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Misericordia Faculty and Alumna Published in New England Law Review Online

Misericordia Faculty and Alumna Published in New England Law Review Online

Misericordia Faculty and Alumna Published in New England Law Review Online

Joshua D. Winneker, J.D., associate professor of Business and David Gargone, Ed.D., chair of the department of Business and associate professor of Business at Misericordia University, and recent alumna Danielle Clifford, J.D., associate at Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders, LLP., were recently published in New England Law Review Online for their research paper, “Pitcher-Victims of Major League Baseball ‘Illegal’ Sign Stealing Should Have Viable Tortious Interference with Contractual Relations Claims Against the Opposing Teams.”

Top Left Winneker, Right Gargone. Bottom Clifford.

Top Left Joshua D. Winneker, J.D., Top Right David Gargone, Ed.D., Bottom Danielle Clifford, J.D. 

The paper discusses illegal sign stealing in professional baseball, which utilizes electronic equipment to capture the opposing team’s signals.  These practices are in conflict with Major League Baseball’s (MLB) previous directive on sign stealing as well as its recently created rules. From there, the paper discusses how pitchers who have had their performance and contract negatively impacted by illegal sign stealing should have a viable tortious interference claim.

Tortious interference with contractual relations has five elements:(1) the existence of a valid contract; (2) the defendant’s knowledge of the contract; (3) intentional and unjustified interference with the contract; (4) proximate cause; and (5) a resulting injury. The paper applies this tort law to the MLB in light of recent illegal sign-stealing operations, which have hindered pitchers’ performance and value.

Winneker explained his inspiration to write a paper on this topic. Stating, “I have always been interested in writing a paper on this topic. The topic has become increasingly popular with many professional and collegiate teams getting caught engaging in illegal sign stealing.”

Gargone discussed how well he and Winneker work together as a team in many articles they have collaborated on at Misericordia. “It is always a pleasure collaborating with Professor Winneker on these research projects. We have a successful track record in finding relevant and timely topics to explore, including this latest publication on sign stealing. We both worked closely with Dani when she was an undergraduate student at Misericordia University. Having the opportunity to collaborate with her on the project was a prideful moment for sure.”

For Clifford, the opportunity was more than being published in a law review; this research allowed her to continue working with two professors who helped guide and define her undergraduate experience. Her role was to gather legal research to discuss with the team the legal support for the paper's argument. “I have learned so much from Professor Winneker and Dr. Gargone. I have been working with them since I was 18 and am still learning from them at 25 while writing and collaborating with them. It has been a nice full-circle moment for me,” said Clifford.

For more information about their research published in New England Law Review, Click Here, and for additional information about the Misericordia University College of Business, Click Here.