Estate Suit Against Stevie Wonder

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Guitarzan, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. Guitarzan

    Guitarzan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  2. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  3. Mike SS

    Mike SS Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    "What do you call 500 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?"

    "A good start."
     
  4. cowboytwang

    cowboytwang Poster Extraordinaire

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    From the thread tittle, I thought Stevie was hurt from walking into a Hotel room wall.
     
  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Strictly from a point of the law whether it was an appropriate amount or not if Stevie Wonder understood the terms of the contract, agreed to them, and signed that contract then it's valid in the eyes of the law, or at least it should be. If they didn't believe it was valid then why would they even offer a settlement.

    As long as were giving lawyers the skinny eye here whose worse, his lawyer/agent whom he agreed to the deal with, or the lawyers for Stevie Wonder who are trying to find a weasel clause that allow him to undo it?

    I know, I know, they're all just trying to make an honest living right? :rolleyes:
     
  6. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
     
  7. Jon C

    Jon C Tele-Meister

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    A contract is a contract. Stevie's blindness has nothing to do with this IMO. He is a smart, experienced businessman. Your stereotypes and assumptions don't seem well founded.
     
  8. Westerly Sunn

    Westerly Sunn Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's my take on this as well. Unless Stevie was under duress or not of sound mind when this was done, then one would have to assume that this was his intention at the time.
     
  9. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't understand what you're saying. What's the "basis for a fee" that you think is inappropriate?

    It seems that Stevie Wonder tried to back out of a contract that he signed with full knowledge, and now the widow of his long-time lawyer now has to go to court to uphold that original contract. How is it that the lawyers are the bad guys in this?
     
  10. Slow Reflexes

    Slow Reflexes Poster Extraordinaire

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    I wonder if he can sue the person who decided it would be a good idea to stop paying the royalties when the first lawyer died. Assuming, naturally, that it wasn't Stevie himself being an ass.
     
  11. Guitarzan

    Guitarzan Poster Extraordinaire

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    You mean other than the fact that I am an attorney, know the ethical rules, the law of contracts, and have a concern about the relationship between the profession and people we represent (and public perception of the relationship)?

    A contract is not a contract if it violates ethical rules, public policy, is "unconscionable," violated the duty of a fiduciary, was reached by fraud (active or passive concealment), or is for illegal purposes or about illegal subject matter.

    Then there are ethical issues beyond the law and the ethics rules. Should attorneys, managers, and producers use their positions to take ownership of work created by authors, composers, singers, players etc.?
     
  12. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I concur. A contract is a contract, as per the information in the story it was executed in above board manner.
     
  13. Guitarzan

    Guitarzan Poster Extraordinaire

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    An attorney has a professional license, is bound by law and ethical rules, and is a fiduciary to the client. I question a person in a close, confidential relationship taking a 6% ownership interest in all his client's work for perpetuity, irrespective of the amount or value of the work performed (consideration conferred in exchange for the ownership) and no real outer time limit or maximum collection and then the devise of it to the heirs that provided no consideration. Beyond that, there is the fact that Stevie was blind and no one was there to represent his interest in dealing with an attorney that has created an ostensible conflict of interest. Stevie could have gotten the work done by someone else for an hourly rate, paid once, and been done with it.
     
  14. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Stevie Wonder could read and write Braille . Since he was a small boy.

    Wouldn't there be a copy in Braille ?

    Wouldn't he insist on it ?

    Reading out loud a written legal document ?

    Something's missing here...
     
  15. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The in perpetuity part is a little strange but, unless it comes out that the witnesses who verified the contract were in collusion with Vigoda then Stevie perhaps didn't make the best deal he could have.
     
  16. Hellmark

    Hellmark Tele-Holic

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    Seven million in damages? Even if the 6% is held up in court as valid, I sincerely doubt that it would be 7 million for the past two years. That would mean that Wonder makes about 58 million a year. I don't think he's hurting, but he's not as notable as he used to be to pull in that sorta money.
     
  17. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Sounds like perhaps there is more nuance to this than the average TDPRI sofa awyer would see at first glance. :?: From the article it simply sounds like Stevie agreed to something and now the other party wants to get what they agreed upon. If the original agreement was in fact unethical and exploitative can Stevie's new lawyer have the agreement rendered void?
     
  18. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I read another article from a non entertainment news source which says the widow is the one who attempted to negotiate a settlement not Wonder.
     
  19. cowboytwang

    cowboytwang Poster Extraordinaire

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    About 15 years ago he was sued by a former girlfriend, in a palimony case, for $34 million. She was suing for 50% of all his earnings for the 4 years they lived together. So that would put his net income, at that time, around $17 million a year. Forbes puts his net worth at $110 million now.
     
  20. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Fair enough. You're an attorney. Make your case for why they shouldn't share in the earnings of those whom they represent provided they've contributed materially to that persons commercial and/or financial success?

    Is it the amount or percentage in question here or is it your position that the man shouldn't share in this at all despite the agreement between him and Stevie Wonder? In the music industry I've seen management and personal service agreements for as much as 20% so 6% seems to be somewhat on the low side depending on what services were rendered.

    If everything relative to this agreement was disclosed and agreed upon in advance and his attorney/personal representative has always acted in Stevie's best interest then it's doubtful there's been any breach of his fiduciary responsibilities or at least none that he's been accused of that we know of. I have some professional background in that area myself.
     
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