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Hearing postponed in Angelos case, but arguments continue amid changes in its large cast of lawyers

A Wednesday hearing in the legal fight that has split the family of Peter Angelos was postponed, but lawyers continued their arguments in court filings over the fate of his assets, from the Orioles to his legendary law firm.

No reason was given for the postponement of the hearing in Baltimore County Circuit Court, and it has yet to be rescheduled.

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Now five months into the battle that began when Angelos’ younger son, Louis, 53, sued his mother Georgia, 80, and brother John, 55, the Orioles chairman and CEO, over control of his ailing father’s holdings, court documents show continued wrangling over two issues: who will control the law firm known for fighting the asbestos and tobacco industries, and how much of the family’s financial and business information must be disclosed by its bankers.

In a filing Monday, a lawyer newly appointed to represent Peter Angelos, 93, who has been incapacitated by illness for several years, sided with Georgia Angelos and her older son in arguing for a limit on what Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs should have to reveal.

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Louis Angelos is seeking information about his family members’ bank accounts and loans, as well as transactions involving the Orioles and their broadcaster, Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. His attorneys also have subpoenaed Goldman Sachs about the investment bank’s work for Georgia Angelos on a possible sale of the family’s interest in the team. Court documents show the family has about a two-thirds stake in the Orioles.

Benjamin Rosenberg, representing Peter Angelos, wrote that the subpoenas were overly broad and included information irrelevant to the issue at hand, a trust into which the family’s interest in the Orioles has been transferred.

But Louis Angelos’ attorney, Jeffrey E. Nusinov, said in a Monday filing that his client needed the financial information because his mother and brother had engaged in “clandestine actions” that diverted assets from the trust. That runs counter to what Peter Angelos wanted, Nusinov argued.

Louis Angelos in March asked his mother and brother for a full accounting of the assets, Nusinov wrote, but never received it.

“Instead they responded by instructing Lou to withdraw his request for an accounting or face disinheritance,” according to the filing.

The two sides also are fighting over the management of the law firm that Peter Angelos created in the 1960s and turned into a personal injury powerhouse that won billions of dollars on behalf of victims of asbestos and tobacco, although it is much smaller these days.

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Louis Angelos, an attorney, has managed the firm since his father became ill, and has resisted his mother’s efforts to wind down its operations or sell it. In June, Louis Angelos transferred the firm to his name, a move he said was necessary because his father, its sole stockholder, was disabled and by state law needed to be replaced. But Georgia Angelos sued him, saying the alleged sale amounted to “theft” and “financial elder abuse” of her husband.

Her attorneys have asked for a conservator to be appointed to take over the firm while its ownership and management are in dispute. Nusinov, however, argued against that in a filing on Tuesday, saying the installment of an outsider in a long-entrenched firm with 22,000 clients would create a host of legal, ethical and logistical problems.

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Meanwhile, Georgia Angelos’ initial team of lawyers have withdrawn from the case, including Adam Streisand, the Los Angeles-based litigator of high-profile family fights involving celebrities and professional sports teams. In a Monday filing, six lawyers with the firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton noted they were withdrawing as her counsel of record.

Georgia Angelos and John Angelos had amassed a team of about two dozen lawyers combined.

Georgia Angelos added former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler to her legal team last month, and he has taken on a lead role representing her. He handled the bulk of the arguments on her behalf at an Oct. 27 hearing before Circuit Court Judge Keith R. Truffer. She also is represented by three attorneys from Gansler’s firm as well as Jeffrey M. Lenkov, who is based in Los Angeles.

Attorneys for the three parties did not return requests for comment.

Baltimore Sun reporter Hayes Gardner contributed to this article.


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