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Judge halts 1 lawsuit involving U. of Md. ACC exit

UPPER MARLBORO — A judge is halting for now a Maryland lawsuit involving the University of Maryland’s exit from the Atlantic Coast Conference, saying a North Carolina lawsuit involving the exit should be resolved first.

Prince George’s County Circuit Judge John Paul Davey wrote in a ruling released Friday that allowing the two lawsuits to go forward at the same time could result in competing outcomes.

“Permitting both matters to proceed simultaneously plainly risks inconsistent and/or competing determinations of fact and law, an outcome this Court seeks to avoid,” he wrote in a 36-page ruling.

The University of Maryland announced in November that it will leave the ACC for the Big Ten in 2014. Shortly after, the ACC sued the school to make it pay a $52 million fee for leaving the conference. The ACC filed its lawsuit in North Carolina, where the conference is headquartered. Maryland responded by suing the ACC in Maryland in January, calling the amount an illegal penalty.

As part of his ruling, the judge threw out an antitrust claim. He refused to dismiss three other counts, which he stayed.

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