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King Holmes Fires Back Against Sublime Legal Malpractice Complaint With Breach of Contract Countersuit

sublime king holmes lawsuit

Sublime bassist Eric Wilson performing live. Photo Credit: Constantino14

A little over one month after levying a legal malpractice complaint against its former attorneys, Sublime is reportedly facing a firmly worded countersuit.

LA-based King, Holmes, Paterno, & Soriano (KHPS) just recently fired off the reported counteraction following the initial suit’s late-January submission. Filed against the music and entertainment law firm by parties including Sublime frontman Jakob Nowell (the son of deceased founding member Bradley Nowell), bassist Eric Wilson, and drummer Bud Gaugh, the complaint accuses the defendant entity and the involved attorneys of failing “in their ethical, fiduciary, and lawyerly obligations.”

In summary, the plaintiffs maintain that KHPS attorneys, behind “their façade as music industry power brokers,” opted to put their own financial interests before those of Sublime, allegedly spearheading related agreements and overlooking “conflicts galore” in the process.

Expanding on that point, the alleged “pattern of self-dealing” at hand is said to have seen KHPS represent both Sublime and “its one time manager Dave Kaplan…in the same transactions” while failing to disclose as much to the act. Moreover, KHPS “clearly favored” Kaplan in the negotiations, according to the legal text.

Once again per the filing parties, the firm directed the band towards a merch tie-up (as well as multiple extensions under the same “far less lucrative terms” than the open market would have provided) with a different of its clients, FEA Merchandising, in “another conflict of interest that was not properly disclosed and not properly waived.”

That alleged representation shortcoming ultimately resulted in an adjacent “loss of several millions of dollars” for the plaintiffs, the document shows.

(The dates associated with these and other purported occurrences are unclear; the plaintiffs are said to have initially discovered the alleged misconduct last April, and KHPS has allegedly refused to hand over Sublime’s “entire client file.”)

Finally, the Sublime plaintiffs’ qualms also include a production credit secured by KHPS partner Peter Paterno on a documentary about the band. The group says it didn’t ask Paterno to seek out the role, but the attorney allegedly “insisted on and obtained this producer title,” scoring a $30,000 fee and then billing Sublime “thousands upon thousands of dollars in legal bills for time spent negotiating,” according to the complaint.

Now, as mentioned at the outset, KHPS has reportedly fired back with a breach of contract countersuit, refuting the “Santeria” band’s allegations and demanding north of $108,000 in allegedly owed legal fees.

Per Billboard’s report, KHPS says it did in fact inform Sublime’s members of (and receive their approval regarding) any potential conflict of interest on the merch-deal front. Additionally, the filing is said to suggest that the victims pursued legal action due to the recommendations of their “predatory new advisors.”

At the time of this writing, Sublime, which appears to have joined the roster of Regime Management, didn’t look to have commented publicly on the countersuit.

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