The high-stakes battle over control of the Orioles and other assets of Peter Angelos has drawn big legal guns into the fray.
Los Angeles-based attorneys whose resumes include a battle over the estate of Michael Jackson, intrafamily fights over sports franchises and a multimillion-dollar award against O.J. Simpson have registered to represent Angelos’ wife, Georgia, and his son, John, in a lawsuit filed by his younger son, Louis.
Louis Angelos, 52, sued in Baltimore County Circuit Court earlier this month, saying John, 54, had sought to seize full control of the team against the wishes of their ailing father, who no longer is able to manage his assets. He further claimed that his older brother wanted to dissolve their father’s signature law firm — known for winning billions of dollars in asbestos cases — and had transferred some $90 million worth of Peter Angelos’ real estate into an LLC he controlled.
The suit, which claims John confused and intimidated their mother into acceding to his demands, also revealed the family’s apparent desire to sell the Orioles.
Among those receiving permission on Tuesday to represent John Angelos is Daniel M. Petrocelli, perhaps best known for obtaining a $33.5 million award in a civil suit against O.J. Simpson for the deaths of the former football star’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
Lawyers who practice elsewhere are required to apply for special, limited admission to the state bar to represent a client in a Maryland case.
Among Petrocelli’s past and present clients are former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, former President Donald Trump in the Trump University fraud cases, and rapper Travis Scott, who has been sued after a stampede at his Astroworld Festival concert in Houston last year.
Adam F. Streisand, a leading litigator in wealth and inheritance disputes, sought permission to represent Georgia Angelos. According to his firm’s website, he has been involved in fights over the estates of Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando and other celebrities.
In a case with shades of the Angelos lawsuit, Streisand represented Jeanie Buss in winning a battle with her brothers for control of the Los Angeles Lakers.
He also represented former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in his $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers after the former owner, Donald Sterling, was banned for life from the NBA for making racist remarks. Sterling’s wife fought successfully to have him declared incapacitated and removed from a trust that owned the team, leaving her as sole trustee and able to sell it.
Streisand also represents Dea Spanos Berberian who, on the same day Louis Angelos sued his brother and mother filed suit against her brother in an ownership fight over the Los Angeles Chargers.
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Representing Louis Angelos is Jeffrey E. Nusinov, a Baltimore-based attorney who specializes in trust and estate litigation. He represented William J. Paterakis and Venice Paterakis Smith, the children of the late John Paterakis, in a successful estate battle against the H&S and Harbor East developer’s second wife.
“John’s choice of lawyers for him and his mother show how concerned he must be,” Nusinov said. “They are accomplished lawyers. They will have their hands full.”
Nusinov is joined by partner Paul D. Raschke, who previously worked for the Angelos law firm. He was part of the team that won a $1.5 billion verdict against Exxon Corp. for a gasoline leak that contaminated groundwater in Jacksonville in Baltimore County, among of the largest verdicts in Maryland history.
The court has noted technical deficiencies in the filings by the attorneys for John Angelos and his mother, such as failing to supply required information, including phone numbers and identification numbers.
Both California lawyers will be joined by several members of their firms. Maryland law allows attorneys who are members of the state bar to request permission for lawyers from elsewhere to serve as their co-counsel. The request for Petrocelli to represent John Angelos was made by Jeffrey E. Gordon, a Washington-based partner at their firm, O’Melveny & Myers, and a University of Maryland Law graduate.
Streisand’s request to represent Georgia Angelos was filed by Christopher M. Loveland, also based in Washington, and a partner at their firm, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton.
Online court records show that attorneys for John Angelos and his mother requested and received extensions for responding to Louis Angelos’ claims.