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Atlanta Franchise Continues to Make Lawyers Rich

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The AJC is reporting that the Atlanta Spirit has filed suit against mega-firm King and Spalding. They are alleging that King and Spalding cost them millions because of a flawed sale agreement that the firm drafted for them. Problems with that sale agreement were so grievous that it resulted in years of litigation. Finally, a Maryland judge tossed out the sale agreement as being fatally flawed.

On the one hand, the ownership would seem to have a strong case if they use their Maryland judge's decision. On the other hand suing a huge law firm like King and Spalding is risky because they will bring out their A-team for cases like this and will not hesitate to use scorched earth tactics. If the case does reach a jury it could be very dramatic.

Perhaps more interesting to fans of the team, the AJC states that the legal complaint suggests that Atlanta Spirit intended to flip the Thrashers to another buyer quickly in hopes of realizing a profit.

The seven owners wanted to sell the Thrashers after the 2004-05 lockout was over, the new lawsuit says. According to the document, the labor contract after the 2004-05 lockout would be to the "financial benefit of smaller market franchise such as the Thrashers and thus increase their value. Plaintiffs expected that once the new labor agreement was finalized there would be substantial interest from potential buyers and that they would be able to sell the franchise."

The AJC article then goes on to list many quotes in which team officials states no desire to sell the team. If their interpretation of the complaint is correct then team ownership and officials have not been truthful with the fans.

This will mark the THIRD MAJOR lawsuit involving the Thrashers in their short 12 year history. Time-Warner was sued by David McDavid and found liable to pay him millions for cutting short his attempt to buy the teams. Then Atlanta Spirit group sued each other for half a decade only to have that throw out by a judge. And now Atlanta Spirit is suing their own lawyers in what promises to be a big battle.