David Boies of high-powered law firm boise, Schiller & Flexner LLP is representing Kosher Sports Inc. in its hot dog fight with Mets at Citi Field.
A kosher food vendor has hired a heavy hitter in the legal profession in its upcoming court battle with the Mets over selling hot dogs at Citi Field on the Jewish Sabbath.
Stepping to the plate for Kosher Sports Inc. will be the high-powered law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, which represented Al Gore in his historic clash with George W. Bush for the presidency in 2000. The firm also repped the NFL in anticipation of an anti-trust battle with the players union.
Kosher Sports filed a breach-of-contract suit against the Mets nearly two years ago after the team banned it from slinging kosher food during Friday night and Saturday home games — a move the vendor says caused it to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits.
Kosher Sports had signed a 10-year, $725,000 contract to sell glatt kosher hot dogs, sausages, knishes, pretzels and peanuts at Mets home games, according to the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court. The case is set for trial this month.
Team officials “at the highest levels” of the Mets organization were apparently concerned about “undermined credibility with Sabbath-observing” fans, the court papers filed by the vendor charge.
Fortunately for both sides, the jury will parse contract law rather than a complex question of Jewish law — whether food that is prepared and sold on the Sabbath can be truly kosher.
“It doesn’t look kosher,” said Rabbi Zushe Blech, a lecturer at the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts in Brooklyn, who is not involved with the case.
“There is a way to make it technically kosher . . . precooked food could be warmed up by a non-Jew,” said Blech, who authored a book titled “Kosher Food Production.”
Blech added that no observant Jew would attend a Mets game on the Sabbath, anyway.
“This is really splitting many hairs,” he said.
The lawyer for the Mets, Avery Mehlman, is a former deputy commissioner with the city Human Rights Commission who successfully argued a case that Sikh members of the NYPD could wear turbans.
Mehlman contends that Kosher Sports’ beef should really be with Aramark, the main concession operator at Citi Field, and not with the ballclub.
He complained that the upcoming trial will spawn only further litigation unless Aramark is also made a defendant.
Kosher Sports “has to sought to have its cake and eat it, too,” Mehlman said.