Speros will ask judge today for speedy trial on Colts name

September 12, 1994|By From Staff Reports

Baltimore's CFL franchise heads back to court today in its long-standing fight for a name.

Team owner Jim Speros will ask Judge William Nickerson, of the U.S. District Court in Baltimore, to schedule a speedy trial in the pre-emptive suit Speros filed shortly after announcing his choice of a nickname.

The team, which wants to call itself the Baltimore CFL Colts, has so far been blocked by the NFL and its Indianapolis Colts, nee Baltimore Colts. The NFL claims the use of the name is likely to confuse fans and siphon away buyers of Colts merchandise.

Speros and his attorneys have so far fared poorly in court. A federal judge in Indianapolis earlier this summer sided with the NFL and prohibited the CFL team from using the name until the matter can be heard at trial.

Speros appealed the judge's preliminary injunction to a panel of judges in Chicago, who upheld the decision.

Meanwhile, the suit filed by Speros was put on hold in favor of a later suit filed by the NFL in Indianapolis that would go to trial Dec. 5.

Speros believes he will do better with a locally based judge.

"My understanding is, Nickerson is a very conservative judge," Speros said. "Because of that, it certainly has not worked to our favor.

"The time is now or never. He has to make a decision. . . . No more passing the buck or avoiding the situation."

The NFL today will be seeking to have Speros' case dismissed in favor of the Indianapolis one, or transferred to Indiana, or further delayed pending the outcome of the Indiana case. Speros said he was hoping for a ruling from Nickerson by the end of the week.

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