The lawsuits and threatened lawsuits over the February One Place – Westin Hotel Parking Deck continue, but the latest one filed Dec. 5, 2018 is not likely to cost the city taxpayers a dime.
Attorney Amiel Rossabi of Rossabi Reardon Klein Spivey PLLC is suing Greater Greensboro Entertainment Group, LLC (GGEG) and the N Club, LLC for legal fees. Rossabi represented GGEG and the N Club in the lawsuit against the City of Greensboro over the condemnation of easements and the revocation of a shared parking agreement for the parking lot where the city owned parking deck is to be built, and claims in the lawsuit that he has not been paid the agreed upon fee.
The lawsuit notes that Rocky Scarfone is the manager of both the entities being sued.
According to the lawsuit Rossabi agreed to represent GGEC and the N Club on a contingency basis for one third of the total value of any settlement with the city. The lawsuit states that the total value of the settlement was about $1 million, so the law firm is due one third of that amount and Scarfone and his partner Jeff Furr have refused to pay even a reduced amount.
The settlement with the city was complicated and included land, rights to a new easement and dedicated parking, so the total value would have to be determined. But in addition to those considerations GGEC and the N Club also received $650,000 plus $85,000 for attorney’s fees. The lawsuit states that the attorney fees in the settlement were based on an hourly rate, in an effort to increase the settlement from the city which was not informed of the agreement that Rossabi had with Scarfone for one third of the value of the total settlement.
An attachment to the lawsuit is a copy of an agreement between Rossabi Reardon Klein Spivey PLLC and, GGEC and the N Club to take the case on a contingency basis for one third of the total settlement, but the agreement is unsigned. The lawsuit states that Scarfone said he would sign the agreement and said that he had signed the agreement.
The lawsuit states that because Rossabi frequently represented Scarfone and his various business interests, due “in part to Rossabi’s close friendship with Scarfone” and the fact that they were business associates in an unrelated business as well as in GGEG that the agreements between the two were often not formalized by a written contract.
The lawsuit states, “Scarfone expressed, on a number of occasions, that Jeff Furr (“Furr”), a member/owner of N Club and GGEG was “loaded,” and had lots of money, and that he did not want Furr to know how desperate he was in terms of finances.”
According to the lawsuit it was in part this financial situation that led to the contingency agreement.
The lawsuit also notes that the Rossabi was able to negotiate a deal with the city where the city agreed to pay up to $45,000 in professional services and legal fees for GGEG and the N Club. So essentially the City of Greensboro agreed to pay some of the expense for the parties preparing to sue the city.