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MARRESE, v. AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ORTH. SURGEONS

September 3, 1980

R. ANTHONY MARRESE, M. D., AND MICHAEL R. TREISTER, M. D., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ORTHOPAEDIC SURGEONS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.

OPINION AND ORDER

Defendant American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons ("Academy") has moved to dismiss the Amended Complaint (the "Complaint") filed by plaintiffs R. Anthony Marrese and Michael R. Treister (respectively "Dr. Marrese" and "Dr. Treister"). For the reasons stated in this opinion and order the Academy's motion is denied.

Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint

Drs. Marrese and Treister are Board-certified practicing orthopaedic surgeons. They complain of allegedly having been arbitrarily excluded, by procedures amounting in legal effect to a group boycott, from membership in the Academy.

Although Academy membership is not a condition to practice as an orthopaedic surgeon, the Academy is characterized by the Complaint as "in a word, a monopoly in its field, possessed of substantial power to control the market for orthopaedic surgical services, especially by denying access to any of the various subspecialty organizations of the practice." Appendix A to this Opinion sets forth Paragraphs 8-12 of the Complaint, the principal allegations dealing with the claimed significance of membership or non-membership in the Academy.

Prior Illinois Proceedings

Dr. Treister's complaint was ultimately dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a cause of action, by a 2-1 decision of the Illinois Appellate Court.*fn1 Dr. Marrese's separate complaint had been stayed by the Circuit Court of Cook County pending the Treister appeal. Though the parties are in dispute as to the final disposition of the Marrese case, this Court will assume for purposes of this opinion that it has been or will be similarly dismissed with prejudice.

Memoranda filed by the Parties

Counsel have provided the Court with more than 135 pages of briefs (sic!). Eighty-five of those pages reflect the Academy's efforts to set aloft a cluster of barrage balloons to prevent what it views as plaintiffs' proposed raid on the fellowship of the Academy.

This Court will not seek to emulate either party in length of discussion. It will instead deal as briefly as possible with the effect of the two critical elements that let the air out of the Academy's balloons:

  1.  Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction
      over the federal antitrust laws.
  2.  Dr. Treister's Illinois lawsuit was disposed
      of on a motion to dismiss and not after a
      hearing on the merits.

Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel

There can of course be no difference between the parties as to the essential principles of the doctrine of res judicata and collateral estoppel. As another Judge of this Court put it briefly in Batiste v. Furnco ...


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