11.17.2014

"It Ain't Where You're From, It's Where You're At" - Gordon Rees v. A-Rod

Rakim once said, "It ain't where you're from, it's where you're at / Since you came here, you have to show and prove."  That advice could've come handy to law firm, Gordon Rees, in their lawsuit against perennial target, Yankees baseball player, Alex Rodriguez over alleged unpaid fees.

Back in July, 2014, New York Law Journal reported:
The firm of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani said Rodriguez, currently serving an unprecedented 162-game suspension imposed by Major League Baseball, owes $380,058.91—money he agreed to pay in May 2013 when he retained the firm and partner, David Cornwell, a veteran sports attorney. Cornwall, based in the firm's Atlanta office, is an expert in representing professional athletes accused of violating their sports' drug and steroid policies. 
Even though Rodriguez "unequivocally promised" to pay the firm for extensive legal work, he "now refuses to pay a substantial portion of the legal fees incurred over the course of eight months in connection with Gordon & Rees' hard work and long hours on one of the most high-stakes sports litigations in history," the complaint stated in Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani v. Rodriguez, 14 cv 5252.
The complaint, filed by firm partner Peter Siachos, also seeks prejudgment interest and attorney fees. Siachos said Rodriguez refused to pay the $380,058.91 at the direction of Desiree Perez of the Jay-Z celebrity management company Roc Nation. Perez allegedly told Rodriguez "not to pay the invoices, and to make Gordon & Rees sue him."
 
The firm claims it racked up "thousands of hours of work" from May to December 2013 and that Rodriguez only paid part of the money due. It also seeks to compel Rodriguez into fee arbitration in Georgia. The case has been assigned to Judge William Pauley.
But now that lawsuit is in jeopardy of being thrown out because it seems the law firm has no idea where they or Alex Rodriguez is really "at."
U.S. District Court Judge William H. Pauley III said at a hearing Friday [November 14, 2014]  that in order for the firm's lawsuit to remain in federal court in Manhattan, Gordon & Rees has to state in a new filing that its partners do not live in Florida, the state where Rodriguez resides. 
Gordon & Rees already amended its lawsuit once, correcting A-Rod's home state to Florida. [my bold italics]
"Maybe the third time will either be a charm or a strikeout," Pauley said. ~~ Newsday

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