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Arbitration begins Monday for Mike Dunleavy and Clippers

Dunleavy, who quit as Clippers coach in February 2010 and was fired as GM about a month later, has not been paid by the team in 13 months. At issue is $6.75 million in salary left on his contract.

April 17, 2011|By Lisa Dillman
  • Mike Dunleavy on the sideline for the Clippers during a game against the Phoenix Suns.
Mike Dunleavy on the sideline for the Clippers during a game against the… (Los Angeles Times )

Thirteen months and counting.

That's how long it has been since Mike Dunleavy was fired as the Clippers' general manager and, not so coincidentally, that was the last time he was paid by the team.

His long and winding case finally will be heard in arbitration, starting Monday before Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services in Santa Monica. Proceedings are expected to last several days with additional briefs filed afterward, and the judge could issue a decision by June.

There is $6.75 million in unpaid salary remaining on Dunleavy's contract. He had been the team's general manager and coach and resigned as coach Feb. 4, 2010. The team fired him as general manager March 8, issuing the news when the Clippers were in the middle of a game at Orlando.

Then last summer, the Clippers alleged that Dunleavy defrauded them and filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, a tactic called "bold and reckless" by Dunleavy's attorney Miles Clements. He also described it as a "delay tactic."

Within four months, the Clippers filed papers to dismiss the complaint.

The arbitration proceeding will cap an especially active two months for the legal team of Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Last month, a jury unanimously rejected former GM Elgin Baylor's lawsuit against the Clippers alleging unlawful termination based on age discrimination.

In that trial, Dunleavy testified for Baylor's side, stating that Sterling told him to become more active in player personnel issues because Baylor was "getting up in age."

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