One of the rulings made by Monongalia County Circuit Judge Robert Stone in West Virginia University’s lawsuit against its former football coach, Rich Rodriguez, dismissed the third-party complaint filed by Rodriguez against the West Virginia University Foundation, Inc., WVU’s fundraising arm.
As a result of its dismissal, the Foundation has asked, pursuant to Rule 11 of the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure, that Rodriguez be made to pay its attorney’s fees of $29,461.00 and costs of $826.44. Here is its motion filed on April 16, which quotes Rodriguez’s counsel as suggesting that the purpose of naming the Foundation was to obtain a tactical advantage in the litigation against WVU.
Rodriguez had alleged in his third-party complaint that he needed the records maintained by the Foundation in order to prove that contributions to WVU had not been affected by his resignation:
The only way for Richard Rodriguez to obtain a fair trial and to see if damages actually have been incurred by West Virginia University is to review the books and records of the Foundation, along with donations that have been made since his departure, compared with donations prior to his departure from the West Virginia University.
Rodriguez also alleged that the Foundation was WVU’s alter ego and was a necessary party to the litigation because it would receive any payments made by Rodriguez as part of his buyout.
The Foundation’s position is that its counsel asked Rodriguez to voluntarily dismiss the action, and when he would not do so, it had “to fully participate in the litigation.” The affidavit attached to the motion establishes that the Foundation’s counsel expended 125.8 hours in its representation. The motion also notes that “[a]dditional detail [regarding the billing entries] will be supplied to opposing counsel and the Court for review after agreement regarding confidentiality and the attorney client privilege.”