"While we are terribly disappointed that the NBPA will not afford [Hunter] the opportunity to address the players directly, we stand ready to press his claims in the appropriate forum," states Carlinsky, who was a partner at Orrick before leaving the firm in 2002 to join Quinn Emanuel's then-nascent New York office.
The trio of Orrick partners now advising the unioncommercial litigation partner Christine Sarchio in New York and labor and employment partners Lynn Hermle and Joseph Liburt in Silicon Valleyare scheduled to be in Houston for Saturday's meeting. (Sarchio joined Orrick last year from Patton Boggs, which Fisher sought to hire last year for a review of the NBPA's business practices under Hunter. She declined to comment when contacted Friday by The Am Law Daily.)
An NBPA spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on Hunter's claims. A spokeswoman for NBPA president Fisherwho has been at loggerheads with Hunter for more than a yeardeclined to comment on the matter.
A Paul Weiss spokesman declined to comment on the assertion put forth by Hunter's legal team that the firm's internal probe has cost the NBPA $5 million in fees. A special six-member union committee hired the firm last year to conduct its review after the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, which is conducting a parallel investigation of Hunter and the NBPA's various business dealings, subpoenaed union records.
Paul Weiss announced Thursday that it had decided to withhold information about Hunter's contract and related matters as a result of the government's ongoing inquiry. While stating that Hunter did not engage in any criminal conduct, the firm said in its supplemental statement that his "actions were inconsistent with his fiduciary obligations to put the interests of the Union above his personal interests, and that [Hunter] did not properly manage conflicts of interest."
Despite Hunter's forceful defenseand a promise to implement reformshe remains under fire on several fronts.
Bloomberg reported last month that the NBPA had moved to terminate two employees related to Hunterattorney and director of special events and partnerships Megan Natsuko Inaba (his daughter-in-law) and director of player benefits and services Robyn Hunter (his daughter)as part of its effort to move forward into a new era.
Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports reported this week that federal prosecutors are looking closely at the payment of more than $3 million to a Cleveland-based financial advisory firm called Prim Capital that employed Hunter's son Todd Hunter as a principal. The main focus of the inquiry are union documents bearing the signatures of late NBPA general counsel Gary Hall and NBPA director of player services Purvis Short that authorized payments to Prim, according to Yahoo.
Todd Hunter no longer works at Prim Capital, which did not cooperate with the Paul Weiss probe. Hall, a key consigliere and good friend of Hunter's who died in May 2011, was identified in the firm's report as not "an independent figure who would be responsive to concerns about Hunter's management of the Union."
Saturday's NBPA meeting will be run by Fisher and acting executive director Ronald Klempner, a former Weil, Gotshal & Manges associate who served as deputy general counsel of the union under Hunter. Klempner was named the interim replacement for his former boss earlier this month.