The honeymoon is over, in more ways that one.
After the lawsuit against recently-married Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger languished for months in Nevada over a threshold procedural issue based on whether the case should stay in the county where it was filed or whether it should be moved to the county where the alleged incident occurred, the Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that the case should stay put.
It means that the case will finally proceed, and that it will do so in the county in which the plaintiff’s lawyer chose to file the case.
Fights over forum selection are common in civil suits. The lawyer representing the plaintiff, when faced with a choice of possible venues, picks the one that the lawyer believes will be the kindest to the plaintiff. If the lawyer for the defendant(s) believes that another possible forum exists that would be less favorable to the plaintiff, the lawyer for the defendant(s) sometimes tries to move the case there.
“We’re delighted with the court’s ruling and look forward to proceeding with the case in 2nd Judicial District Court,” the plaintiff’s lawyer, Cal Dunlap, told the Associated Press.
In some cases, the choice of a forum can be the difference between winning and losing. In this case, Roethlisberger lawyer David Cornwell doesn’t think so. Cornwell told the AP that the ruling “does not affect the likely outcome of this case,” and that “the jury will conclude that Ben has been falsely accused.”
The most important aspect of the development is that, more than two years after it was filed, the case will move off square one.
Despite any actual or apparent weaknesses in the plaintiff’s case, the best move for Ben could be to peel off some of that lump sum he receives when restructuring his contract to put this one behind him, once and for all.