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post #1 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams is liable but doesn't have to pay damages in a lawsuit that claimed he reneged on a deal for his daughters to play in an exhibition match, a jury ruled Thursday.


The dispute centered on whether Richard Williams had authority to commit his daughters. Venus and Serena Williams testified during the more than monthlong trial that only they have authority to approve contracts.

Venus Williams was also cleared of all allegations in the lawsuit, although the jury said Serena Williams let her father act as an agent for her. Neither sister had to pay damages.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061221/...ters_lawsuit_2
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post #2 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 06:46 PM
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Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

As usual, the only real winners are the lawyers.....

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post #3 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 06:49 PM
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Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

so what, he gets a slap on the wrist? how he could be liable without paying a penalty confuses me...

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post #4 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 06:57 PM
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Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

I posted this in the other threads, that damage theory by the plaintiffs was insane, too speculative, a real joke. I can't believe it was even submitted to the jury. I'm glad the jury did the right thing.

Whitney Houston and her receipts:

http://www.tennisforum.com/showthrea...17447&page=324
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post #5 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:00 PM
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Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

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Originally Posted by darrinbaker00 View Post
As usual, the only real winners are the lawyers.....
I'm sure the plaintiffs' lawyer was doing it on a contingency, which means he spent weeks and weeks on two trials and months preparing--for nothing.

Whitney Houston and her receipts:

http://www.tennisforum.com/showthrea...17447&page=324
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post #6 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:07 PM
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Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

so...
the Williams Sisters with their father who plans to practice for the next season was halted because of nothing...!!

well.. im just glad that its over....
and hope that the sisters return to the courts asap...
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post #7 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:17 PM
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Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

Jury finds Williams liable but awards no damages
Palm Beach Post Staff Report

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Although a jury found that Richard Williams did in fact breach a contract he signed promising his famous daughters, Venus and Serena Williams, would participate in a tennis match, they did not order him to pay the would-be promoters a dime.

Richard Williams was not in the courtroom when the jury returned with its decision. Venus and Serena Williams, however, were visibly elated, hugging each other and an older sister, Isha Williams, who came in from out of town for the final days of the multi-million dollar breach of contract trial.

The jury's decision brings an end to the nearly five-week trial, punctuated by such acrimony and histrionics that several times, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Winikoff has had to chastise the litigants and their attorneys.

Attorney F. Malcolm Cunningham Jr., who represented the Williams sisters, raised his hands over his head and yelled, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" in a small office inside the courthouse where he met privately with the family after the verdict.

At issue was a contract that Richard Williams signed promising his daughters would participate in a match that was to pit Venus and Serena Williams against two unnamed retired male tennis stars, possibly John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.

The family had insisted the document was meaningless because Richard Williams had no authority to commit Venus and Serena Williams to anything, much less participate in a match that the promoters claimed would net $45 million.

However, attorneys representing shunned promoters Carol Clarke and Keith Rhodes, who say they stood to make as much as $9 million, produced several documents to dispute the family's claims.

Throughout the trial, the Williams sisters insisted they sign their own contracts. But on Tuesday, spurned business adviser Leland Hardy took the stand armed with documents that punched holes in their claims that Richard Williams didn't speak for them. Hardy offered four documents that Richard Williams apparently signed on his daughters' behalf. He also offered a letter in which Richard Williams outlined the correct way to do business with the family.

The jury found the contract was indeed valid, but awarded no damages to Clarke and Rhodes.

Various experts testified about the potential success of the failed tennis match. A Boca Raton accountant hired by lawyers representing Clarke and Rhodes said it could have made between $27.8 million or $37.8 million depending on whether it was held at a casino or an arena.

But Ray Benton, who founded the now-defunct Worldwide Senior Tennis Circuit along with his one-time client Jimmy Connors, said the match offered the Williams sisters nothing but the possibility of humiliation. He said he would have advised them not to step onto the tennis court for less than $5 million each. And if the promoters agreed to pay them that much, the planned match would have been a bust, Benton said.
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post #8 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:21 PM
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Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen Lawson View Post
I posted this in the other threads, that damage theory by the plaintiffs was insane, too speculative, a real joke. I can't believe it was even submitted to the jury. I'm glad the jury did the right thing.
Yep. If CCKR had claimed $4.5 million instead of $45 million, they might have gotten something. The only person who didn't come out of this looking like a complete idiot was Venus.

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post #9 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:25 PM
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Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages


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post #10 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

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Originally Posted by Helen Lawson View Post
I'm sure the plaintiffs' lawyer was doing it on a contingency, which means he spent weeks and weeks on two trials and months preparing--for nothing.
I don't know of any lawyer who would take and try a breach of contract suit on a contingency fee basis. Those cases are normally retainer cases.
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post #11 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

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Originally Posted by darrinbaker00 View Post
Yep. If CCKR had claimed $4.5 million instead of $45 million, they might have gotten something. The only person who didn't come out of this looking like a complete idiot was Venus.
How did Serena look like an idiot?
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post #12 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:37 PM
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Exclamation Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

It should be noted that Venus was cleared of ALL charges, but that Serena was held liable for saying that her father was her manager.

Good Luck In 2012 To The Following:
Venus Williams
Serena Williams
Vania King, Sloane Stephens
Michael Joseph Jackson|1958-2009|RIP King of Music

Whitney Elizabeth Houston|1963-2012|RIP Queen of Music
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post #13 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:37 PM
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Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

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Originally Posted by Denise4925 View Post
I don't know of any lawyer who would take and try a breach of contract suit on a contingency fee basis. Those cases are normally retainer cases.
Yes, a rational lawyer would believe so, but South Florida is full of a lot of people who do nothing but commercial cases on a contingency--as crazy as that sounds--and I mean no case too big or too small. It didn't sound like these plaintiffs had the money to pay a real lawyer, but who knows.

Whitney Houston and her receipts:

http://www.tennisforum.com/showthrea...17447&page=324
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post #14 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:39 PM
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Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

They would probably rather pay the money than be held 'liable' and not pay.

Pride is big in that family.
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post #15 of 80 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Richard Williams Held Liable But No Damages

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Originally Posted by Helen Lawson View Post
Yes, a rational lawyer would believe so, but South Florida is full of a lot of people who do nothing but commercial cases on a contingency--as crazy as that sounds--and I mean no case too big or too small. It didn't sound like these plaintiffs had the money to pay a real lawyer, but who knows.
Wow, really. Damn
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