C'mon Without Cmon Within
Attorney sues fan over Bonds ball case
This is from yesterday's USA Today... and is the epitome of what is wrong in our society today!! This man catches/shares a valuable HR ball, but now owes $238,000 more then he received from the auction ($225,000) to his Attorney!!! That smug lawyer makes you want to crawl in the picture and beat him with a clue bat! (FORT Reference). So this guy catches a HR ball, gets beat up in the pig pile for the ball, and now owes $473,000??? This is so so wrong!!! Granted he doesn't deserve a windfall for catching a baseball- but he shouldn't go bankrupt either..
USA Today- 7/9/03
Barry Bonds' record-setting 73rd home run ball fetched $450,000 at auction — $23,500 less than a lawyer says he's owed for representing one of the fans who claimed ownership of the historic ball.
Martin Triano of San Francisco is suing his former client, Alex Popov, for $473,500 in legal fees. Popov, who received $225,000 for his share of the sale of the ball, was the Giants fan who briefly gloved the ball before being mauled in the Pac Bell Park stands in October 2001.
Represented by Triano, Popov sued San Diego college student Patrick Hayashi, who ended up with the Bonds ball after the scramble in the stands. In his suit, Popov argued that he deserved to get the ball, which represented the single-season record for most homers.
But after a year of litigation over who owned the baseball, a San Francisco judge ordered the two men to sell it and split the proceeds.
The ball was auctioned last month to comic book icon Todd McFarlane, the same man who paid $3.2 million for Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball in 1999. Analysts expected the Bonds ball to fetch $1 million or more.
A July 17 hearing is set between Triano and Popov, a Berkeley restaurant owner. San Francisco Superior Court Judge David Garcia has ordered Popov to keep his half of the ball's proceeds in a bank account pending the outcome of the dispute with his lawyer.
Triano said he had a prearranged billing deal with Popov, in which he charged an hourly rate. Triano declined to divulge the rate, citing attorney-client privilege.
Popov declined to say how much he agreed to pay per hour, but said the final bill "is way overblown." He said he was "exploring all options," including suing Triano on allegations of legal malpractice.
Triano said he was up front with Popov about his hourly billings.
"With all of my clients, I go to great lengths to discuss what the fees are," Triano said.
Don Tamaki, the San Francisco attorney who represented the other would-be ball owner, said he is charging Patrick Hayashi a "tiny percent of what Mr. Triano is claiming."
Tamaki said he originally was working on a 20% contingency fee for the amount the ball sold for in addition to costs, but reduced that after the ball fetched far less than analysts were anticipating. Still, Tamaki said Hayashi will have "a significant amount" of money left over from the ball's sale after paying his legal fees.
"We almost worked for free here," Tamaki said.
In December, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Kevin McCarthy said that both Popov and Hayashi each have a legitimate claim and neither should get the ball outright.
Much of the case turned on a matter of fractions of seconds caught on television videotape. Broadcast news clips showed the ball in Popov's glove for at least six-tenths of a second before he was enveloped by a crowd.
Both sides agreed the videotape showed the ball in Popov's glove. They couldn't agree on what defines possession — Popov's split-second catch or Hayashi's final grab.
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