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Baxter: NBA Players' Hotshot New Lawyer Represented Blazers Owner Paul Allen In NFL Fight

Brian Baxter of AmLawDaily writes that David Boies, the highly-regarded lawyer brought in to represent National Basketball Association players in their attempt to press an antitrust suit against the NBA, represented NFL owners during a similar legal scrum this year. Of course, that would mean that Boies once represented Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen, who also owns the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, and could soon be suing him.

But does Boies's work for the National Football League in a similar antitrust dispute with its players this summer present a conflict given his current representation of the National Basketball Players Association, which will become a trade association if decertification occurs?


One potential issue: At least two billionaires own teams in both leagues. Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen owns the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. Real estate billionaire E. Stanley Kroenke, meanwhile, owns the NBA's Denver Nuggets and the NFL's St. Louis Rams, having taken full control of the latter a little more than a year ago.

Speaking of Allen specifically, one lawyer familiar with the NFL's antitrust litigation says he finds Boies's decision to align himself with NBA players curious. "So Paul Allen was his client," this lawyer says. "And now Paul Allen is adverse to the NBPA. How does he do this?"

Check out Boies' biography from his firm's website. Ca-ching.

In 2008 Mr. Boies successfully defended NASCAR against antitrust charges and, with his partner Donald Flexner, collected a record $4.1 billion for their client American Express in its antitrust litigation against Visa and MasterCard. In 2009 Mr. Boies won a defense jury verdict for his client Starr International against a $4.3 billion claim by AIG, and represented the Golden Gate Yacht Club in its successful efforts to enjoin the America's Cup defender from disqualifying the Club's boat (which went on to win the Cup). In 2010 and 2011 Mr. Boies represented plaintiffs in California suing to enjoin the state's ban on gay marriage as violative of the federal constitution, and won a record $1.3 billion jury verdict for his client Oracle in a copyright infringement suit against SAP.

Hat tip: @Pflanns

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter