The NBA Players Union and owners will meet again today to continue their efforts to close the gap on what is believed to be a difference of anywhere from $2-4 billion in a new collective bargaining agreement. With the first week of training camps and preseason games already canceled, both league officials and players union reps have admitted that they are worried about the season starting on time. Gee, maybe they all should have thought about that when they took July and August off.
But the legal eagles at The AM Law Daily did a little number crunching last night and they came to a conclusion that may very well blow your minds – lawyers make a lot of money off of lockouts. To be specific, lawyers make a lot of money representing professional sports players unions, but it appears that one lawyer and law firm seem to be making a little more money than the rest.
Dewey & LeBoeuf, whose global litigation chair Jeffrey Kessler serves as lead outside counsel to the NBPA in its current labor negotiations, has earned nearly $1.1 million in fees in connection with its union work from July 2005 through June 2010.
Dewey’s ties to pro basketball start with Kessler, who joined predecessor firm Dewey Ballantine in 2003 from Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where he was part of a litigation group that represented unions for players in the NBA and National Football League. (Kessler recently helped NFL players reach their own labor deal over the summer.)
You may remember Kessler as the guy who allegedly threw Logan Mankins under the bus as the NFL Lockout was seemingly settled by giving his name to the media as one of the players demanding separate concessions from the CBA, thus extending the lockout and presumably the zeroes on his hourly bills. You may also remember Dewey & LeBoeuf as one of the law firms from the Frank McCourt/Los Angeles Dodgers bankruptcy drama, because they’re being accused of overcharging McCourt by a federal trustee.