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Alex Rodriguez Sued By Gordon Rees For Fees

Feb. 20, 2015, 6:28 PM

If Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani has anything to say about it, Alex Rodriguez should do more than apologize for drug use. The firm is claiming, in a lawsuit filed the day after the Yankees player said he was sorry, that the ballplayer hadn’t paid his legal bills.

Gordon Rees said Rodriguez owes just over $380,000 in fees for “hundreds of hours of work performed on his behalf’’ by many of its attorneys. Gordon Rees was one of several firms representing Rodriguez as he faced inquiries over his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.

According to the suit, rates at Gordon Rees “were at least $400 an hour’’ for the partners working on his case.

Rodriguez may have paid part of his bill, however, because the complaint refers to services that remain “unpaid.’' The complaint doesn’t say how much of the bill has been settled.

David Cornwell of Gordon Rees led the team at the firm representing the player. The former executive director of the NFL Coaches Association, Cornwell specializes in sports law. Recently, he represented former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, who had been harassed by his teammates.

Neither Cornwell nor Peter Siachos , the partner who filed the suit, returned calls seeking comment.

At least one other lawyer defending Rodriguez said remuneration hasn’t been an issue.

“I’ve been paid completely and in a timely manner,’' Joe Tacopina of Tacopina & Seigel said in a phone interview. He said the ballplayer was, “as a client, as stand-up as they come.’'

Other attorneys representing Rodriguez included Reed Smith partner Jordan Siev , and James Sharp and Stephen Grafman of Sharp & Associates . They didn’t return calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Major League Baseball suspended Rodriguez in August 2013. At the time, then-Commissioner Bud Selig said Rodriguez had used testosterone and human growth hormone and tried to obstruct an investigation into a Florida health clinic that was distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

“I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension,’' Rodriguez said in a hand-written note, posted on MLB.com on Feb. 17. “I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be. To Major League Baseball, the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family, the Players Association and you, the fans, I can only say I’m sorry.’'

The suspension has ended. Anthony Bosch, the former owner of Biogenesis, the now-closed Florida clinic that MLB said supplied players including Rodriguez with performance-enhancing drugs, was sentenced on Feb. 17 to four years in prison.

Tacopina said his client doesn’t face prosecution or further sanctions and is looking forward to getting back to playing ball.

Rodriguez is “not a target of any investigation and has made his peace with Major League Baseball,’' Tacopina said. “He’s getting ready for spring training. Now that the suspension is over, he’s eager to get out there and just focus on baseball.’'

The case is Gordon Rees v. Rodriguez, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan).

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