NEW YORK — An attorney who has owned season tickets for the New York Knicks for nearly 50 years is suing Madison Square Garden Entertainment claiming that he and nearly 60 attorneys at his firm had been barred from the company’s properties.
Larry Hutcher said in the state court case filed Thursday that MSG filed an action against him and his partners at Davidoff Hutcher. & Citron LLP after becoming legal counsel to 24 ticket resellers who are suing MSG for violating New York City Art and Cultural Affairs law.
Two weeks later, Hutcher received a letter informing him that the lawyers had been foreclosed and that his tickets, which he had owned since 1976 and which he had already paid to renew for this season, had been revoked.
“While he faithfully renewed this membership at his great expense through zero leagues, long playoff droughts, post-season failures and music chair coaching, he was still summarily scrapped by MSG without warning just because he fulfilled his ethical duties. towards its customers, “the lawsuit says.
MSG said it instituted a policy in June that prevents lawyers from companies engaged in litigation against the company from attending events at its venues until the dispute is resolved.
“While we understand this to be disappointing for some people, MSG has both the right and the obligation to protect itself during litigation procedures,” a spokesperson for MSG said in a statement. “We cannot ignore the fact that litigation creates an inherently contradictory environment and an ancillary consequence of this is our need to protect ourselves from improper disclosure and discovery.”
The ban does not only apply to Knicks and Rangers games at Madison Square Garden, but also to concerts at the venue and its properties such as Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater.
Hutcher’s lawsuit argues that there is no need to fear any conflict with attorneys attending the events because anyone working for MSG in one should not only be aware of any litigation, but should have the authority “to bind MSG to a decision affecting the dispute in question “.
“How many MSG employees fall into this limited category?” says the cause. “The odds of a single plaintiff discussing the litigation topic with that MSG employee are astronomical. There is a better chance of being struck by lightning or that the Knicks will win the NBA championship this year.”
Bans are not uncommon at MSG under James Dolan. Former Knicks star Charles Oakley also grabbed one after being critical of the team’s owner and was then kicked out of the arena while watching a game.
In addition to the monetary damages, the lawsuit demands that Hutcher’s season tickets be replenished in time for this season and that the ban on lawyers be lifted immediately.
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