David Cornwell, sports attorney, is suing Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez for unpaid legal expenses related to his suspension from Major League Baseball. Cornwell and his Atlanta-based law firm, Gordon & Rees, filed a complaint on Monday, July 14, 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, claiming approximately $380,000 in unpaid fees. A spokesperson for A-Rod released a statement regarding the legal dispute, “Alex Rodriguez has already paid substantial legal fees to this firm. There are additional fees being sought from hours that continued to be billed and are the source of the disagreement between the parties. Alex looks forward to swiftly resolving this matter and moving on.”
The complaint followed the firm’s failed attempt to collect the sum in February when A-Rod ignored the petition for arbitration it filed with the Star Bar of Georgia. The 12 page complaint requests prejudgment interest and more attorney fees in addition to the $380,000 already owed. The complaint also alleges that A-Rod has withheld payment at the advice of Desiree Perez who is described as a night club owner, convicted drug dealer, and one of Jay-Z’s top advisors at Roc Nation.
A-Rod retained Cornwell to help represent him in the Biogenesis doping scandal that eventually led to his suspension for the entire 2014 season. It is also alleged that A-Rod may be withholding payment because “he believes he was ill-served by his team of advisors.” However, if A-Rod pursues a malpractice claim against Cornwell and Gordon & Rees, it would waive attorney-client privilege, making private legal discussions a public matter.