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Kobe Bryant Lawsuit Over Memorabilia Sale Set for Trial

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By Betty Wang, JD on May 16, 2013 11:58 AM

Lakers star Kobe Bryant's latest lawsuit involves a bitter family dispute against Goldin Auctions LLC and his mother Pamela.

The dispute involves some memorabilia that she intended to sell for profit, including jerseys from Kobe's high school days and two NBA All-Star rings, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. A federal judge has set a mediation session in an attempt to settle the suit before trial, currently set for June 17.

It's no wonder that efforts have been made to resolve the matter sooner, as there's a whole mess of legal concerns that would need to be dealt with if the case went to trial.

Mediation

What is mediation? Mediation is alternative method of resolving two parties' legal issues that is often cheaper and more efficient. It often involves a negotiation session with a neutral, third-party facilitator. They are also very common in disputes among family members.

While lawyers are allowed in mediation sessions, what's discussed is generally not allowed to be used as evidence in court. In theory, this allows for more frank and open discussions between the parties.

Injunctions

Kobe Bryant's lawsuit has also led to a temporary restraining order against his mother, precluding the auction from occurring.

This type of injunction is exactly what its term describes it to be: temporary. It doesn't determine the outcome or merits of the case. Rather, it means that there is a pause on the action for the time being, just to maintain the status quo.

Usually, if the party can prove that there is some immediate harm, injury, or injustice that will occur if a temporary injunction is not granted, courts will allow this temporary freeze.

Venue

Another issue is whether or not the case will remain in California, where Kobe resides, or if it will be transferred to New Jersey, where the auction was slated to be held.

State and federal venue statutes govern where a trial will take place, but courts generally have discretion as well. A list of factors they take into consideration include convenience, where the parties reside, and where the dispute occurred, among others.

Given that Kobe Bryant is the world's sixth highest-paid athlete and had the highest salary in the NBA, according to Forbes, it's unlikely that the auction dispute is entirely, if at all, about money. Hopefully, some of those funds can go toward a session or two of family counseling.

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