UPDATE ON ‘MAGIC: THE GATHERING’ JUDGES’ LAWSUITS
Posted August 29th 2017 by CardGameGeek
Wizard of the Coast logoThere’s been movement on the two lawsuits by Magic: The Gathering judges against Wizards of the Coast in federal court (see "Are 'Magic' Judges Employees?").  The cases were filed in 2015 and 2016 by judges for Magic: The Gathering events, alleging that they should have been treated as employees and paid. Now one of the two cases has been dismissed, while the other has gained a large number of plaintiffs.

The case that was dismissed was originally filed by 18-year Magic judge Paul Vale in 2015.  The judge granted Wizards of the Coast’s motion to dismiss last week, but the case can be refiled with an amended complaint if Vale chooses.

The other case, filed by judges Adam Shaw, Peter Golightly, Justin Turner, and Joshua Stansfield in 2016, filed a certificate with the court early this year naming 109 additional plaintiffs.  The plaintiffs have applied for class action status.

The Shaw et. Al. case was assigned to the same judge that dismissed the Vale case, but the complaints were not the same so a similar outcome is not guaranteed.   An amended complaint was filed late last year, which may also have an impact.  Recent motion battles have been over questions related to the class action status.  Wizards of the Coast has publicly disputed the assertions of the plaintiff judges.

Whatever the outcome of the cases, they appear to be having an impact, as publishers cut back on volunteer programs.  Wizards of the Coast eliminated its Dungeons & Dragons volunteers late last year (see "WotC Eliminates Its 'D&D' Organized Play Volunteers"), and Privateer eliminated its volunteer program in March (see "Privateer Ending Press Gang").  Both publishers gave other reasons for the moves, but they’re made against the backdrop of the litigation surrounding the Magic: The Gathering volunteers.

Original Article published by ICv2.