SBD/March 13, 2017/Labor and Agents

ISE Sues Agent Dan Fegan After Firing Him, Claims He Was Operating A Side Business

Independent Sports & Entertainment sued former President of Basketball Dan Fegan on Friday, alleging he unfairly competed against the agency by, among other things, operating a side business which he used to keep prospective business away from his employer. ISE filed the lawsuit in L.A. Superior Court after announcing earlier in the day that it had fired the agent who since '13 headed its NBA player representation practice, which includes Pelicans C DeMarcus Cousins and T’Wolves G Ricky Rubio. ISE is seeking an injunction against Fegan preventing him from competing with the agency. It is being repped by powerful law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Fegan has hired well-known criminal and entertainment attorney Howard Weitzman, who issued a statement to THE DAILY last night, deriding the ISE lawsuit as "outrageous and filled with erroneous allegations."  Weitzman said the claim Fegan was operating a separate business “is a total fabrication." ISE's lawsuit stated that it had filed two arbitrations to resolve its employment disputes with Fegan, but was seeking a court injunction to prevent him from causing irreparable harm to its business. ISE wants an order restraining Fegan from competing with the company by hiring agents from ISE; working for a competing agency; or soliciting NBA players or coaches that he does not represent; and, failing to hold in trust all fees he owes ISE.

TELLING THE BACK STORY
: Fegan sold his business to ISE, which was formerly Relatively Sports, in February ‘13, signing an agreement to purchase his basketball player practice. He signed an amended employment agreement in June ‘16 when Ron Burkle increased his investment in the agency and relaunched it as ISE, according to the lawsuit. "Starting at least in June 2016, Fegan embarked on a campaign to undermine ISE's business interests in favor of his own," the lawsuit alleges. That plan included refusing to sign the basketball agents who worked under him to long term employment agreements and by running the side business, the lawsuit alleges. However, Weitzman tells a different story. "It is noteworthy that Mr. Fegan personally financed ISE less than a year ago when its parent company was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and became a multi-million dollar creditor to keep the sports group viable," Weitzman said, an apparent reference to Relativity Media's bankruptcy filing in ’15. Relativity Sports was launched in ‘12 by movie studio Relativity Media. The studio emerged from the bankruptcy filing in '16. Relativity Sports itself was never in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
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