Clear Channel Speeds Toward Trial

Most M&A attorneys may be down in New Orleans, but the Clear Channel litigation keeps chugging along anyway.

Yesterday a federal judge kicked Clear Channel’s Texas complaint back to the Lone Star State, after the banks had requested a change to federal venue. That’s bad news for the banks, particularly given how Texas juries are known for punishing corporate defendants… actually, how they’re known for punishing all defendants. Think it’s the heat?

The New York case is also moving forward, or perhaps fast-forward. The judge set a May 5 trial date, which is well before anyone believed this thing would actually see a courtroom.

What we don’t yet know is who will be sitting at the plaintiff’s table. The New York complainants are only Bain Capital and THL Capital, but the banks said today that they’ve got a bone to pick with Clear Channel as well. They plan to file papers to expand the case as soon as tomorrow.

Clear Channel issued the following statement, in response: “The banks’ latest attempt to forum shop is a clear abuse of the judicial system. They have no right to drag our case up to New York. That suit relates to a contract we are not even a party to. The suggestion defies credulity.”