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Champion Pro Consulting Group, Inc. v. Impact Sports Football, LLC

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

December 22, 2016

CHAMPION PRO CONSULTING GROUP, INC.; CARL E. CAREY, JR., PH.D., Plaintiffs - Appellants,
v.
IMPACT SPORTS FOOTBALL, LLC; MITCHELL FRANKEL; TONY FLEMING; MARVIN AUSTIN, Defendants-Appellees, and ROBERT QUINN; CHRISTINA WHITE, Defendants, and NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT SECRETARY OF STATE, Third Party Defendant.

          Argued: October 27, 2016

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, at Greensboro. William L. Osteen, Jr., Chief District Judge. (1:12-cv-00027-WO-LPA)

         ARGUED:

          Kevin James Dolley, James Carter Keaney, LAW OFFICES OF KEVIN J. DOLLEY, LLC, St. Louis, Missouri, for Appellants.

          Peter Robert Ginsberg, PETER R. GINSBERG LAW, LLC, New York, New York, for Appellees.

         ON BRIEF:

          Laura Spencer Garth, Mark J. Obermeyer, LAW OFFICES OF KEVIN J. DOLLEY, LLC, St. Louis, Missouri, for Appellants.

          Before WILKINSON and TRAXLER, Circuit Judges, and Bruce H. HENDRICKS, United States District Judge for the District of South Carolina, sitting by designation.

         Affirmed by published opinion. Judge Hendricks wrote the opinion, in which Judge Wilkinson and Judge Traxler joined.

          HENDRICKS, District Judge.

         In December 2010, while a student at the University of North Carolina, Robert Quinn entered into a Standard Representation Agreement with Carl E. Carey, founder of Champion Pro Consulting Group, Inc. Carey thereby became Quinn's sports agent and maintained hopes to obtain lucrative opportunities for Quinn with the National Football League ("NFL"). Eight months later, Quinn terminated his Agreement with Carey and hired Impact Sports Football to represent him instead. Shortly thereafter, Quinn signed a contract with the St. Louis Rams for $4, 073, 468 over his first four seasons, with a signing bonus of $5, 362, 585.

         After filing two related actions in other jurisdictions, [1]Plaintiffs filed the instant action against Impact Sports, Mitchell Frankel, Tony Fleming, and Marvin Austin, [2] alleging principally that Impact Sports engaged in deceptive and unfair practices in violation of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Practices Act ("UDTPA") by their recruitment of Quinn. Following discovery, Plaintiffs moved to sanction Defendants for their alleged spoliation of evidence. After a hearing, the district court denied in part Plaintiffs' motion for sanctions and granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment on all of Plaintiffs' claims. Because the Court finds that Defendants' actions fall outside the scope of the UDTPA, we affirm.

         I.

         A.

         Carey is a full-time associate professor at Lonestar College in Kingwood, Texas. He is also a National Football League Players Association ("NFLPA") Contract Advisor and the founder of Champion Pro Consulting Group, located in Houston, Texas. In November 2010, Quinn contacted Carey about serving as his Contract Advisor, after being introduced to Carey by a mutual friend. Carey eventually met with Quinn and his family in North Carolina, and they signed a Standard Representation Agreement ("SRA") on December 4, 2010. At the ...


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