11/06/2001 12:00AM

Guild, Matrix to seek dismissal

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Lawyers for the Jockeys' Guild and Matrix Capital Associates are scheduled to appear in court in Lexington, Ky., on Friday to argue that a lawsuit against the two organizations filed by the Guild's former national manager, John Giovanni, should be dismissed.

The arguments for dismissal are a "fairly standard defense," said Susan Mohler, an attorney in Lexington who is representing the defendants in the case.

In papers filed in Fayette County Circuit Court on Oct., 31, Mohler said she asked the court to dismiss the claims against six individuals named in the lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds because the individuals are not residents of Kentucky. The papers also deny all six claims against the Guild and Matrix, which include defamation, breach of contract, and fraud, Mohler said.

Giovanni - the Guild's national manager for 14 years before being fired on June 15 - sued the Guild, Matrix, four members of the Guild's executive committee, and Matrix's president, Dr. L. Wayne Gertmenian, on Sept. 20, seeking punitive damages and his remaining salary.

In the lawsuit, Giovanni claims that Gertmenian and jockeys Chris McCarron, Mike McCarthy, Robert Colton, and Tomey Swan defamed him in front of other jockeys, and he also claims that he was fired illegally six months into a two-year contract.