NBA players’ agent sues law firm Gordon Rees for $92 mln in damages

Johnnie Pratt

  • Complaint in N.Y. court alleges firm implicated in client’s alleged fraud plan
  • Plaintiff Aaron Goodwin a veteran NBA player agent

(Reuters) – A longtime agent for specialist basketball gamers and his business enterprise husband or wife have sued Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani for extra than $92 million in damages, alleging the law agency and two of its previous companions conspired in a fraud plan more than the sale of their enterprises.

Players’ agent Aaron Goodwin together with his company partner — twin brother Eric, who is a sports activities marketing and advertising expert — sued Gordon Rees on Jan. 11 in New York point out court docket. In the complaint, they claimed the San Francisco-primarily based agency served to dedicate “a brazen bait-and-swap fraud to mislead the Goodwins into providing their flourishing sports activities administration small business.”

The circumstance pits a veteran agent for top Nationwide Basketball Affiliation stars versus 1 of the country’s largest law firms, with a lot more than 1,000 attorneys.

Associates from Gordon Rees on Friday did not straight away react to messages trying to get comment.

Aaron Goodwin’s customer do the job has integrated some of the major players in the NBA, like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard, the lawsuit mentioned.

“Our consumers experienced considerable reputational harm and a sizeable reduction of small business,” lawyer Rodney Villazor of Smith Villazor, counsel to the Goodwins, claimed in a statement on Friday, adding that he options to pursue the case to “vindicate the Goodwins’ rights and restore their reputations.”

Joe Kingma of Stites Harbison, a attorney representing Gordon Rees and the other defendants, C. Anthony Mulrain and Alonzo Llorens, who are former companions at the agency, did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

Mulrain, now at Holland & Knight, and Llorens, who is at Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, also did not promptly answer to very similar messages. Reps from the two companies did not quickly answer to messages looking for comment.

The Goodwins’ 61-site lawsuit information a series of bids for their organizations, together with the last a single, when Gordon Rees shopper Ten years S.A.C. LLC shut a offer in 2016 to obtain the Goodwins’ organizations for $35 million.

The fit mentioned the Goodwins were duped into believing the transaction’s conditions, which includes its employment agreements, remained the exact as before types. They claimed they were being not invited to the closing.

The fit accused Gordon Rees of “misrepresentations and concealments,” asserting the Goodwins’ signatures were being fraudulently connected to offer documents that neither brother stated they saw or agreed to.

10 years, which would later file for personal bankruptcy, has unsuccessful to pay out far more than $25 million owed to the Goodwin brothers, in accordance to the lawsuit. The Goodwins’ lawsuit, which seeks misplaced profits from participant wage and endorsement contracts, alleged Decade’s fraud scheme “unraveled” amid loan defaults and bankruptcy proceedings.

The situation is Aaron Goodwin et al v. Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani et al, Supreme Court docket of the Condition of New York, No. 650167/2023.

For plaintiffs: Rodney Villazor of Smith Villazor

For defendant: Joe Kingma of Stites Harbison

Go through a lot more:

What’s following for 50-point out Gordon Rees after pandemic ‘hibernation’?

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