Kirby McInerney LLP | Financial Litigation Law Firm | Legal Association Leader-Settles Obstruction Suit with Board
This links to the home page

Legal Association Leader-Settles Obstruction Suit with Board

05/01/2020 | Law360
A Spanish attorney and officials with an international legal nonprofit told a D.C. federal court on Friday they struck a deal to settle claims that board members blocked him from assuming his duties as the organization's president after he was elected.

Javier Cremades Garcia and the officials with the World Jurist Association said the undisclosed deal would settle all claims that the group's previous president sought to delay Cremades' start date as president, that the board acted behind his back, that it tried to fabricate his resignation and that it voted him out in an unauthorized meeting, according to court documents.

"This joint motion is sought in order to conserve the resources of the court and is brought in good faith," said Friday's memorandum accompanying the joint motion to dismiss.

Cremades sued Franklin Hoet Linares, the previous president, Garry E. Hunter, the group's general counsel and executive vice president, and Iris Jones, the association's president for North America, in November.

According to the complaint, Hoet said in 2018 that he wanted Cremades to succeed him as president after his term expired. Cremades was then tasked with organizing the group's global conference for February 2019, when a new president would be elected.

Cremades was unanimously chosen as the new president, but disputes arose after the conference ended over the funds it generated and how much Cremades' firm should get for its months of organizing and fundraising, according to the complaint.

Cremades claimed Hoet and the board met on numerous occasions without him, but the association's bylaws say only the president can call a meeting.

Hoet and the board also pushed back Cremades' start date as president, even though traditionally the new president begins their term immediately upon being elected at the conference, according to the complaint.

At one point, Hunter also contacted Cremades to tell him that his "resignation" had been accepted, even though Cremades never resigned, the complaint said.

The board later tried to say Cremades hadn't yet been confirmed by the board, even though such a thing is not required under the bylaws, Cremades claimed. While this was going on, the board also made a $28,000 payment to Hoet that Cremades said was improper.

"The conduct of Hunter and Hoet has been an affront to the norms and by-laws of the WJA, and, in fact, the rule of law itself," the suit said.

Counsel for the parties could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Cremades is represented by David E. Kovel and Karen M. Lerner of Kirby McInerney LLP.

Hunter is represented by Justin M. Flint of Eccleston & Wolf PC. Jones is representing herself.

Counsel information for Hoet was not immediately available on Friday.

The case is Francisco Javier Cremades Garcia v. Franklin Hoet Linares et al., case number 1:19-cv-03500, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.