Clippers off court: On to arbitration with Dunleavy [Updated]
The Clippers will be going to arbitration in April with their former coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy, according to Dunleavy's attorney Miles Clements.
Clements told The Times that it was ruled this fall "the claims at issue were arbitrable." Arbitration will be held before Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services in Santa Monica close to 10 months after Dunleavy originally filed, seeking the $6.75-million remaining on his contract.
That development set the stage for the Clippers moving to drop their lawsuit against Dunleavy. Papers were filed by the organization Wednesday asking to dismiss the complaint, City News Service reported. Clements told The Times earlier this week that they had never been served.
According to a Los Angeles Superior civil case summary, a case management conference had been scheduled for Wednesday before Superior Court Judge Terry A. Green.
The Clippers drew national attention this summer when they tried to halt Dunleavy's arbitration claim by alleging he fraudulently induced the Clippers into entering an employment agreement. Clements said at the time that the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, did not "pass the laugh test" and called it another "delay tactic."
On Friday, the Clippers declined comment to The Times on the development, "at the present time."
[Updated at 10:21 a.m.: Clippers general counsel Robert Platt described the matter as a venue issue.
"We elected to prove our claim in arbitration rather than the court system," Platt said in a telephone interview Friday morning.]
Dunleavy, who was fired by the Clippers as their general manager in March, moved aside as coach in February in what was called a mutual decision. He was hired by the Clippers in 2003 and signed a five-year extension after the team reached the second round of the playoffs in the spring of 2006.
-- Lisa Dillman