Former NFL Player Terrell Owens Fights Arbitration in Dispute with Former Agent
In Miami, Florida USA former NFL superstar Terrell Owens asked a Florida Court to allow his lawsuit against his former agent, Drew Rosenhaus, to proceed in the courts and not in arbitration. Owens claims he never agreed to binding arbitration with Rosenhaus despite the fact that standard NFL player contracts specify binding arbitration under American Arbitration Association rules and procedures.
Owen claims that the arbitration clause in his contract with Rosenhaus was narrower than that and does not apply in his current lawsuit, in which he accuses Rosenhaus of partnering him with incompetent and unethical financial advisers. The specific argument put forth by Owens’ attorney is that the NFL Players Association incorporated the AAA voluntary labor arbitration rules but not the labor arbitration rules. The latter are the rules that allow an arbitrator to determine whether a dispute can be settled via arbitration. Since those rules do not apply, arbitration is not appropriate.
Rosenhaus has argued that the rules are actually the same and that the word “voluntary” has been removed in recent years, and that the rules specifically allow an arbitrator to determine the arbitrability of all issues.
Owens is suing his former agent for $6.5 million in lost assets he blames on unsound financial advice and theft on the part of financial adviser Jeffrey Brett Rubin. He hired Rubin on the advice of Rosenhaus, and Rubin has since been permanently banned from the financial industry.