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N.Y. Giants’ Golladay Wants Lawyer Fees Ordered as Sanction Cut

Nov. 23, 2021, 3:15 PM

New York Giants’ Kenny Golladay asked a federal court to slash the attorneys’ fees requested by opposing counsel as a sanction for the wide receiver’s failure to comply with subpoenas in a suit by his former agent against a sports memorabilia company.

The request by Clarity Sports International LLC and sports agent Jason Bernstein for more than $20,000 in attorneys’ fees is inflated, Golladay told the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Monday.

Golladay asserts they are seeking fees for two partners’ in the firm that served as local counsel in the underlying case, which is “redundant with, or otherwise duplicative.”

And the entirety of plaintiffs’ bill associated with lead counsel in the underlying litigation consists of “a spreadsheet culled from some other document or record,” Golladay told the court. That submission fails to satisfy the court’s order requiring a sworn statement of the fees and costs incurred, Golladay said.

Golladay asked the court to strike the fee requests or order the company and agent to appear at a hearing to offer evidence subject to cross examination showing they incurred all of the fees and costs they claim.

The court in October declined to find Golladay in contempt for failing to appear for a deposition in response to a subpoena from his former agent but ordered him to cover attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in securing his compliance with the subpoena.

In the underlying case, Bernstein and Clarity Sports allege sports memorabilia company Redland Sports interfered with the contract between Clarity and Golladay.

Clarity and Golladay executed a standard representation agreement and an endorsement and marketing agreement in December 2016, the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania alleges.

Despite the contract with Clarity, Redland worked with a different NFL agent, Todd France, to arrange to have Golladay appear at an autograph signing event, the suit alleges.

After the signing, Golladay terminated the agreement with Clarity on Jan. 24, 2019, the complaint alleges. Golladay later signed with France.

The complaint in the Pennsylvania suit seeks damages for tortious interference with contractual relationships.

Clarity filed the Michigan action in December 2020 seeking to compel Golladay, who then played for the Detroit Lions, to respond to the subpoena.

Bernstein had previously sued France for allegedly poaching Golladay. But that case was dismissed after the wide receiver didn’t show up for an arbitration hearing and Bernstein failed to seek judicial enforcement of the subpoena.

The Lions drafted Golladay in 2017. He led the league in receiving touchdowns in 2019 and was named to the 2020 Pro Bowl. He signed a $72 million four-year deal with the Giants in March 2021.

Judge George Caram Steeh is assigned to the case.

Honigman LLP represents Clarity Sports. Bodman PLC represents Golladay.

The case is Clarity Sports Intl LLC v. Golladay, E.D. Mich., No. 20-mc-51484, 11/22/21.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Hayes in Washington at PHayes@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com