NEW YORK — All she wants for Christmas is a chance to see Mariah Carey in concert.
But the venue is run by a Scrooge-like owner, James Dolan, who is banning lawyers who sue his companies from the properties he owns, according to a new lawsuit.
One of those laywers, Nicolette Landi, was on her way to Carey’s “Merry Christmas To All Show” at Madison Square Garden last week, when she was denied entry and asked to leave the premises, according to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Landi later learned she had made Dolan’s naughty list because she was representing a client who was suing the venue because of an injury she claimed she suffered while walking on a Garden staircase.
Three weeks after MSG was served with a lawsuit over the injury claim, Landi — and all the members of her firm — received a letter banning them from events at all of Dolan’s properties, including Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theater and the Hulu Theater at MSG.
MSG has issued similar bans to attorneys at other firms, including lawyer Larry Hutcher, a New York Knicks season ticket holder for nearly 50 years.
But last month, a Manhattan judge struck down Dolan’s ban on musical and theatrical performances at the Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater if lawyers from litigating firms showed up with valid tickets. The ban on Knicks and Rangers games remains in place.
“By continuing to impose bans against adverse attorneys, despite this court’s recent order in the Hutcher matter, MSG makes clear that it intends to intimidate adverse litigants by any means necessary,” Landi’s lawsuit says.
Company executives at MSG Entertainment said in a statement that the ban was within their legal rights.
“The MSG instituted a straightforward policy that precludes attorneys from firms pursuing active litigation against the company from attending events at our venues until that litigation has been resolved,” the statement said.
“It is certainly reasonable that while in active litigation, we would want to protect ourselves against improper disclosure and discovery. We have repeatedly made clear that once litigation is resolved, impacted attorneys will be welcomed back in our venues.”
MSG says the ban is directed only at the attorneys and not to their family and friends.
In recent years, Dolan and MSG brass have clashed with Knicks fan favorite Charles Oakley and Knicks uber-fan Spike Lee. Even Hall-of-Fame Knicks player Patrick Ewing had a run-in with Garden officials after being asked to show his credentials while walking in the building.
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