A Philadelphia judge has tossed out a sizable chunk of a lawsuit brought by a local lawyer who has claimed he was forced out of his position as counsel to professional baseball’s umpires’ union by a conspiracy formed in the wake of the umpires’ 1999 “mass resignation” attempt.

While granting defense motions for summary judgment as to Richard Phillips’ defamation claims in his most recent opinion in Phillips v. Selig, Judge Albert W. Sheppard Jr. of the city’s Commerce Case Management Program has ordered oral arguments later this month on Phillips’ interference and conspiracy claims.