Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman has won several new rounds in a court battle with Western New York basketball great Christian Laettner, the former NBA star. Laettner and a former teammate and business partner, Brian Davis, failed to repay Merriman a $3 million loan he had given them for various investments. A court ordered in January that the two former basketball players should pay Merriman a judgment of nearly $4 million.
On May 16, a federal judge in Maryland threatened to hold Laettner and Davis in contempt for their failure to make the transfers ordered in the judgment. Federal district judge Roger Titus told counsel for Laettner and Davis: “At some point the patience of a federal judge is going to be exhausted and your clients going to be standing in front of me being ordered to show cause they shouldn’t be put in jail.” The judge ordered Laettner and Davis to make the transfer by June 16 or risk contempt and other sanctions. Additionally, the Judge ordered Laettner and Davis to pay $420,000 in legal fees to Merriman. In a related ruling on May 31, a federal magistrate ordered Laettner to appear by June 24 for a deposition by Merriman and to reimburse Merriman’s counsel for fees associated with Laettner’s failure to appear for a previously scheduled deposition.
Marc Kasowitz, Merriman’s lawyer, said, “We are pleased that the federal court continues to vindicate Shawne Merriman’s rights. Mr. Merriman will pursue Laettner and Davis until his judgment is satisfied in full.”