July 10, 2008 2:27 PM
NBA Turns to Skadden to Smooth Sonics Transition
Posted by Brian Baxter
The legal saga surrounding the proposed move of the National Basketball Association's Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City never seems to abate.
Even after last week's agreement that seemingly sealed the deal for the departure of Seattle's oldest professional sports team, the Seattle Times reports that the league was back in a Seattle federal court today trying to intervene in a lawsuit brought by former Sonics owner and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
The NBA has turned to seasoned league hands Jeffrey Mishkin, Douglas Adler, and Anthony Dreyer of longtime outside counsel Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom to file the motion to intervene.
Schultz claims that current Sonics owner Clayton Bennett's ownership group--known as the Professional Basketball Club--fraudulently induced Schultz into selling the team by claiming they would keep the Sonics in Seattle. Schultz wants the federal court to rescind the sale so he can resell the team to a more Seattle-centric buyer.
The NBA claims any effort to unwind the $350 million sale would jeopardize not only the current agreement between the city and the Sonics, but also the league's constitution and future ownership transfers.
Litigation partners Ralph Palumbo and Maureen Mitchell of the Summit Law Group in Seattle are serving as the league's local counsel.Make a comment