03 June, 2014: Besieged Clippers owner Donald Sterling decided to leave his future up to a revolutionary antitrust attorney that has spent almost 60 years taking and winning most of the cases against major corporations and institutions.
Sterling is 80 years old and has hired 80 year old Maxwell Blecher as his lawyer. Blecher is the founder of Blecher Collins Pepperman & Joye will represent Sterling in his battle against the NBA.
Blecher sent a letter to the executive vice president and general counsel Rick Buchanan of the NBA which gave a preview of the legal actions to follow. The letter stated that “no punishment is warranted” and that Sterling would not be paying the fine of $2.5 million, according to Sports Illustrated.
Sports Illustrated said that Blecher made it clear in the letter that Sterling did not violate any laws within the NBA's constitution. Blecher also said that the NBA has ignored Sterling's right to due process.
The spokesman for the NBA declined to comment on these allegations from Blecher.
Blecher's career goes back as far as 1956 and Sterling is by far the highest profile client in his long career. Blecher's area of expertise has been antitrust cases against influential organizations such as the NBA and NFL.
Blecher started his career in his late 20's as a lawyer in the Justice Department. He prosecuted General Motors Co. because they stopped consumers from buying Chevrolets at lower rates through discounter companies. In 1971, Blecher founded his own antitrust firm.
Throughout the year, Blecher was part of many of the nation's most important antitrust cases. Some of these cases include a lawsuit against Eastman Kodak Company, which reached the Supreme Court. Blecher represented the companies that fix Kodak equipment which filed the lawsuit against Kodak. The companies sued because Kodak refused to sell the companies spare parts and the result was a successful jury verdict that awarded the companies $71.8 million in 1995.
Blecher represented Sterling in an additional case in the 1980's. He represented the Clippers in a disagreement with the NBA in regards to the right to move the team to L.A. from San Diego.
Before the case against the NBA in the 1980's, Blecher worked for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission. He won another antitrust lawsuit against the NFL which allowed the Raiders to relocate to Los Angeles in 1982. The Raiders would move back to Oakland at a later date.
Blecher also accumulated antitrust wins against AT&T, Johnson & Johnson.
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