Court Determines Connecticut Agent Law Is Inapplicable

Feb 26, 2004

A lawsuit brought by a wannabe sports agent against NBA basketball player Marcus Camby and the sports agency ProServ, Inc. has survived in tact a summary judgment motion brought by ProServ.
John Lounsbury alleged that he had an oral contract with Marcus Camby, while Camby was a student-athlete at the University of Massachusetts, to allow Lounsbury to represent Camby in his professional contract negotiations. In exchange for that agreement, Lounsbury “provided Camby, his friends and family with money, gifts, gratuities and services,” according to the court. Instead, however, Camby signed an exclusive agency contract with the Connecticut-based ProServ.
Lounsbury sued alleging that Camby breached his oral contract with him by signing with ProServ and that ProServ tortuously interfered with his agreement with Camby.
Lounsbury fended off an early motion to dismiss when Camby argued that the litigation was subject to mandatory arbitration, pursuant to the National Basketball Players Association Regulations and the Federal Arbitration Act. The court, however, concluded that neither Lounsbury nor Camby were subject to those regulations, denying the motion.
In the instant scenario, the court considered a second summary judgment motion, this one brought by ProServ, which addressed parts of Lounsbury’s complaint. Specifically, ProServ argued that the contract with Lounsbury was illegal and violated public policy, making the claim of tortuous interference with the contract invalid.
In the court’s examination of whether there were genuine issues of material fact, the court first reviewed the defendant’s argument that the contract violates Connecticut civil and criminal law with respect to prohibited acts of athlete agents. The plaintiff argued that since Camby was a student at the University of Massachusetts during the period at issue, Massachusetts law applied. Lounsbury also noted that there is no comparable Massachusetts statute.
The court agreed with the plaintiff, determining that there remains a genuine issue of material fact, denying the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. John Lounsbury v. Marcus Camby et al., CV990150580S
S.Ct. Connecticut, Waterbury, 11/13/03


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