Attorneys Wrestle to Take Lead on Those Class Actions Over Super Bowl Seats That Weren't
Photo by Harry Wilonsky
A Friend of Unfair Park asks if there's any news about those federal lawsuits filed following those copious Super Bowl ticket snafus. As a matter of fact, at this very moment, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn is considering two things -- whether to consolidate the two cases, and who'll take over as interim lead counsel in the class actions filed against Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys and the National Football League.
The first suit, naming Steve Simms and Mike Dolabi among the plaintiffs, was brought by California lawyer Michael Avenatti and Addison attorney Christopher Ayres; the second, naming Ken Laffin and David Wanta among its plaintiffs, was filed by the Dallas firm Goldfarb Branham. All the plaintiffs, which now number in the hundreds, claim, of course, they were left in the cold following the installation of those temporary seats that weren't ready come kick-off.
Avenatti says in an affidavit filed on Friday that he and his colleagues "have already been contacted and retained by 171 class members [while] Goldfarb Branham represented to me that they have a few dozen retained clients." That, right there, he insists, should be reason enough to let them take charge. But if that's not good enough, he says, "Within the last three years alone, the lawyers at Eagan Avenatti have secured verdicts and settlements on behalf of plaintiffs totaling well over $100 million, including a top 100 jury verdict in late 2008."
Charles "Trey" Branham tells Unfair Park this morning that the tussle over who gets the reins "is a standard thing that happens in every class action: It's the old issue of too many cooks in the kitchen."
Both sides' arguments are below, and while Branham has no doubt Lynn will consolidate the cases for efficiency's sake sooner than later, he acknowledges there could be another complication.
"There are some claims in the Simms complaint which may allow the NFL to stay the case for 60 days, so until those issues are sorted out, we'd prefer our case not be stayed," he says. "Their case invokes the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which is a Texas statute that requires a plaintiff give a defendant notice 60 days before filing the claim. In the event you file before giving notice, the defendant has a statutory right to a stay."Laffin Plantiffs' Counsel Response to Motion
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