This was the story that summarized best how young Jennifer Valdivia lost her rights to the baseball she caught in the stands, and how she got the ball back.
The episode only made news when we filed a suit. Had the Phillies returned the ball over the summer, in August, or September, as their agents promised, the story probably never would have gone beyond the WSVN features. But when the season ended, on October 4, and we still did not have the ball, we went ahead and filed a suit, and the story 'hit the wires.'
Ironically,as the suit was being filed, the Phillies- finally, after numerous delays and obfuscations- were in the process of retrieving the ball from Ryan Howard's agent, who was in the process of retrieving the ball from Ryan Howard. So as the ball was returned, we laid down our batter's bats and settled quickly.
As I noted in the previous post, the most intriguing aspect of the case from a legal standpoint was the number of law review articles and scholarly legal articles have been generated concerning the proprietary rights of a baseball that lands in the stands. Law school professors in property classes are having a field day with this.
Forget the press, the slimy lawyer or greedy fan angle that has been played out on some blogs and media sites, this story really revolves around contracts with a minor and a proprietary interest that a fan may acquire in property that was not his to begin with but became his with possession. Interesting for a legal blog, no?