Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Memorabilia Mediation

NBA Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant's mom claims her son lied to block her planned sale of his memorabilia. Bryant's father, a former basketball player who went by nickname "Jellybean," and grandmother are siding with Bryant's mother, saying Kobe Bryant had declined to take the collectibles from his parents' home. Bryant's sister supports him, suggesting their mother repeatedly discussed how to make money from the superstar's belongings. Opposing lawsuits have erupted over an auction of collectibles from Kobe Bryant's past at a New Jersey auction house. Items to be sold next month include jerseys, trophies and rings from his high school and professional career. Kobe Bryant denies giving his stuff to his mom and wants the items for his children. Pamela Bryant contends that the collectibles have been in her possession for at least 15 years and that she paid some $90,000 to store the items. After Kobe Bryant sent a cease-and-desist, the auction house sued for court approval. The firm noted that it has paid a $450,000 advance to Bryant's mother, who used it to buy a house in Las Vegas. Kobe Bryant filed his own lawsuit May 7 in California, seeking to block the sale. Now a federal judge has directed mediation before a possible June trial. U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb set a mediation session for May 17 in New Jersey, for the parties to try and settle during an in-person conference in chambers. Last week, California U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford issued an order in federal court, that blocks Goldin Auctions from selling or transferring the jerseys, rings, and other sports memorabilia that Bryant says belong to him. Bryant originally sued the auctioneer in Orange County, California state court four days after the auctioneer sued the Laker in New Jersey federal court. Goldin Auctions removed to federal court, prompting a temporary restraining order. See cases: Bryant v. Goldin Auctions, 13-cv-727, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana); and Goldin Auctions LLC v. Bryant, 0013-cv-02816, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Camden). See stories-- and