Offside: Lawyer Sued While Buying Soccer Club

FIFA world cup 2006 - Rome circus maximus flag, by Wikipedia user Alejo2083, licensed by Creative Commons.

Golazo, or no-lazo?

Although Italian sports have a reputation for being less-than-upfront, this time the trouble is being caused in America. Joe Tacopina, the rockstar lawyer who has represented the likes of Alex Rodriguez, is being sued by a former client at a very inconvenient time. Tacopina recently arrived in Bologna, Italy and is entering the final stages of purchasing the soccer club Blogona F.C. 1909, known as Bologna. According to reports, the lawsuit was filed with the intention to freeze Mr. Tacopina’s assets while he is abroad and looking to become a part owner of the franchise. The suit also claims the plaintiff was misled by the defendant, who was searching for representation in Connecticut (Mr. Tacopina is not registered to practice law in that state). The suit was officially filed in New York City.

Joe Tacopina is part of a larger group of investors tasked with purchasing the storied soccer club as they try to regain their glory days. Bologna was recently relegated from Italy’s Serie A, the top level league for competitive soccer in the country, and are in the process of rebuilding. Tim Palatore, the lawyer representing the plaintiff (“Jane Doe”), further infers that Mr. Tacopina is actually using the deal’s closing as an excuse to leave the country and avoid the negative press. Although he has not made any statements, those close to Tacopina deny the allegations and attacks on his personal character.

Although he probably has a case for defamation of character at this point, Tacopina seems genuinely interested in being a part owner in the soccer club. As mentioned, Joe Tacopina is no stranger to drama involving the sports world. He famously represented New York Yankees’ 3rd Baseman Alex Rodriguez after the latest round of steroid and HGH allegations surfaced. Soccer in Italy is much like football in the United States; it’s the main interest of a very passionate group of people. Not only was Bologna one of the inaugural teams when Serie A was founded in 1929, but the club was also home for soccer players like Francesco Valiani, who is known for scoring a famous goal at the San Siro against Italian legends AC Milan. Tacopina is hoping to be a legend in his own right, although it may involve re-writing some of his own history in the courtroom.

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