Criminal charges against McGregor dropped in cell phone slam case

May 13, 2019

ESPN reports that criminal charges against Conor McGregor in Florida have been dropped by Miami prosecutors.  The 22-year-old man that had his phone allegedly smashed by the UFC star outside of a hotel “has been made whole.”

Without the witness as well as others which may have aided the case, the prosecutors dropped one charge of felony robbery and one of misdemeanor criminal mischief.  An Assistant State Attorney quoted in the ESPN article cited “credibility issues” with the man’s story as he had changed sworn testimony.  The man also dropped a civil suit last month seeking $15,000 in damages.

McGregor was arrested based on an incident outside of a Miami hotel in March from the alleged destruction of Ahmed Abdirzak’s cell phone.

Payout Perspective:

A likely monetary settlement helped make the decision easier for any and all witnesses involved in the criminal matter.  The issue likely was done after Abdirzak settled his civil lawsuit.  Without witnesses willing to help and issues with the story of events that went down, it was easy decision to drop the charges.

Conor McGregor arrested in Miami

March 11, 2019

Conor McGregor was arrested in Miami Monday morning according to the Miami Beach Police Department.

McGregor was charged for strong arm robbery and criminal mischief which are both felonies.  According to the arrest affidavit, McGregor and the victim were at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami.  When McGregor left, the victim attempted to take a picture with him with his cell phone.  McGregor knocked the phone out of his hand, stomped on the phone several times and then took it away from him.  The victim claims that the phone was worth $1,000.

MMA Fighting has obtained a statement from McGregor’s attorney in which he describes the incident as a “minor altercation.”

Payout Perspective:

This incident seems minimal compared to the bus incident in New Jersey last year.  Yet, the piling on of criminal incidents cannot sit well with authorities.  There’s likely a story from McGregor about the reason for what he did.  One has to assume that McGregor will not be punished extensively for this so long as he pays for the damage.

Did Dana White inadvertently help Michael Chiesa’s lawsuit against Conor McGregor?

December 23, 2018

The attorney for UFC welterweight Michael Chiesa filed an Amended Complaint earlier this week in his lawsuit against Conor McGregor. In this amended version, Chiesa cites New York’s “Son of Sam” Law which states that McGregor should not be able to benefit from his crime.

Chiesa is suing McGregor (technically his company) and the Barclay’s Center for the April 5, 2018 incident in which he threw a dolly at the bus carrying several UFC fighters including Chiesa and Khabib Nurmogomedov. As a result of McGregor’s action, Chiesa was bloodied from shattered glass and had to be taken off the card. According to the amended complaint filed on December 20th, Chiesa was to be offered the opening spot against Khabib Nurmogomedov but for his injury. Chiesa claims that when Max Holloway was unable to fight, a UFC executive texted him about the possibility. Its presumed that the text was sent prior to knowledge of Chiesa’s health status and that he would have taken the fight.

The “Son of Sam” law in New York was made to prevent criminals from profiting from the publicity of their crimes. The law was named after serial killer David Berkowitz, known as “Son of Sam,” gained fame in the mid-1970s for his crimes. There was widespread speculation that Berkowitz would profit from his murders by selling his story to be made for a book or film. As a result, New York passed a law preventing someone from profiting from their crimes.

McGregor was charged with multiple crimes and while he was acquitted of his wrongdoings, Chiesa claims that the law would apply since the law relates to those charged of crimes.

Here, Chiesa is claiming that McGregor has made money off of this incident. The complaint notes McGregor selling his whiskey, “Proper 21,” during his UFC 229 press conference. Also, included in the lawsuit, was McGregor’s quote from the press conference that he knew that he was going to go after Khabib that day. There is also the use of the footage to build UFC 229 and Dana White’s proclamation that his use of it was part of the story and build for the fight.

518314 2018 Michael Chiesa … by on Scribd

UFC 229 was the highest-grossing PPV in the company’s history with a reported 2.4 million buys.

Chiesa’s amendment to his lawsuit, if agreed by the trier of fact, would mean that he could feasibly claim McGregor’s part of his reported earning from UFC 229 and/or sales from Proper 21.  While its not clear how the law would apply and if there would be a disgorgement (giving up the money) of profits by McGregor, it puts the welterweight with an interesting legal argument.

Payout Perspective:

It’s an ingenious strategy to utilize the “Son of Sam” law here especially when Dana White was adamant that they utilize the bus footage in its build for what became the biggest PPV in the history of the UFC.  McGregor sold “Proper 12” at the pre-fight press conference and a lot of conversation surrounded the April incident at Barclay’s.  While McGregor may claim that the press built this up themselves, we have White explicitly stating his reasons to promote the attack.  Thus, it was generated by McGregor’s actions and facilitated by the UFC.  It will be interesting to see if McGregor blames the UFC for its use of the footage or not.

McGregor’s attorneys had filed a motion to dismiss certain claims including Chiesa’s claims for negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  With the amendment of his lawsuit, this may make McGregor’s attorneys have to retool its motion to dismiss as one might assume that the new claim regarding the Son of Sam law would likely be addressed in a motion to dismiss by McGregor.

MMA Payout will keep you posted.

Chiesa sues McGregor, Barclay’s over UFC 223 bus attack

September 10, 2018

TMZ reports that Michael Chiesa has filed a lawsuit against Conor McGregor for injuries he sustained in April when McGregor hurled a dolly at the bus that the lightweight was on.  Chiesa was injured as a result and was pulled from his fight against Anthony Pettis at UFC 223.

The lawsuit, filed in state court in New York, states Chiesa is suing McGregor for assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  He is also suing Barclay’s Center for negligence as the incident occurred at the venue.  Chiesa’s theory likely claims lack of security allowed Conor to run roughshod in the bowels of Barclay’s.

McGregor was arrested on criminal charges but those charges were subsequently reduced to almost nothing.

Payout Perspective:

This is the second personal injury lawsuit that Conor is facing.  He still has the Nevada “thrown can” lawsuit.  If you have extra time, I talk about it here the Thinking Like a Lawyer podcast.   Unlike that lawsuit, Chiesa was smart enough to sue Barclay’s Center.  If nothing else, there is insurance coverage that may have some money for Chiesa.  With that being said, he does have a valid legal argument against McGregor.  It’s clear that Conor was acting reckless and the video should tell you that.  Plus, Chiesa legitimately lost money due to McGregor’s action.  Regardless of the severity of the injury, the monetary loss is real.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

Court denies Plaintiff’s request for Conor McGregor financial info, deposition in thrown can lawsuit

August 23, 2018

The plaintiff in the Conor McGregor lawsuit claiming injury to a thrown can during the August 2016 pre-fight press conference at UFC 202 was dealt a huge blow in discovery as the Court denied motions to compel financial information from McGregor and his deposition.

William Pegg claims he was injured as a result of McGregor throwing a can during the press conference altercation.  A lawsuit was filed in Clark County Nevada but was moved to federal court in Las Vegas by McGregor’s attorneys. McGregor denies wrongdoing in the lawsuit.

Prior to removal to federal court, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Compel documents with the motion to be heard in state court on May 30, 2018.  But, McGregor’s attorneys filed for removal on April 26, 2018.

Plaintiff’s attorney attempted to compel documents to determine McGregor’s ability to pay a potential claim as well as his deposition.  This included his W-2s, tax returns and payouts from the UFC.  McGregor’s attorney asserted that the financial information was confidential and not discoverable.  He also offered McGregor to be deposed in Dublin, Ireland after his October 6th fight with Khabib Nurmogomedov in Las Vegas.  Plaintiff’s attorney requested they depose McGregor in Las Vegas as it is known that he will be training there prior to his October 6th showdown with Khabib.  However, Defendant did not offer this as an option.  Discovery closes on October 23rd, so if they are unable to depose McGregor prior to then, he will not be deposed.

Motion to Compel Deposition of Conor McGregor by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Defendant’s Response to Motion to Compel by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Defendant’s Response to Motion to Compel Depo by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Plaintiff included an example of how McGregor profited from this incident by embedding a screenshot of a “MacEmoji app” being sold which depicts him throwing cans.

The Court Order denying McGregor’s deposition notes that the Plaintiff failed to file a “Points and Authorities” section in its Motion which is a requisite in Court proceedings.  Thus, as outlined by McGregor’s attorneys, the motion should be denied for this failure alone.  The Court notes that Plaintiff’s motion failed to include any citations to legal authority.  As a result, they have “consented to the denial of his motion…”  For similar reasons, Plaintiff’s request for documents was denied for the same grounds.

Order on Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Depo of Conor McGregor by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Order on Plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

Being a lawyer is hard.  And aside from knowing the law, you must know the procedure.  In this instance, the fatal defect for Plaintiff was an elementary knowledge of the rules.  In its response to Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel the Deposition of Conor McGregor, his attorneys go after Plaintiff’s attorneys including requesting that they be sanctioned (fined) for not knowing the rules.  They note that the form of a motion is “a basic premise to all first year law students…”  Yet, Plaintiff did not do it.  This almost certainly harms Plaintiff’s case and it’s clear that this is being characterized as a “nuisance” claim.  In looking at this incident, it may have been helpful if the plaintiff would have gone after the UFC and/or the MGM as insurance may have kicked in.  Instead, Plaintiff is facing an uphill legal battle.

Plaintiff in McGregor thrown can lawsuit moves for partial summary judgment

July 26, 2018

Earlier this month, the plaintiff in the Conor McGregor thrown can lawsuit from the pre-UFC 202 press conference moved the court for partial summary judgment seeking an order that the UFC two-division champion was liable for throwing a can that hit William Pegg.

In the moving papers, Pegg embeds still photographs of McGregor throwing “unopened beverage cans from the stage towards the audience.”  According to the pleading, “[t]he second of two cans thrown hit Pegg in his back, near his left shoulder.”  As proof, plaintiff’s attorney also embeds photos of Pegg’s shoulder showing the bruising.

Plaintiff’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Specifically, Pegg requests that the Court issue an order that McGregor breached his duty of care by throwing the can, that the can hit Pegg, that McGregor committed the tort of battery and that Pegg was not comparatively negligent.

Plaintiff’s attorney argues that McGregor has not produced any evidence showing that Pegg was comparatively negligent and from a legal perspective, it does not apply to intentional torts.  As a result, Pegg argues that certain defenses claimed by McGregor are stricken as potential arguments used by the UFC fighter’s defense later on.

Notably, Plaintiff uses the Nevada Athletic Commission’s Findings of Fact from his hearing on the matter as an exhibit.

Payout Perspective:

While it might seem like good strategy for the plaintiff to obtain judgment on McGregor’s breach of duty and committing a tort, the real issue is that of damages, as in were there any. McGregor’s attorneys could (and probably should) stipulate to liability and argue damages.  This would eliminate any question surrounding the facts which caused the injury but focus on the actual damages as a result. So, if this were to go to trial, you can hypothetically limit evidence of the whole incident and focus on the damages based on a thrown can.  With that being said, the medical damages look minimal in comparison to the amount claimed by Pegg. MMA Payout will keep you posted.

McGregor’s attorneys respond to request to keep water bottle lawsuit in state court

May 7, 2018

On Friday, Conor McGregor’s attorneys filed a Statement of Removal related to moving the case from Nevada state court to Federal Court.

The Plaintiff filed a lawsuit after alleging that he was injured after being struck by a can thrown by Conor McGregor at the UFC 202 press conference.

Statement of Removal by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

McGregor’s attorneys also responded to Plaintiff’s Emergency Motion to Remand to state court:

Response to Emergency Motion by Plaintiffs by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

The essence of McGregor’s argument is that Plaintiff’s did not properly conduct a “meet and confer” process which would determine the reasons for non-participation in discovery in the state court matter. Further, the Offer of Judgment for $90,000 set the monetary damage amount which exceeds the $75,000 requirement for Federal Court allowing jurisdiction to be retained (that and diversity jurisdiction which is clear hear with plaintiff being a Nevada resident and McGregor a citizen of Ireland and his company based out of California.

Payout Perspective:

It’s pretty clear that McGregor’s attorneys have solid arguments shutting down Plaintiff’s arguments for the state court to retain jurisdiction.  The Offer of Judgment for $90,000 seems like a strategic error here considering the possibility of removal.  What may have been more prudent would be an offer of $70,000.  The medical bills are slightly under $5,000.  Even if McGregor were to settle for that amount, it would have kept it in state court and having to deal with the discovery issues.

Another issue in this case is whether plaintiff should have sued the venue and/or UFC.  It seems that someone has insurance and that should be sought out in this type of personal injury case.

Man who claimed he was hurt by a Conor McGregor thrown bottle at UFC 202 presser gets case moved to Federal Court

April 27, 2018

The man that has sued Conor McGregor for personal injuries he claims he sustained while working security at the UFC 202 press conference which saw McGregor engage in a bottle throwing war with Nate Diaz and his entourage.

The man, William Pegg, claimed medical bills of $3,065.96 in a demand letter dated December 13, 2016.  In addition to the medical bills, Mr. Pegg wanted an additional $225,000.00.  McGregor’s reps at Paradigm Sports denied liability and threatened to bring an action against Pegg’s attorneys for filing a frivolous lawsuit if it decided to file a lawsuit.

Plaintiff’s Demand Letter to Conor McGregor by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Pegg, of course, filed a lawsuit on March 28, 2017 claiming negligence and battery for throwing “unopened beverage cans” during the press conference.  He claimed that the cans hit him in the back. Pegg sued McGregor and McGregor Sports & Entertainment, LLC.  He originally sought damages of $15,000 in addition to punitive and medical bills.

On March 20, 2018, Pegg Amended his Complaint to add a cause of action for unjust enrichment citing that McGregor profited from the press conference incident and as a result Pegg should receive restitution.

First Amended Complaint by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

On April 10, 2018, Plaintiff’s filed an Offer of Judgment with the state court for $90,000.  The Offer of Judgment allows for the Defendant the opportunity to essentially take the offer within 10 days of the filing.  If not, and Plaintiff receives a more favorable judgment than $90,000, the Plaintiff may recoup legal fees and costs.  The purpose of the Offer of Judgment is to facilitate settlement.

However, with the Offer of Judgment, McGregor decided to remove the case to federal court.  With an amount in excess of $75,000 and diversity of jurisdiction (Pegg a Nevada citizen, McGregor’s company located in California), Federal Court may retain jurisdiction.  A removal to Federal Court is automatic and must be remanded by the non-moving party for the state court to retain jurisdiction.

Plaintiff, seeking the state court to retain jurisdiction, has filed an emergency motion to remand the case back to state court.  Plaintiff’s attorney claims that McGregor has been uncooperative in the litigation process despite an impending trial date in November 2018.  They also argue that McGregor’s removal to federal court was not timely.

Plaintiff’s Emergency Motion to Remand by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

There are advantages for a defendant to move a case to federal court.  First, there are stricter guidelines and rules that are enforced by the judge who are appointed for life.  Second, due to the glut of cases, obtaining a trial date for the case will likely take years.  Based on the information filed, it appears that there is a trial date in state court for this November.  Finally, state court tend to be lax with its rules and admitting evidence which goes to the first advantage in that federal court is much stricter.  The motion to remand will be a tough hurdle for the plaintiff since they’ve already admitted, via its Offer of Judgment, that the value of the claim is in excess of $75,000.  Add to that that McGregor’s company is in California and the plaintiff resides in Nevada and the rules dictate that Federal court retains jurisdiction.  If the case stays in Federal court, its unlikely that the plaintiff will have a trial date this fall as he did in state Court.  Moreover, the opportunity to settle the case swiftly decreases.  Despite the fact that McGregor’s reps have shown their teeth in threatening counterclaims and the like, that’s just saber-rattling which is common in litigation.

MMA Payout will keep you posted.