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Morals Clause Aside, Lock Poker May Have Other Legal Remedies in Jose Macedo Case

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Aug/19/2011
Lock Poker

Lock Poker on Thursday announced its intention to go after a former player representative through legal actions.  Details have not been disclosed as attorneys are currently reviewing the matter.

Gambling911.com hasn’t read the contract between Lock and Macedo but “morals” clauses are the norm in similar media arrangements.  For example, an individual acting on behalf of a company cannot deliberately embarrass that organization. 

Often such clauses relate to untoward behavior such as urinating in the aisle of a plane or getting involved in a domestic dispute.

From the OffSideSports Blog Spot:

Morals are shaped by the beliefs of a society, and so by implication, interpreting what’s moral can be a subjective exercise, at times elusive and constantly in flux.

The history behind moral clauses reveal their vagueness and how they are tied to the beliefs of a society. In the 1920s, the clauses became notorious during the McCarthyist era when they were used to terminate contracts of many writers, directors and producers who were accused of having communist leanings.

More recently, morals clauses have been used to terminate sponsor deals with Tiger Woods (adultery), as well as Michael Vick (dog fighting), Kobe Bryant (sexual assault) and Randy Moss (photographed with cocaine).

Macedo’s actions may stretch beyond a simple morals clause that permit Lock Poker to terminate his contract (and most certainly they had every right to do so under the circumstances).

Here you have a situation where his bad behavior led to stealing from the company and/or its customers, and Macedo admits to doing so.   There was harm deliberately inflicted by the culprit (Macedo). 

It’s one thing to have a professional athlete behaving badly off the field, it’s quite another to have a professional athlete behaving badly on the field, resulting in harm to others and the organization itself. 

We are inclined to believe that is the route Lock will be taking here.

Eric “Rizen” Lynch, one of the most trusted folks in the poker community and a paid consultant for Lock, issued the following statement yesterday:

"Lock is currently pursuing legal action against Jose so we are unable to make a substantial comment at this time. We do realize that ongoing silence can lead to people jumping to conclusions. What happened goes against the very core of our player based philosophy and we intend on exercising our legal rights in the most severe degree. We will keep you updated as things progress"

With some folks questioning whether Lynch’s response is nothing more than a smokescreen to keep the cynics away, he was quick to follow up:

“It's being filed in the near future, once it is the details of what exactly the purpose is will become clearer. There is still some due diligence that must be done first, but I advised it would be better to comment as best we could for now rather than stay silent.

“I was VERY clear with Lock before we released this statement that it was a bad idea unless we were actually committed to pursuing legal action, otherwise it would just look like an attempt to avoid commenting.

“I cannot control how the community decides to react to things, and given the nature and history of online poker over the last 4-5 years I certainly don't blame people for taking anything that goes on with a heavy dose of cynicism.

“If a reasonable amount of time goes by and there are no updates and no filings then I fully expect the community to call us out on it. I think if history has taught us anything about the 2+2 community, it's that hoping they forget about things or let them go is a bad strategy.”

Lock Poker regularly interacts with its customers and others in the player community via forums like TwoPlusTwo.com. 

G911.co encourages its readers to check out the Lock Poker Interaction forum at the Two Plus Two website.

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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