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Angels, Anaheim Trial Date Is Set

Times Staff Writer

The Angels and the city of Anaheim will go to trial Jan. 9, Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter Polos ruled Wednesday.

Polos set the new trial date after agreeing with city lawyers that trial preparations could not be completed by the original date of Nov. 7. He also ordered Angel President Dennis Kuhl to respond to a series of questions team attorneys prevented him from answering during his deposition.

Although lawyers generally handle objections in depositions among themselves, with no judge or mediator present, the rancor during Kuhl’s deposition prompted Polos to agree to sit in on today’s scheduled deposition of Angel owner Arte Moreno.

“I’m concerned there’s going to be continued contentiousness in this matter,” Polos said.

The Angels have provided the city with audited financial statements, and Polos ordered the two sides to agree on what documents the team would have to provide to support those numbers.

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The city alleges the Angels’ name change violates the team’s stadium lease. Polos asked why the city needed financial documents to prove whether the Angels had broken their lease.

“Baseball teams always are claiming they lose money. We want to validate the numbers they’re claiming they’re losing,” Anaheim attorney Jeffrey Blank said. “If we can show you’re not losing money and you don’t need this name change to make money, that might be part of the case.”

In a court declaration last January, Kuhl said the name change -- from Anaheim Angels to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim -- was part of a business plan to enhance the team’s advertising and broadcasting revenues.

Moreno bought the team in 2003. In his declaration, Kuhl said the Angels lost $11.8 million that year, $35 million last year and projected losses of $12 million to $15 million this year. Moreno told Times columnist T.J. Simers last week that he thinks the team will make money this year.


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