudly recounts his efforts on behalf of the family of slain civil-rights worker Viola Liuzzo. Cotchett contended the FBI was liable in Liuzzo's death because an FBI informant was with the Ku Klux Klansmen who fatally shot her on an Alabama highway in 1965.
And with San Jose's baseball lawsuit, Cotchett hopes to turn another old loss to his advantage. He unsuccessfully represented the Los Angeles Rams and National Football League against antitrust allegations for trying to block the Oakland Raiders' move to Los Angeles in the early 1980s. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the decision that the NFL couldn't block the Raiders' move, now could be asked to declare whether the rules should be any different for professional baseball.
Lawyer Joseph Cotchett, Fighting MLB on San Jose's Behalf, Shines Light on Injustice
By John Woolfolk
Published: July 20, 2013