Strumwasser & Woocher
HomeAbout the FirmAttorneysPractice AreasContact Us

S&W Press

Westchester Appeals to CIF on Sanctions

Attorneys representing Westchester and ineligible player Amir Johnson have filed appeals to the California Interscholastic Federation state office in a last-ditch attempt to overturn City Section sanctions against the school's state-champion boys' basketball team.

The sanctions include Westchester's being banned from the playoffs this season.

A ruling by the state office is expected before the regular season ends Feb. 13, attorneys said. The City Section playoff pairings are to be determined the following day.

"We understand that the state CIF office will be able to turn this around quickly enough to provide us with meaningful relief should they rule in our favor," said Lamar Baker, an attorney for the Santa Monica firm of Strumwasser and Woocher, which is representing Westchester.

Baker said he is working on the appeal pro bono. Michael Strumwasser, a partner in the law firm, is a Westchester graduate.

Charles McLurkin, an attorney representing Johnson, said he is "looking to have a decision from the CIF no later than Wednesday."

A City Section rules committee banned Westchester from the playoffs for one year because an assistant coach allegedly recruited Johnson, a 6-foot-9 junior center, from Los Angeles Verbum Dei last summer.

Johnson was banned from practice and interscholastic play for one year for allegedly giving false testimony at a Dec. 16 hearing, and Westchester assistant coach Marlon Morton was barred from coaching at any City Section school for one year.

Johnson and Morton have denied the allegations, which are largely based on eyewitness testimony from two Verbum Dei administrators.

The sanctions were upheld by a City Section appeals panel after a hearing Jan. 16.

Westchester (20-2), the two-time defending state Division I champion, is ranked No. 1 in the Southland by The Times.

Strumwasser & Woocher

Our Location

Strumwasser & Woocher

Located at:
3151 Maple Drive NE
Atlanta, GA 30305 - Map [+]

Phone: (404) 509-7143
2013 All Rights Reserved.