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New York Daily News trying to paint A-Rod as a deadbeat regarding his legal fees

Mar 20, 2014, 6:22 AM EDT

Alex Rodriguez AP AP

The New York Daily News has a story up today in which they try to paint Alex Rodriguez as a deadbeat for unpaid legal fees. Specifically, they have a source telling them that “A-Rod hasn’t paid millions of dollars in legal bills he owes.” Even more specifically “Rodriguez has paid some of the bills, the source said, but he still owes his attorneys and private investigators as much as $3 million for the work they did.”

Setting aside for a moment that that construction — “he has paid some of what he owes but not all, so he may be a deadbeat” — could apply to every person with a car payment and a mortgage, this is beyond silly. Multi-million dollar legal bills are not like your electric bill. They’re not typically turned around ASAP lest you start getting late notices. There is always negotiation about specifics of the charges. At least if the client is being prudent there is.

Giant corporations review their bills because — this may be a shocker to you — not everything that appears on an attorney’s bill is always legitimate. Indeed, a big reason businesses get into trouble is simply cutting checks to their attorneys without scrutiny or negotiation for whatever the attorneys say is charged. That’s how double billing and all manner of attorney shenanigans happens. And that’s from even the most respectable attorneys. If I got a bill from Joe Tacopina, I’d be inclined to go over it a bit.

A-Rod dropped his case against Major League Baseball on February 7. It’s now March 20. If he was given a final bill for services after that it’d probably be no more than a month or so since he received it. To butcher a quote, A-Rod is not just a businessman, he’s a business, man. If he doesn’t have someone close to him whose job it is to make sure he’s not getting fleeced, he’s doing it wrong. And while A-Rod does a lot wrong, parting with his money willy-nilly doesn’t seem like one of them.

But I suppose that’s all just speculation. Let’s see what the attorneys who are allegedly being stiffed say:

In a statement to The News, Tacopina denied he has had problems collecting his fee from Rodriguez.

“I have absolutely no fee dispute whatsoever with Alex,” Tacopina said. “He has been entirely fair and responsible with respect to the payment of my fees.”

Hmm. Maybe it was one of his other lawyers:

Cornwell declined to comment for this story. Reed Smith partners Jordan Siev and James McCarroll, and Davis, did not return requests for comment.

Rodriguez also allegedly owes money to Guidepost Solutions, the private investigation firm that worked for Rodriguez last year. A Guidepost spokeswoman said the firm had no comment.

Guess not.

I have no doubt that A-Rod has not remitted his outstanding legal fees in full. But at this point in any case Microsoft, General Electric and Exxon-Mobil hasn’t paid outstanding legal bills either. He paid a retainer early or else these guys whouldn’t have lifted a finger. As the Daily News itself notes he has paid some amount of the bills, which suggests that he paid monthly bills as they rolled in. There is likely some haggling going on and maybe a bit of foot-dragging occurring over the final balance. Haggling and foot-dragging the likes of which occurs in every single case of size ever. News flash: people hate paying lawyers.

But hey, if it gives the Daily News yet another chance to paint A-Rod as a terrible awful monster, no need to dwell on these sorts of details.

  1. uyf1950 - Mar 20, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    Imagine that the NY Daily News bringing up a non issue to sell newspapers.

  2. 13arod - Mar 20, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    when are new york news papers going to get a life and get off of arod like really

  3. tfbuckfutter - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:32 AM

    He is TRYING to pay them, but they refuse to accept his offer of “a luxury apartment building” in exchange.

  4. buddysguys - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:46 AM

    his net worth is 300 million he makes 33 million a year…he should be able to pay the 3 million if he indeed owes it.

    Also no one is trying to make A-roid look like a deadbeat or a loser…he already is one and has been one for the last 5 years.

    • dan1111 - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:04 AM

      Of course you are entitled to your opinion that A-Rod is a deadbeat and loser. But that doesn’t mean this particular story provides any evidence of bad behavior. Craig provides a convincing argument that it doesn’t.

      • buddysguys - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:29 AM

        no this story just adds more fuel to the fire A-Rod calls a baseball career, i guess we can just blame the paper and his attorneys for making all this bad press up. A-rod totally deserves the benefit of the doubt!

      • uyf1950 - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        @ buddysguys, have you had the opportunity to read the NY Daily News very often? Because if you had you not not find it the least bit difficult to understand that you can’t believe everything you read in it. Have a good day.

  5. chip56 - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    Convincing most people that Alex is a tool is as challenging as convincing someone that water is wet.

  6. chill1184 - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    and people call me an A-hole because I call the NY media a cesspool of human excrement

    • sumkat - Mar 20, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      I’m sure there is a whole list of reason’s people call you an a-hole

      I doubt your dislike of the NY media has much to do with it

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:44 PM

      Just don’t call NYC the “Sphincter of the Universe”. I already call it that.

  7. bigdaddystyle - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    The Daily News likes to take sports figures that fans dislike a little and beat that dead horse to a bloody pulp. See: Roger Clemens, Jim Dolan, ARod, Lance Armstrong and Francesa. It’s as boring and repetitive as their articles.

    But I’m guessing they’re getting hits on the site or else they’d move on….maybe. Isn’t Lupica their Editor? Maybe Not.

    • chill1184 - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      Francesa and Dolan are scum on their own. Plus it’s very rare that the media actually grows a spine an attacks Mike, there is an unwritten rule that the NY media cant attack the city’s biggest non-political blowhard

      • Kevin S. - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:07 PM

        Doesn’t Muschnik mix it up with him?

  8. 950003cups - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    Desperate Daily News trying to get attention.

  9. ez4u2sa - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    Personally, I couldn’t care less whether this slime ball has paid his lawyers or not. I just don’t want to hear ANYTHING about him! GO AWAY!

  10. gammagammahey - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    More than just smearing A-Rod, it reads like they’re salivating at even the slightest hint of a possibility that a fee dispute gets ugly and more details about A-Rod’s legal strategy make their way out.

  11. uwsptke - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    He dated Madonna, and during that time he didn’t adopt even one kid from a third world country. WHY DO YOU HATE POOR CHILDREN, AROD! WE DESERVE ANSWERS!

  12. Jason @ IIATMS - Mar 20, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    But what about the kids, Craig? What message does it tell the kids? Take steroids, make metric crap-tons of money, cheat on your wife with older washed-up singers with man-hands and female body builders, kissing mirrors, crossing over a pitchers mound, get suspended from baseball, drive while texting… it’s all on AROD!

    • sdelmonte - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:10 AM

      You forgot whatever is wrong with Obamacare, the Syrian Civil War, Crimea, and the ending of True Detective.

  13. csbanter - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    When you have to steal gossip from the NY daily news that’s not good. 3 million to A rod is loose change in the couch.

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:49 PM

      That is insane.

  14. jdmcmill - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    And good ‘ol Buster Olney trying to pimp it on twitter. What a joke. As said before – trying to sell newspapers.

  15. beachnbaseball - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    First of all, whether he paid his lawyers or not is a non-story. Yet, Craig, the staunch supporter of all things A-Rod, felt compelled to give the non-story some more exposure.

  16. DelawarePhilliesFan - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    “A-Rod hasn’t paid millions of dollars in legal bills he owes.”

    I’ve called an emergency board meeting of Snarky Cynics of America. This is impossible to figure out who to side with….

  17. nymets4ever - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Uuh…not sure what you were trying to accomplish by comparing A-Rod and his legal fees to normal people with their routine bills, considering how A-Rod’s income, wealth, and werewithal to pay is anything but normal.

  18. aceshigh11 - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:13 AM

  19. andreweac - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Narrative destroyer!

  20. janessa31888 - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Ahhhh!!!!!!! Its History’s Greatest Monster! /runs away screaming

  21. zdravit - Mar 20, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    He still has a secret ongoing appeal.

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:50 PM

      That’s a good one.

  22. boomshakalakaboomm - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    I agree with CC regarding the payment schedule. I’m the type of guy who will use a lawyer once in his life, and my case just ended in mid November. My remaining bill is about 33% of what I paid up front. I threw him a good 80% of it a few weeks ago, yet I have still not even received a bill. So, I still have unpaid legal fees as well. Not to mention, nobody has mentioned the terms of the invoice. 30 days upon receipt? Installments? (Probably not for A-Rod, but that’s one option I was offered by my guy.) At any rate, I am no A-Rod fan (in fact I like to see him suffer), but in this case I do not see where he has done anything in this case worthy of a news story, criticism, or even notice at all.

  23. sumkat - Mar 20, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    “People hate paying lawyers”

    Not true, people hate paying Civil laywers. People love paying defense lawyers, because they keep them out of jail

  24. righthandofjustice - Mar 20, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    The Daily Farce sport team must be desperate to find something to save their nose-diving revenue without all the A-Rod “news”.

    This is yet another “report” from yet another nameless person. The Daily Farce apparently didn’t learn after they were hit with a defamation lawsuit from reporting “breaking news” of A-Rod’s lawyer and his convicted former Police Commissioner client filing lawsuit against each other. One would have to ask what did Kerik’s lawsuit have to do with sports from the beginning… and why didn’t the newspaper make a complete report that themselves and two of their reporters were also sued in the lawsuit?

  25. anxovies - Mar 20, 2014 at 6:52 PM

    That’s why I liked it back when I practiced criminal law, you always get your money up front because it’s hard to collect when they are locked up.

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