George Clinton Sues Former Law Firm; More Confusion Over His Legal Wranglings
from the hmm dept
We’ve talked a few times about the rights associated with some George Clinton songs, and allegations of forged signatures to transfer the copyrights. However, we’ve also noted that Clinton’s explanations have often been less than clear as to what he’s actually alleging happened. The lack of a simple clear explanation has really limited the ability to determine what happened and if it was really illegal. The latest, however, is that he’s filed a lawsuit against his former law firm and it finally lays out some of the specific allegations, though still leaves some questions unanswered.
Specifically, in this lawsuit Clinton claims that his former manager, Nene Montes forged signatures to claim ownership of the copyright on certain Funkadelic master recordings, and back in 2005, he sued Montes, and won. Part of that lawsuit was evidence that Clinton’s signatures were forged on some early 80s copyright transfer agreements, using some sort of “cut and paste” method. That’s part one. Part II (which still isn’t fully fleshed out) was some sort of plan to file a RICO suit against… someone… for the misappropriation of Clinton’s rights. Then, Clinton tells of an attempt to file a lawsuit against Universal Music, which appears to have been mucked up by his law firm (whom he’s suing now). He lists out a bunch of things he thinks the law firm did wrong, including botching certain filings to extend the statute of limitations, and not really caring about the forensic evidence.
So he’s suing the law firm for “negligent misrepresentation,” “legal malpractice” and “fraudulent inducement.” On the whole, while this new lawsuit provides some additional details, it’s still pretty hazy. It’s not clear if the law firm really did anything that would be “negligent” or “malpractice.” The lawsuit may not have gone smoothly, but such things happen. It’s not necessarily malpractice. Honestly, I’m a bit surprised at how weak the claims appear and how far out there some of the allegations are. As THREsq summarizes:
First, Clinton alleges he’s been ripped off. Next, those who have ripped him off allegedly pursue their own legal agenda. For example, Lewis is said to have convinced Clinton “to pursue other lawsuits to generate the funds necessary to maintain a civil RICO action.”
Finally, having been ripped off and having become victim to legal actions without his full support, Clinton sues for redress.
In sum, Clinton either has an insatiable appetite for suing or he’s the victim of never-ending legal fraud — and frankly, we have no idea which assessment is correct.”
I just don’t see a real malpractice here. They may not have performed well, but that’s not necessarily malpractice.