Bill Graham’s Sons Lose Suit

A suit filed against former Bill Graham Enterprises President Nick Clainos by the late impresario’s sons claiming their father’s estate cheated them of millions of dollars’ worth of memorabilia was dismissed as meritless last year.

Now, a U.S. District judge has ordered David Graham and Alexander Graham-Sult to pay more than $500,000 in legal fees.

Judge Claudia Wilken ruled the alleged fraud was actually an above-board transaction and was known by the sons’ attorneys more than a decade ago when any dispute should have been filed, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Wilken, at a March 23 hearing, ordered Graham’s sons to pay $146,000 to Clainos, $240,000 to a law firm that had represented Graham’s estate and $138,000 to the Bill Graham Archives, another defendant in their lawsuit. Wilkens said the suit had no chance of success and targeted Clainos’ legally protected actions as Graham’s executor, according to the Chronicle.

The sons have appealed the dismissal to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court, arguing that they were “victims of a cynical, fraudulent scheme.”

The sons said they first learned of the trove of memorabilia including concert posters, scrapbooks and other items, in February 2009 in boxes of documents that had been left at the company’s headquarters to be destroyed.

Wilken said Graham’s sons should have learned everything they needed to know in 1997, when their lawyer was notified that their father’s company and all of its property were being sold, and that the sons had the right of first refusal, according to the paper.