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The latest lawyer putting my profession in a wonderful light

lLeague.jpgThis here is what we call a two-fer. We love stories about lawyers that file their own stupid lawsuits, and we also love stories about stupid parents. And this one has a little from column A and a little from column B.

Fred Grady is a construction lawyer for a well known law firm down in Tampa Bay (ah, Florida, is there anything you can’t do?). And he’s also the father to Heath, a 10-year-old boy who plays in the local little league. During Heath’s April 28 game, Grady was filling in as the coach for Heath’s team when there was an Incident. According to the league’s director, Linda Harrell, who was sitting behind Grady’s dugout, Grady hit a kid on the head with a water bottle. The kid turned out to be Heath, although Grady denies hitting him with a bottle. Regardless of whether there was an actual head-bonk, Harrell and Grady got into it a little bit of a tiff, and Grady was eventually tossed out of the game and off the field. Grady says that he was humiliated by Harrell’s “loud, boisterous and demanding” posturing.

Which of course means the poor baby is now thinking about suing the league for defamation. Last month, he sent a letter to the league’s president requesting, under state law, that the league provide him with information about its insurance policy. Also, in e-mails to the league president, Grady demanded that Harrell write a letter of apology which Grady could then send to all of Heath’s teammates and their parents. When Grady got no such letter, he sent several more e-mails which suggested possible legal action.

Heath Grady claims that he has no actual intent, at the moment, to sue. However, he has engaged his own law firm to represent him, and one of his e-mails to the league president contained the following language:

“If [the league] decides or has decided the Director acted outside of her scope of authority then so be it but that issue will NOT be determined by me, but rather by a judge or jury if this matter proceeds.”

And another e-mail included the following:

“If the [league] is not prepared to resolve the matter along these lines then I will have no other choice but to take legal action against [the league] and Ms. Harrell individually.”

So yeah, he may not be “intending” to sue, just yet, but he sure is threatening to, right? Now I will say that the bottle incident itself sounds a little fishy - it supposedly took place in the dugout, yet Harrell was behind the dugout; so I’m not so sure how she was clearly able to see the alleged event. But even if you buy Grady’s version of the story (that he merely grabbed a water bottle out of Heath’s hand and tossed it into the trash), this “case” still doesn’t seem to reach the level of defamation, does it?

Oh, and it’ll come as no surprise that this isn’t Grady’s first time being ejected from his son’s games. Last year, he got tossed for arguing over a call with an ump.

Way to teach your son how to be an upstanding citizen, Mr. Grady. Hats off to you.

(And for the record, when I referred to Grady as a “poor baby,” this was merely my opinion and not any statement of fact. I’ll thank you not to threaten me with a defamation lawsuit, Mr. Grady. Sir.)

| Comments (2)


Was that a type-o, or did the ten year old really get his own lawyers?

Yeah, just a typo. Too bad really - I'd love a story about a ten year old getting a lawyer over a little league game dispute.