Why is Jets Cornerback Darrelle Revis Suing his Agents?

Darrelle Revis suing agentsAt times, agents may be entitled to commissions when those they represent engage in other business opportunities. One such instance has led Darrelle Revis, cornerback for the New York Jets, to take legal actions against his agents. 

According to ESPN, Revis recently filed a lawsuit in Westchester County Supreme Court which accused Jonathan Feinsod and Neil Schwartz of fraud, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty and civil theft. In the suit, Revis claimed that Schwartz and Feinsod failed to inform him of a clause in a beverage endorsement agreement which specified that the agents’ fee would be 50 percent instead of 10 percent.

Disclosing the agreement details 

The filing stated that Schwartz and Feinsod set up a system through which so that all proceeds from an agreement between Revis and Healthy Beverage, LLC would be sent directly to the two of them, in violation of conventional practices. Typically, Revis would receive the funds and then appropriate them to his agents based on their standard fees.

Court documents provided by Courthouse News revealed Schwartz and Feinsod also hired a law firm, Wilentz, Goldman, & Spitzer to work on behalf of Revis on the energy beverage agreement, but prevented the firm from sending a retainer contract for legal services to Revis. His agents did so for the purpose of relieving Wilentz’s fiduciary obligation to inform Revis of the Healthy Beverage agreement’s payment arrangements. 

Basically, the lawsuit claimed Schwartz and Feinsod intentionally kept the cornerback in the dark. In addition, the agents structured the relationship so that Healthy Beverage would pay Wilentz’s legal fees directly from financing that was supposed to go through Revis first.

Breaching legal trust

Schwartz is actually a licensed attorney in New York. The court documents revealed Schwartz, who had represented both Revis and the cornerback’s limited liability company Shavae, claimed he had never worked on their behalf as a legal representative. 

The filing acknowledged Revis’ disbelieve that “a person who had been his lawyer for about nine years, a person he had trusted totally, had taken advantage of him, stolen from him, and refused to return the misappropriated funds.” As Revis was unaware of the agreements Schwartz developed with respect to the Healthy Beverage endorsement, the athlete continued to allow Revis to represent him in contractual matters, including negotiations regarding Revis’ contract with the New York Jets. 

As imagined, Revis has fired Schwartz (his former) attorney and has sought and obtained other legal representation.

Are you an athlete seeking legal representation? Do you have any questions? Would you like to discuss the matter further? If so, please contact me, Anthony Caruso, 201-806-3364.

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Anthony R. Caruso is a business transactional attorney in New York and New Jersey with experience in structuring, negotiation and completion of legal deals involving business, entrepreneurs, athletes and performers.

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