When Sonics Owners Attack!

Categories: seattle — Tags: , , , , , — Posted by: steveg @ April 17, 2008 : 3:12 pm

Let the mud slinging begin!

It’s been a rough week for Bennett and the Professional Basketball Club LLC. After having disclosed emails that have hurt the effort of their current lawsuit with the City of Seattle, former ownership group led by Howard Schultz has filed for a breach of contract lawsuit to regain ownership of the team. Specials about the Sonics situation has sprung up on ESPN, as well as other national media outlets. Bad publicity is the only thing that PBC seems to get nowadays, but in today’s headline, they decided to strike back.

The Seattle Times and the P.I. have reported that Bennett and his ownership group are accusing the City of Seattle of working in collusion with Matt Griffin and his partners. In the new federal court filing, Bennett’s attorneys are stating that it is a clear attempt to bleed the ownership group dry to force a potential sale of the team to Griffin’s group.

The filing has specific asked for Matt Griffin to be involved in the litigation and publicly disclose documents regarding the City of Seattle that have been redacted for the sake of relevancy and privacy. In a simpler sense, PBC is trying to dismiss the case of the city of Seattle, by proving they had “unclean hands.?

Unclean hands is a affirmative defense legal doctrine that states a party who is asking for assistance from the courts cannot received if it he or she has done anything unethical in relation to the lawsuit filed. If Bennett’s group can prove that the City of Seattle has conducted itself in unethical manner such as filling a lawsuit with the intent of forcing a sale of the team to a local buyer, then the courts would dismiss this case. That decision would ultimately facilitate the move to OK City very rapidly.

This new move darkens the already murky waters of the Sonics situation and if the federal judge does approve of these filings, more dirty laundry of the City of Seattle and its government officials may come to light. Liars calling out liars seems to be the most appropriate phrase for this new development as it will be interesting to see how Bennett’s ownership group can manage both lawsuits at the same time while facilitating the potential move to Oklahoma City. The lawyer’s clock is running and the pay rate is not cheap.

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