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Boxing Contender O'Shaquie Foster Answered Dibella Suit, Now Stealthly Settled With Prejudice

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 23 – Boxer O'Shaquie Foster wants to drop promoter Dibella Entertainment, which has sued him and is stopping his probably short career at a key point. 

     On May 11, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

  Both sides said they want this proceeding to move quickly, given how time bound a boxer's career can be. But the best that could be done was a discovery schedule running through October 29.

Will would contender still have a shot by then?

On June 9, Judge Koeltl held another proceeding, and Inner City Press live tweeted it, here and below.

On November 23, 2021, a terse one sentence letter that the lawsuit has been settled and should be dismissed with prejudice. But on what basis? Inner City Press will stay on the case.

On July 15, Judge Koeltl held an in person evidentiary hearing, and Inner City Press went to cover it. After some initial technical difficulties, O'Shaquie Foster's lawyer questioned Lou DiBella, about his previous practice of law, and invocation of force majeur.

Afterward, this ruling: "ORDER denying [51] Motion to Strike document [51] MOTION to Strike Document No. [45, 47 and 49] of Plaintiff DiBella Entertainment, Inc.'s Evidence in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed by O'Shaquie Foster from the record. For the reasons stated on the record at the hearing held on July 15, 2021, the defendant's motion for preliminary injunction is denied and the motion to strike is denied. The Clerk is directed to close Docket Nos. 30 and 51. The Court sets the following briefing schedule for the defendant's motion to dismiss the plaintiff's counterclaims: the plaintiff's response is due July 22, 2021, and the reply is due July 27, 2021."

From June 9: Judge Koeltl asks why a Temporary Restraining Order is being sought.

Response: No one will give a fight with threat of litigation hanging in the air.

 Judge Koeltl: How could I decide that on a TRO? With the absence of an imminent fight...

 Judge Koeltl: The ability to move forward with a new promoters sound more like a Preliminary Injunction matter.

Answer: We could have a one-off agreement, like with Bash Boxing. In the 14 or 28 days, we can get more than one offer for Mr. Foster to box.

 Judge Koeltl: I don't do TROs ex parte.

Dibella's lawyer: We are ready to promote him. He is refusing. Lou Dibella is in the boxing Hall of Fame. I've been in the business 30 years and I've never heard of the promoter they're promoting.

 Dibella's lawyer: We offered him a fight next week on a major network, he turned it down. Fighters like Foster can't be allowed to just run off.

Judge Koeltl: I am unlikely to sign a TRO. The papers for a Preliminary Injunction should be filed on Friday.

And afterward he ordered: "ORDER: For reasons stated on the record at the conference today, the pending requests for the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction are denied with leave to refile on proper papers pursuant to Local Civil Rule 7.1. The defendant shall file the appropriate papers by June 11, 2021, the plaintiff will respond by June 18, 2021, and the defendants will reply by June 23, 2021. The plaintiff may move on the counterclaims without a pre-motion conference. The parties shall file a Rule 26(f) report by June 24, 2021.

 On June 11, the PI papers were filed. They characterized Lou DiBella as a Harvard Law School graduate, oppressing 27 year old O'Shaquie Dominique Williams Foster and making him "a pariah in his chosen profession and unable to fight until the present litigation winds its way through this Court."

On June 16, Foster's counsel opposed DiBella's request for a 19 day extension of time to answer, saying 10 days could be agreed to "with the caveat that Mr. Wirt does not argue that neither he nor his client can commence written or oral discovery until after the forthcoming FRCP 12(b)(6) motion had been heard."

On June 18 - Juneteenth, with the court largely closed -- opposition was filed, arguing that "Foster's Claim that Boxing Resumed in Earnest in June 2020 Is Not Likely to Succeed on the Merits." Watch this site.

The case is DiBella Entertainment, Inc. v. Foster, 21-cv-2709 (Koeltl)



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