Risk Update

Conflicts Cacophony — “Sublime” Conflicts Fee Fight

Sublime’s Ex-Lawyers Hit Back at Malpractice Lawsuit, Calling It a ‘Pathetic’ Attempt to Avoid Legal Bills” —

  • “Top music law firm King Holmes Paterno & Soriano is firing back at a legal malpractice lawsuit filed by the band Sublime, arguing that the group has “falsely and maliciously” sued to get out of paying their hefty legal bills.”
  • “‘While Sublime had the right to terminate its lawyers at any time, it has no right to sidestep its responsibility to pay fees it incurred,’ the firm wrote. ‘Yet, in an obvious and pathetic attempt to do exactly that, plaintiffs, presumably at the prodding of reputationally challenged new advisors, have cynically elected to file a trumped-up preemptive malpractice suit falsely and maliciously accusing the law firm of conflicts of interest they claim caused them unspecified damages.'”
  • “The filing from King Holmes aimed to rebut many of Sublime’s specific allegations, including the band’s accusation that the firm steered it into a merchandise deal without disclosing that the company was another one of the firm’s clients — a move Sublime claimed cost the band millions.”
  • “In Monday’s filing, the firm said it had disclosed that potential conflict of interest to the band members and that they had consented to the arrangement. King Holmes said it even invited the band members’ personal attorneys to be involved in the negotiations to avoid any doubt.”
  • “‘At the request of Sublime and its partners, KHPS helped secure a state-of-the-art merchandising agreement with one of the world’s few most preeminent music merchandisers, which also was Sublime’s merchandiser of choice,’the firm wrote. ‘That merchandiser paid and continues to pay Sublime higher royalties on a much broader range of products and with other more favorable terms than its main competitor offered.'”
  • “The firm went even further, suggesting that Sublime had perhaps been motivated by ‘predatory new advisors’ to file baseless allegations in court.”
  • “‘A cursory investigation done in good faith, had plaintiffs or their advisors cared to make the minimal effort needed to conduct one before pulling the litigation trigger, would have demonstrated what plaintiffs and their advisors already knew or should have known — that nothing could be further from the truth,’ the firm wrote.”
  • “In technical terms, Monday’s filing accused Sublime and its surviving members of breach of contract and other related violations, saying they had violated their agreement by failing to pay the firm $108,852 in past-due legal bills. The case will be litigated alongside the original allegations filed in January.”