Cosmos move to dismiss Cantona lawsuit

Can a potential oversight on the part of Eric Cantona’s legal team sink his nearly $1 million claim?

That is the hope of the New York Cosmos legal counsel, William G. Primps, who filed a petition for dismissal with presiding judge Ronnie Abrams Thursday afternoon over the case.

In a letter obtained exclusively by Empire of Soccer, Primps calls the status of Cantona’s legal counsel, Michael C. Compo into question. Compo, a registered lawyer in Florida, is not registered to practice law in New York State. Primps cites local rules to back his case, but particularly spells out Federal Rule 11 which states “The court must strike an unsigned paper unless the omission is promptly corrected after being called to the Attorney’s or Party’s attention.”

Since Compo is not a bar member, his claim, Primps argues, would make Cantona’s case “unsigned,” and thus eligible for dismissal.

The motion is in response to a lawsuit filed earlier this week by the enigmatic former Manchester United striker over lost wages stemming from an alleged “unjust” dismissal as the club’s Director of Soccer. Cantona was relieved of his duties with the Cosmos in March 2014 after a fracas with paparazzi at a London bar resulted in his arrest. Within his suit, Cantona claims his dismissal cost him $961,000 in lost wages and a promised 4% stake in the fledgling club.

As it turns out, the Cosmos were blindsided by Cantona’s litigation. As Primps also reveals in his letter to Abrams, the Cosmos had not yet been served with a lawsuit. Instead, local media alerted them of the filing — to the surprise of the entire club.

A lawyer familiar with labor related lawsuits tells EoS the Cosmos’ motion can be “easily remedied” with a change in representation. However, the chance of dismissal, though infinitesimal, does exist.  Though the defect in the lawsuit may be remedied by the hiring of local counsel, the obvious error undermines the credibility of the allegations in the lawsuit. If the deadline for the statute of limitations is close at hand, the mistake can result in the final dismissal of the case — before it really got started.

Archived content originally from by Dave Martinez

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