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Law of Cards: Leaf Files Claim for Attorneys' Fees Against Panini

Law of Cards: Leaf Files Claim for Attorneys’ Fees Against Panini

Panini and Leaf's battle over 750 signed Kevin Durant stickers has escalated. Fresh off its temporary restraining order victory, Leaf filed counterclaims against Panini. The most important point Leaf made is that it's seeking to have its attorneys’ fees paid by Panini.

Legal translation: Leaf thinks this case is a complete waste of time, especially its attorneys' billable time. So, Leaf wants Panini to pay its attorneys.

The crux of Leaf's arguments is that Panini cannot stop Leaf from owning and using these Durant stickers. Leaf alleges it lawfully bought the stickers on the secondary market months before Panini's exclusive contract with Durant. In view of this, Leaf alleges that Panini (and Durant) should not be able to create a contract later on that affects third parties that are not involved in the contract.

Barring the invention of time machines that is.

Leaf's argument sounds pretty good. It's just common sense: two parties should not be able to get together, sign a contract, and somehow affect the actions of something a third party already did.

Also, Panini's lawsuit is basically that these 750 stickers in Leaf's hands hurt the value of the contract Panini has with Durant. Panini, however, knew Leaf had these stickers months before they signed their deal with Durant. Arguably then, Panini negotiated the contract knowing these stickers may affect the contract value. Seems like an uphill battle to now argue the contract value is hurt by those same stickers.

If there isn't more to Panini's case, I think Leaf is in a good position here.

Panini will need to respond Leaf's counterclaim, so if there is more to the story, we’ll learn about it soon.

Click here to see Leaf's filing.

The information provided in Paul Lesko's "Law of Cards" column is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered in the sports industry. This information is not intended to create any legal relationship between Paul Lesko, the Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC or any attorney and the user. Neither the transmission nor receipt of these website materials will create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the readers.

The views expressed in the "Law of Cards" column are solely those of the author and are not affiliated with the Simmons Law Firm. You should not act or rely on any information in the "Law of Cards" column without seeking the advice of an attorney. The determination of whether you need legal services and your choice of a lawyer are very important matters that should not be based on websites or advertisements.

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Paul Lesko has litigated complex and intellectual property actions for over 18 years. Don’t hold the fact that Paul is a lawyer against him, he’s also a rabid baseball and college basketball fan, and an avid card collector. He's also the author of the novel Gastric Bypass, available for purchase at Amazon. Paul can be found on Twitter @Paul_Lesko and Google+.

User Comments


Whsy does it take so long to get redemption cards redemed from Panini?

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