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Judge rules Florida State can move forward with Atlantic Coast Conference lawsuit

Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper claims ACC was 'forum shopping' when it filed suit
Posted at 4:56 PM, Apr 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-09 18:14:43-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A state judge has agreed to keep moving forward with a lawsuit between Florida State University and the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper kept alive Florida State's lawsuit against the ACC on Tuesday — for now.

Cooper struck down a stay on a motion that would have put the legal dispute on ice until a North Carolina court ruled on a reverse lawsuit filed by the ACC.

The two sides are sparring over whether a nine-figure contract between them is enforceable.

Attorneys for the ACC say so, but lawyers for FSU disagree, arguing that the school should be able to leave without having to pay an estimated $570 million.

Cooper said Tuesday he believed the ACC was "forum shopping" when it filed its initial suit in December, just a day before FSU received board approval to file its suit.

Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper accuses ACC of 'forum shopping' in its lawsuit vs. FSU
Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper says he believes the Atlantic Coast Conference was "forum shopping" when it filed its lawsuit against Florida State University.

It was one of the key reasons he denied the trial's delay.

"There's only one reason one would engage in forum shopping," Cooper said. "That's because you think the forum you just shopped is better than the other place. That's why forum shopping is condemned in all these cases."

Cooper's decision came as a judge in North Carolina recently allowed the ACC's lawsuit against FSU to continue there as well.