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Deal offered in breach-of-contract suit against LHSAA

Last Modified: Saturday, January 26, 2013 9:59 PM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A company suing the Louisiana High School Athletic Association for breach of contract has offered the association settlement terms, its attorney said.

Varsity Events Management is suing the LHSAA for $436,000, claiming the prep sports governing board violated the terms of its contract when it was ended early.

Adam Johnson, an attorney representing Varsity, said his clients are seeking the remainder due under the contract, plus court costs.

The LHSAA has filed a writ with the state Supreme Court, asking it to overturn 14th Judicial District Court Judge Ron Ware’s decision to allow Varsity to continue with the arbitration process.

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal upheld Ware’s decision. Ware did grant the LHSAA’s request for a jury trial.

Varsity Event Management was begun by former LHSAA employee Rob Owens and Mary Ann Tice, former Shreveport Regional Sports Authority director.

The LHSAA employed Varsity in June 2011 to manage its championship events, but the two parted ways in December of that year.

According to a copy of the services contract, beginning June 24, 2011, the LHSAA was to pay Varsity an annual retainer fee of $90,000, payable in an annual down payment of $36,000 and monthly installments of $4,500.

The LHSAA was also to pay a management fee for each of the championship events — a total of $158,000 that ranged from $1,000 for indoor track and field, bowling and gymnastics to $30,000 for football.

The LHSAA writ claims that Ware and the 3rd Circuit erred in granting the jury trial while allowing arbitration to continue “in that the factors requiring a jury trial, which the court found to exist, are the same factors that require that the arbitration proceedings not go forward prior to jury trial.”

The issue, the writ says, is “can a party who is entitled to a jury trial ... and is in court preparing for the jury trial on the issue of whether arbitration is appropriate be forced to go to arbitration while a jury trial is pending in district court or while plaintiff in the lawsuit appeals the district court’s order granting a jury trial?”

Calls to the law firm of Bradley Lewis, the attorney representing the LHSAA, were not answered Friday.

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