SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorneys for fired Real Salt Lake soccer coach Mike Petke filed an amended petition in court today seeking to block Major League Soccer and Commissioner Don Garber from improperly forcing Mr. Petke's breach of contract and defamation lawsuit into arbitration.
Mr. Petke's attorney, Clayton Bailey of Dallas-based Bailey Brauer PLLC, said the filing was necessary after the MLS sent a letter laying out a schedule initiating arbitration proceedings prior to a judge's ruling on whether the case should be heard by a Utah court as Mr. Petke contends or moved to arbitration as requested in an RSL motion to dismiss filed on Oct. 7.
"Real Salt Lake's attempts to make this case disappear into the fog of arbitration is based on smoke, mirrors and misdirection," said Mr. Bailey. "Simply put, there is nothing in either the original employment contract or the signed amendment to that contract that references mandatory arbitration. What it does explicitly state is that any disputes are to be heard in a Utah court of law."
Another attorney for Mr. Petke, Travis Koch of Overstreet Homar & Kuker in Cheyenne, Wyoming, said that if the court accepts RSL's motion, the arbitration would be before Mr. Garber. "As an employee of the member clubs, including RSL, the commissioner would be far from an 'unbiased' arbitrator in this dispute and among the least appropriate people to lead those proceedings," said Mr. Koch.
Mr. Petke was approximately 18 months into his three-year contract with RSL when he was fired on Aug. 11, the day before he was scheduled to return to the team after a two-week suspension for his actions in an incident with an international official following a Leagues Cup match. During the MLS-mandated suspension, Mr. Petke met with team management to sign an amendment that expressly stipulates that future infractions could result in his dismissal. According to the terms of the contract, the team owes him his salary for the remainder of 2019 and all of 2020.
About Bailey Brauer PLLC
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SOURCE Bailey Brauer PLLC