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Lawyer suing Alex Rodriguez over unpaid fees

  • Frank Santos

Photo: AP

It’s safe to say that Yankees third basemen Alex Rodriguez should have enough money to cover a lawyers fee, and well, pretty much anything for that matter. A-Rod did sign a $275 million contract with the Yanks, so unless a lawyer is charging millions an hour, shouldn’t be much of an issue. Apparently it is though, as one of Rodriguez’s former lawyers, David Cornwell,  is suing him for alleged unpaid fees. Via the New York Daily News:

Veteran sports attorney David Cornwell, who represented Rodriguez in his 2013 Biogenesis doping battle, intends to sue Rodriguez next week for nonpayment of roughly a half-million dollars in legal fees, the Daily News has learned.

The story gets deeper, as Rodriguez may try to say that he was misled by his “team of advisers”, and that is why he’s not ponying up the money. However, that defense has one flaw, it would then waive attorney-client privilege, and those lawyers can start talking about anything he told them:

According to one baseball source, A-Rod has told friends that he believes he was ill-served by his team of advisers. If Rodriguez uses malpractice claims to justify withholding his fees, however, he will effectively waive the attorney-client privilege, potentially exposing even more of his dirty laundry.

“If Alex Rodriguez claims he shouldn’t have to pay his attorney because the attorney gave him bad advice, it seems likely that a court will allow the attorney to tell the world what Alex was telling him at the time he gave the advice,” said Daily News legal analyst Tom Harvey. “The Code of Professional Responsibility specifically provides that a lawyer may reveal confidences or secrets necessary to defend against accusation of wrongful conduct.”

Christopher Steven, a writer at our MLB site Reading Between the Seams, and also a lawyer offers some additional insight about the situation:

There’s a difference between saying your lawyer gave bad advice and suing for malpractice. While it’s true that A-C privilege could be waived if A-Rod sues for malpractice, it’s not likely the privilege will be waived if his attorneys sue to get their legal fees. It’s an important distinction.

Rodriguez is currently serving a year-long suspension from the MLB, but can never seem to stay out of the news. Honestly, I don’t know how the Yanks can possibly welcome him back next season, though they have little to no choice. This guy is just drama waiting to happen.

Frank Santos- NY Sports-Kings Co-Manager

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