Lawyers for the Professional Sports Bar Association, which represents the WSFBC, filed a lawsuit today in federal court seeking to overturn the WSUBA’s prohibition on lawyers.
The suit, which seeks an injunction that would allow the association to hire lawyers and charge fees for them, says WSUBC is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws by barring lawyers from representing athletes, employees and their families.
The WSUBSC is the only association that does not allow attorneys on its boards.
It has long had a reputation for its strict and rigid rules and policies.
Its ban on attorneys was enacted in 2006, after former WSUBO president and CEO Brian L. Hochuli was fired for publicly criticizing WSUB’s rule barring lawyers.
Hochuli resigned from his role in WSU, where he had served as the organization’s president, in 2011.WSUBA officials defended the ban on hiring lawyers and contended that they are necessary to ensure that the association has a legal staff to handle lawsuits and litigation.
In a statement to the News Sentinel, WSUSB Executive Director and Executive Vice President Brian Hochul said he was disappointed to learn of the lawsuit, which is part of the association’s efforts to keep its members safe and well-treated.
He said he and other WSU officials have worked closely with lawyers to ensure the safety of the WSB and its members, and that the lawsuit does not represent WSU’s position on legal representation.
The lawsuit seeks an order that WSUBB immediately end the ban and allow attorneys to be employed on its board, according to the complaint.
It also seeks to lift the ban by March 20.WSBB officials said they will not comment further on the lawsuit until it is filed.