CAA Cuts Sports Agent

An agent who jumped ship from IMG Worldwide to CAA, spurring a lawsuit, barely had time to warm the seat at his new gig before being let go.

Former junior IMG sports agent Matthew Baldwin was recently dismissed by CAA, his attorney confirmed to the Wall Street Journal. Causes for the release were not disclosed.

Baldwin left IMG for greener pastures at CAA in early April, claiming that after years at IMG he’d grown increasingly dissatisfied with his “inadequate compensation and the lack of a career path.”

But the Cleveland-based IMG didn’t take too kindly to the news, filing suit April 15 and alleging that Baldwin, while still employed at IMG, had schemed with CAA to recruit clients away from IMG and interfere with IMG’s business.

The complaint accused the man of breaching a non-compete clause. Baldwin had attempted to nullify the non-compete by claiming California residency because the state’s laws don’t recognize such agreements.

The suit also accused Baldwin of breach of duty of good faith and of loyalty and of misappropriation of trade secrets, alleging he’d stolen thousands of confidential files from his IMG-issued computer. The company plans to pursue the case to discover whether anyone at CAA viewed confidential files, the WSJ reported.

CAA is reportedly paying the agent’s legal fees and Adam Kaiser, an attorney for the man, told the paper Baldwin’s team contends that IMG is pursuing the case to “scare the bejesus out of its employees who are considering moving to California.”

IMG lawyer Mark Holscher thought otherwise.

“IMG has said from the beginning we are going to protect our clients’ confidences,” he said. “They can’t use our confidential files and he has to live up to his agreement.”