Cosmos move to dismiss Cantona lawsuit


Can a potential oversight on the part of Eric Cantona’s legal team sink his nearly $1 million claim?

That is the hope of the New York Cosmos legal counsel, William G. Primps, who filed a petition for dismissal with presiding judge Ronnie Abrams Thursday afternoon over the case.

In a letter obtained exclusively by Empire of Soccer, Primps calls the status of Cantona’s legal counsel, Michael C. Compo into question. Compo, a registered lawyer in Florida, is not registered to practice law in New York State. Primps cites local rules to back his case, but particularly spells out Federal Rule 11 which states “The court must strike an unsigned paper unless the omission is promptly corrected after being called to the Attorney’s or Party’s attention.”

Since Compo is not a bar member, his claim, Primps argues, would make Cantona’s case “unsigned,” and thus eligible for dismissal.

The motion is in response to a lawsuit filed earlier this week by the enigmatic former Manchester United striker over lost wages stemming from an alleged “unjust” dismissal as the club’s Director of Soccer. Cantona was relieved of his duties with the Cosmos in March 2014 after a fracas with paparazzi at a London bar resulted in his arrest. Within his suit, Cantona claims his dismissal cost him $961,000 in lost wages and a promised 4% stake in the fledgling club.

As it turns out, the Cosmos were blindsided by Cantona’s litigation. As Primps also reveals in his letter to Abrams, the Cosmos had not yet been served with a lawsuit. Instead, local media alerted them of the filing — to the surprise of the entire club.

A lawyer familiar with labor related lawsuits tells EoS the Cosmos’ motion can be “easily remedied” with a change in representation. However, the chance of dismissal, though infinitesimal, does exist.  Though the defect in the lawsuit may be remedied by the hiring of local counsel, the obvious error undermines the credibility of the allegations in the lawsuit. If the deadline for the statute of limitations is close at hand, the mistake can result in the final dismissal of the case — before it really got started.



Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c12/h02/mnt/211961/domains/ on line 399
  • Luis

    LOL go F** yourself Cantona

  • Ulrich

    That’s just weak reporting/writing.

    “the obvious error undermines the credibility of the allegations in the lawsuit.”

    The merits/credibility of the lawsuit are absolutely not affected by the procedural error unless the case is completely tossed out. The allegations are based on an employment contract, not a tort procedure (that is likely ultimately remedied).

  • As someone who has appeared before Judge Abrams, and probably every other Southern District judge, allow me to tell you Ulrich that wrong footing like that right off the bat means you’re 0-2 in the count when it comes to discovery disputes and the like. It bodes very poorly.

  • Ulrich

    Leo, thanks for clarifying a point I was not referring to. My point was that the allegations of the lawsuit are tied to the contract, which is a factual piece of evidence. As a lawyer friend put it:

    “They’re both right (my comment & yours). It is easily remedied by having a NY attorney refile the pleadings. I doubt they are anywhere near the statute of limitations (usually at least 2 years). The merits of the case will rise and fall with the actual facts. That being said, they are behind with the judge. Some judges may hold it against them when something is 50/50 or close when law allows judge to rule either way. Also, judge is less likely to trust attorney’s view of law. Judges don’t know everything and count on lawyers to study intricate point and brief them on it. If close, he/she is less likely to trust.”

  • Your lawyer friend is correct, and undermines your first point. In a court case, merits and credibility do not exist in a vacuum, they are judged by the judge (and sometimes the jury, though in this case it will probably be resolved without a jury). So indeed, the credibility of the allegations made by this lawyer are undermined by this rather astounding screw up.

Warning: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c12/h02/mnt/211961/domains/ on line 136