Short and Plain (and Trackable)

It’s a busy time to be Lance Armstrong’s attorneys. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, a non-governmental organization given authority by Congress to enforce anti-doping measures in amateur sports, decided to file formal drug charges against the retired racing cyclist. Sanctions from the USADA would likely include a lifetime ban from sports and stripping Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles.  Given a choice of accepting sanctions or submitting to arbitration by Saturday, Armstrong decided to file suit, which he did on Monday, filing an 80-page complaint in federal district court in Texas challenging the authority of the USADA.

Later that day, though, the complaint was dismissed by the judge in the case, Judge Sam Sparks. Why? A failure to comply with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires “a short and plain statement of the claim.” As Judge Sparks noted, “[t]his Court is not inclined to indulge Armstrong’s desire for publicity, self-aggrandizement, or vilification of Defendants, by sifting through eighty mostly unnecessary pages in search of the few kernels of factual material relevant to his claims.” Armstrong’s attorneys reworked the complaint and shaved off 55 pages, refiling a new 25-page complaint on Tuesday. On Wednesday the USADA granted a 30-day extension of time for Armstrong to contest the drug charges, prompting his attorneys to drop their request for a temporary restraining order while Judge Sparks considers their request for an injunction.

While we’re sure you can continue to follow the case in the media, did you know that you can also follow the filings in the case? You can using Bloomberg Law. You can request to track the docket (number 1:12-cv-00606) and be informed as often as you’d like of any new filings in this case or any other case in a court covered by Bloomberg. As this case is in federal court, you can also view any of the filings in the case, such as the numerous exhibits submitted by Armstrong’s attorneys, which include emails, news reports, and even law review articles.

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