A federal judge in Manhattan overseeing a $1 billion suit against the owners of the New York Mets baseball team by the trustee liquidating Bernard Madoff's firm said on Friday he would decide whether to allow the case to go forward by the end of September.

The trustee, Irving Picard, is seeking to recover more than $300 million of fictions profits that Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and others at Sterling Equities received during Madoff's fraud. Picard is also seeking $700 million in principal.

During a hearing in the Manhattan federal courtroom of U.S. District, Judge Jed Rakoff, lawyers for Picard and the Mets owners sparred over the merits of the lawsuit.

Rakoff said that, if he allows the case to go forward, a trial would start on March 5 next year.

The case is Picard v Katz et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-03605.