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SANTA MONICA : Motion Against Rapper's Lawyer Denied

August 21, 1994

A judge has denied a motion that would have prevented the same lawyer from representing Snoop Doggy Dogg in a multimillion dollar civil suit and criminal proceedings against the rapper stemming from a shooting last year in Palms.

The wrongful death suit stems from the fatal Aug. 25 shooting of Phillip Woldemariam, 23, near a park on Motor Avenue. His parents are seeking $25 million in damages.

Authorities have charged the rapper's bodyguard, McKinley Lee, in the shooting. Prosecutors say the 22-year-old rapper was driving Lee in a Jeep at the time of the shooting. Snoop Doggy Dogg, Lee and another passenger, Sean Abrams, 24, have also been charged in the criminal proceedings and have all pleaded innocent to murder.

Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Alan Haber ruled that David E. Kenner can continue to represent the rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, in both civil and criminal actions.

Nathaniel J. Friedman, who represents the victim's parents, had argued that Kenner should be removed from the civil suit because he has an unfair advantage.

In his motion, Friedman wrote that Kenner was "using the criminal action to obtain material information without first notifying the plaintiffs." The documents included the victim's medical records, he said.

Kenner said his dual representation does not create conflict.

"My position is very simple, there is no legal or ethical standard or statute that prevents the same lawyer from handling the same civil and criminal cases," he said.

Kenner said he filed a sealed document in which all the defendants involved consented to his work in both cases.

Friedman said the ruling was not a significant setback for him.

"It was a classic case of losing a battle toward winning a war," he said.

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