According to a recent report from Courthousenews.com, a federal judge in Manhattan has sided with former Celebrity Poker Showdown commentator and Team Full Tilt member Phil Gordon after television producer Tony DeRosa-Grund failed to provide evidence supporting his case against the noted pro. Apparently DeRosa-Grund had convinced Gordon to host a poker program that was supposedly set to air on CBS, but things went south soon after.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote claimed (in 2007) that DeRosa-Grund had failed to produce pertinent details for the case and although she said that DeRosa-Grund could have shown "diligence in obtaining discovery" information for the case, he failed to do so. DeRosa-Grund's primary argument against Gordon was that he made the deal to do the show while owning a piece of another gambling venture (Full Tilt Poker).
Apparently Gordon was approached by DeRosa-Grund in 2005 on behalf of himself and ProjoPoker, to act as a host and to provide professional poker players for an unnamed show that DeRosa-Grund claimed would air on CBS. After hiring a lawyer to get him out of his contract with Celebrity Poker Showdown which was running on Bravo at the time, Gordon signed a deal to host 26 episodes for $340,000, $150,000 of which would be paid 15-days after signing his contract with DeRosa-Grund. Unfortunately for Gordon, he soon found out that DeRosa-Grund did not have a deal with CBS or any other network.
Having gone through the trouble of hiring a lawyer to get him out of his contract and having found several pros to be a part of the "amateurs vs pros" format for the show, Gordon soon found out the deal was going nowhere. Gordon then sued for breach of contract and fraudulent inducement, attempting to get a summary judgment in his favor in December of 2006. DeRosa fought Gordon's suit, claiming that the contract between the two was "not enforceable" because Gordon had portrayed himself as a consultant to Full Tilt Poker instead of as an acting director and shareholder for the company.
Unfortunately for DeRosa-Grund, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote was unwilling to participate in the his legal shell game after he failed to do the leg-work neccessary to show that Gordon had a conflict of interest during the first part of the case. "DeRosa-Grund had not shown that he had been at all diligent in pursuing discovery; instead, he ignored this action until the plaintiffs filed their motion for summary judgment," wrote Cote in her 2007 decision.
Gordon was eventually granted a summary judgment in January of 2008, but DeRosa-Grund tried to fight the court's decision by claiming that the Gordon's ownership and participation with Full Tilt had not been discovered during the 2005 case. DeRosa-Grund claimed that he recently learned about Gordon's business interests from a complaint filed in 2008 by Gordon's former Nevada business partner and that the decision should be reversed because this pertinent information was hidden from him during negotiations.
According to Judge Cote, the 2008 lawsuit from Gordon's former business partner had no influence on the case at hand because the allegations against Gordon had not changed since the original summary, therefore making the allegations unlawful for consideration because the charges "cannot be considered new, non-culmulative evidence." Unfortunately for DeRosa-Grund, the judge made it clear that he could have brought this information to light in the first case, but his failing to do so showed a "lack of diligence in obtaining discovery" information.
According to Gordon, DeRosa-Grund is nothing but a hustler in a suit who like many before him, have tried to take advantage of poker players. "He has moved to Texas and filed for bankruptcy to avoid dealing with the consequences. He's tried to use the judicial system to his advantage all the way, but we are not going to stop until this is settled," said Gordon in a statement to PokerNews.com.
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