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Duckett v. Williams

United States District Court, S.D. New York

February 6, 2015

JAMES DUCKETT, Plaintiff,
v.
MIKE WILLIAMS, Defendant

Page 269

For James Duckett, Plaintiff: John P. DeMaio, Leon M. Greenberg, Esq., New York, NY.

For Mike Williams, Defendant: Patrick Denis Geraghty, LEAD ATTORNEY, Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP (NY), New York, NY.

Page 270

OPINION & ORDER

RICHARD J. SULLIVAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Plaintiff James Duckett (" Plaintiff" ) brings this action, which was removed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441 from the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, against Defendant Mike Williams (" Defendant" ), alleging breach of contract and fraudulent inducement, and seeking a declaratory judgment related to Defendant's National Football League (" NFL" ) player contracts. Now before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion is granted.

I. Background

A. Facts

On November 15, 2009, Defendant and his agents, Hadley Engelhard (" Engelhard" ) and Wes Bridges (" Bridges" ), entered into a National Football League Players Association (" NFLPA" ) Standard Representation Agreement (" SRA" ).[1]

Page 271

(Am. Compl. ¶ 9; see also Am. Compl. Ex. C, Doc. No. 10 (" NFLPA SRA" ).) On that same date, Engelhard and his sports agency -- Enter Sports Management (" ESM" ) -- agreed to pay Plaintiff $17,500 " for an expense advance with regard to the recruitment of [Defendant]." (Am. Compl. ¶ 4; see also Am. Compl. Ex. A, Doc. No. 10 (" Expense Advance" ).) Lastly, and also on November 15, 2009, Engelhard, Bridges, and Defendant signed a " SRA Disclosure Form for Recruiting Assistance Payments." (Am. Compl. ¶ 6; see also Am. Compl. Ex. B, Doc. No. 10 (" SRA Disclosure Form" ).) The SRA Disclosure Form states in relevant part:

I, Hadley Engelhard/Wes Bridges (Contract Advisor), hereby disclose to Mike Williams (Player) that I, or my agency, have paid or promised to pay, directly or indirectly, the money or any other thing of value as indicated below . . . to the person(s) or entities listed below in return for recruiting or helping to recruit Player to sign a Standard Representation Agreement (SRA) . . . .

( SRA Disclosure Form.) Plaintiff's name was then listed below on the form, and the " Money or Other Thing of Value" to be paid to Plaintiff was described as " 33% of net proceeds of player contracts." (SRA Disclosure Form.) Defendant signed an acknowledgment and approval on the SRA Disclosure Form, which stated:

I, Mike Williams (Player), hereby acknowledge receiving this SRA Disclosure Form on the date set forth above, and have had adequate time to consider this information prior to signing the SRA. Thus, I am aware of the money or other things of value paid or ...

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