News: Jay-Z's Lawyer Withdraws From 40/40 Club Defense, Says Rapper Refuses To Pay

Monday, Jul 6, 2009 2:20PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

The law firm working with Jay-Z in his case, which claims he did not compensate certain workers from his 40/40 Club, is reportedly backing out as defense.

A letter from Jay's attorney Michael DiMattia was recently sent to Manhattan Federal Court Judge Loretta Preska.

"We are seeking to withdraw because...our requests for payment have been ignored," DiMattia wrote in a letter to Preska. "It's astounding," said Rex Burch, a lawyer for the workers. "For rap's biggest mogul, you'd think this amount of money would be chump change." The letter doesn't say how much Jay-Z (real name Shawn Carter) owes DiMattia, who has represented him since July 2008. (New York Post)

The case made headlines last summer when Jay's club was closely reviewed by Judge Preska.

In July of 2008, Judge Preska ruled that the club owners violated New York labor laws after reviewing the earning reports for various employees, who showed they were not paid for working over time. Almost 400 employees could be eligible to collect money should the 40/40 club eventually lose the lawsuit. (Examiner)

The rap star's case reportedly consists of 20 workers who were originally represented by Maimon Kirschenbaum.

"The basic claim is that our clients who worked at the 40/40 Club never received a paycheck while working there," Kirschenbaum said last summer. "On a weekly basis, there was no paycheck, which is illegal per the minimum-wage law requirements. And a lot of the waiters said their paychecks were eaten up by taxes on their tips. But even if that were true, then you would expect them to get some accounting of that." (MTV)

Jay's popular nightclub also caught heat for its usage of licensed music in June 2007.

Distributor of royalties, BMI, filed a federal lawsuit against Jay-Z's 40/40 Club yesterday (June 26). The performing right organization holds the licensing rights to 6.5 million songs, and apparently plenty of them are being played at the club, the lawsuit cites "unauthorized public performance of musical compositions." In other words, Jay-Z has been holding out and skimping on royalties owed to fellow musicians. (Gothamist)

The rapper has not yet addressed the allegations involving his attorney leaving the case.

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