Zion Williamson was just named (at the time this was written) the number 1 pick in the NBA draft.
Unfortunately for Zion, before his career has even begun, he is in the middle of two lawsuits.
The undisputed facts behind the lawsuits are that Zion signed a 5-year contract with a marketing agency for the purpose of promoting his image and for endorsement deals. Then, Zion signed with another company to be his NBA agent. Now, Zion wants the NBA Agent company to also represent him in promoting his image and endorsement deals.
Zion sued the original marketing agency in a North Carolina Court because he claims the contract violated North Carolina Law and should be considered void.
The Marketing agency sued Zion in Florida for breach of contract and $100 Million dollars.
This post is not about who will win their case or my opinion of the merits of the case (this will most likely be settled out of court anyway).
These competing lawsuits are a perfect illustration of forum shopping.
Zion chose to sue in North Carolina because he played college basketball there and is wildly popular in that state, in case he has to go to trial. Also, the laws in North Carolina are more favorable to him.
The marketing agency chose to sue in Florida because the laws are more favorable to them.
Forum shopping is the practice of choosing the court in which to bring an action …based on a determination of which court is likely to provide the most favorable outcome.
Keep in mind that a litigant cannot chose any court he wants, there must be some connection in the case.
In this case, Zion signed the contract in North Carolina and the marketing agency is based out of Florida.
Which state will the cases be heard in? Most likely North Carolina because the general rule is that the first to file wins.
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