Lawsuit Filed in Million-dollar Striped Bass Dispute

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It would be interesting to read the complaint

As an attorney, the first reaction that I had was to wonder just wat IGFA was bweing sued for.
There is no contractual privity between the guy who caught the fish and IGFA, as far as I know.  It was Mustad who made the offer to pay the $1 million if the terms of its offer were met.  IGFA was not (again, as far as i know) partnered in any way with Mustad; Mustad merely made earning an IGFA all-tackle record a condition precedent for receiving the cash award.  Thus, any suit that seeks money damages from IGFA would appear to be on very shaky ground.
It's possible that the plaintiff is instead seeking a declaratory judgment against IGFA, arguing that the lure used to catch the disqualified fish actually complied with IGFA rules and that the record claim should have been granted.  That's not an easy claim to prove.  If a goveernment agency was being sued, in order to win the plaintiff would have to convince the court that the denial was either contrary to law, or "arbitrary and capricious," which means that there is no evidence that, if viewed without reference to contrary evidence, would support the agency's decision; in addition, the court would defer to the agency in the area of its expertise.  It's hard to see a court not giving a private entity, such as IGFA, at least as much deference with respect to its discretion to make decisions, particularly since--unlike the case of a government entity, which presumedly would have the ability to regulate a plaintiff, whether the plaintiff wanted to be regulated or not--the relationship between the angler and IGFA is purely voluntary, and subject to the conditions imposed by IGFA--including an explicit provision that, with respect to the granting of records, IGFA shall have the sole right to determine things such as whether a lure complies with IGFA rules.  If an angler doesn't want to comply with IGFA rules, he simply doesn't file an application; on the other hand, if he wants to claim an IGFA record, he must accept IGFA rules.
I can understand the angler in this case wanting to increase his net worth by $1 million (less taxes); however, I strongly suspect that in this case, he has decreased his net worth by the amount of his legal fees.

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