Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Duckett v. Engelhard

United States District Court, S.D. New York

February 6, 2017

JAMES DUCKETT, Plaintiff,
v.
HADLEY ENGELHARD, ESQ., ENTER SPORTS MANAGEMENT, WES BRIDGES, ESQ., BECKER LLC, and BECKER MEISEL, LLC, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          RICHARD J. SULLIVAN, District Judge.

         Plaintiff James Duckett brings this action against Defendants Hadley Engelhard, Esq., Enter Sports Management, Wes Bridges, Esq., Becker LLC, and Becker Meisel, LLC, asserting claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and declaratory judgment arising out of an alleged finder's fee agreement involving Defendants' representation of a professional football player. Now before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiffs complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion is granted.

         I. Background

         A. Facts[1]

         This action arises out of an alleged agreement between Plaintiff and Defendants pursuant to which Defendants agreed to compensate Plaintiff for services he rendered in connection with the recruitment of wide receiver Mike Williams to sign a National Football League ("NFL") representation contract with Defendants. In the fall of 2009, Plaintiff organized and hosted meetings between Williams and agents seeking to recruit Williams for representation, including a meeting with Defendants. (Compl. ¶¶ 11-12.) During the meeting with Defendants, the parties discussed terms for Plaintiffs fee for facilitating and recruiting Williams to accept Defendants' offer of representation. (Id. ¶ 13.) According to Plaintiff, the parties agreed that Plaintiff would be paid "33% of all eventual fees received by Defendants, including all player contracts and endorsement contracts, to be paid at the time of such payment to Defendants." (Id. ¶ 14.)

         On or about November 15, 2009, Plaintiff met again with Defendants and Williams to "formalize" their agreements. (Id. ¶ 15.) That day, Defendants Engelhard and Bridges entered into an NFL Players Association Standard Representation Agreement ("SRA") with Williams, whereby Defendants would advise Williams with regard to the procurement of an NFL contract. (Id. ¶ 16.) Pursuant to the SRA, Engelhard and Bridges were to receive 3% of Williams's earnings "as or related to his services as a professional football player." (Id.)

         Attached to the SRA was an "SRA Disclosure Form for Recruiting Assistance Payment" ("SRA Disclosure Form"), dated November 15, 2009 and signed by Engelhard and Bridges, which states as follows:

I, Hadley Engelhard / Wes Bridges (Contract Advisor), hereby disclose to Mike Williams (Player) that I or my agents have paid or promised to pay, directly or indirectly, the money or any other thing of value so 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)[.]

         (Doc. No. 49-5, Geraghty Decl. Ex. E; see also Compl. ¶¶ 17-19 (describing the SRA Disclosure Form).) Plaintiffs name, address, and phone number are listed below on the form, along with -under "Money or Other Thing of Value" - "33% of net proceeds of player contracts." (Doc. No. 49-5, Geraghty Decl. Ex. E.) Engelhard and Bridges signed the document after the following certification: "I hereby certify that the above information is true and complete." (Id.)

         On or about June 4, 2010, while represented by Defendants, Williams signed a three-year NFL contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for an amount exceeding $2, 000, 000. (Compl. ¶ 21.) On or about July 24, 2013, while represented by Engelhard, Williams signed a $39, 000, 000 contract with the Buccaneers. (Id. ¶ 22.) Plaintiff alleges that Williams has been paid $15, 000, 000 pursuant to these contracts as of the date of the complaint, and that Williams "has paid, or owes, Defendants 3% of his earnings as a professional football player, and endorsements related thereto, and Defendants owe Plaintiff 33% thereof." (Id. ¶ 24.) However, Defendants have made no payments to Plaintiff. (Id¶25.)

         B. Procedural History

         Plaintiff commenced this action by filing a complaint on November 13. 2015. (Doc. No. I.)[2] Following a conference on an anticipated motion to dismiss by Defendants, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on June 3, 2016, asserting claims for breach of an oral agreement and unjust enrichment and seeking a declaratory judgment declaring that he is entitled to 33% of all future payments to the Defendants with respect to their representation of Williams. (Doc. No. 35.) Defendants Engelhard and Enter Sports Management filed a motion to dismiss on June 21, 2016 (Doc. No. 42), and Defendants Bridges and Becker LLC joined in that motion (Doc. No. 43). The motion was fully briefed as of October 5, 2016 (Doc. No. 57), and Plaintiff filed a letter listing two additional case citations on October 7, 2016 (Doc. No. 58).

         II. Legal Standard

         To survive a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint must "provide the grounds upon which [the] claim rests." ATSI Commc'ns, 493 F.3d at 98; see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2) ("A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain ... a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.. . ."). To meet this standard, plaintiffs must allege "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcrofi v. Iqbal,556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court must accept as true all factual allegations in the complaint and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff ATSI Commc'ns, 493 F.3d at 98. However, that tenet "is inapplicable to legal conclusions." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Thus, a pleading that offers only "labels and conclusions" or "a formulaic ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.