Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Strangely, Lawyer's Attempts To Shush "Fire George Karl" Haven't Worked

Illustration for article titled Strangely, Lawyer's Attempts To Shush "Fire George Karl" Haven't Worked

Yesterday, we told you about the sad "oooh, I'm a lawyer, I'll SUE YOU" email George Karl's lawyer sent to the man who runs As you might have suspected, the story did not end there; now, the world knows ... including Karl himself and a whole bunch of lawyers who might have advantages in the world of discretion.


First off, Karl says he had no idea the email was being sent, and that, "it was on his friendship towards me." (The lawyer, the now infamous Bret Adams, says "in hindsight, I could have written it more professionally." Ya think?)

But the more fun came from the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog, which delved into the legality and prudence of the email. This will come as a shock to you, but apparently most lawyers felt firing off the "sue you into bankruptcy" email, uh, wasn't the best way to handle the situation.

Some highlights from lawyer commenters (like Deadspin LLP, but, you know, with WSJ subscriptions):

I think many lawyers who read this board now have an obligation to report Mr. Adams. Threatening to sue someone into bankruptcy is an abuse of the privilege of being an attorney.

• good grief, this is not even funny it's so funny, get real Mister Adama, give your client some real advice about..... this guy's a coach of an NBA team and he's sensitive to criticism
maybe Mister Adams had the flu, got a little delirious?

• Ethical issues aside, a good attorney would not have created the huge risk of negative publicity attendant to making a written(!) threat of this nature. This ridiculous email, which was obviously going to end up posted to the blog, is liable to become a minor media sensation during a particularly slow time during the sports year. (Sportscenter, anyone?) So instead of a minor nuisance of a website created by someone who is(it cannot be denied) an avid fan, the coach now has a potential PR disaster on his hands. Which is more likely to harm the coach's career?


An effective attorney would have handled the issue politely and quietly. Better yet, he would have advised his client that such websites are common and should just be ignored. Far from being "a model for others" per 6:25, this lawyer has seriously compromised his client's interests.

But, our favorite:

As group, lawyers are a giant carbuncle on the buttocks of American society! They are bloodsucking bottom-feeding parasites that contribute nothing to the GNP of the United States! And I wish them and their extended families nothing but the worst in life!


The WSJ Law Blog must hate it when that guy shows up.

Frustrated Fan Faces First Amendment Flap [WSJ Law Blog]
Karl's Lawyer Defends Coach [Rocky Mountain News]
George Karl's Lawyer Is Not Making His Client's Life Any Easier [Deadspin]