Washington lawyer Leicester Stovell says a federal judge should not dismiss his lawsuit trying to prove that basketball star LeBron James is his son.
In a court filing Thursday, Stovell is opposing a motion by James’ lawyers to dismiss the lawsuit. The new filing defends the timing of Stovell’s lawsuit, and it says only the judge can provide Stovell the final answer he’s looking for about paternity — as well as money for “mental anguish” and other alleged damages.
The filing says that the motion to dismiss Stovell’s lawsuit is in part a “diatribe,” in particular when the motion accuses Stovell of “crawling out of the woodwork after the child he never gave a thought to became an NBA star.”
According to the filing, Stovell and James’ mother, Gloria James, arguably had a “common law, trust and confidential relationship” and she had a “duty… to disclose to him that Defendant LeBron James is his son.” He writes that he gave Gloria James multiple ways to contact him after she informed him she was pregnant.
The 18-page response says Stovell could not reasonably have filed his June 23 lawsuit sooner because he needed time to review the facts and decide whether he was certain about paternity.
“Plaintiff’s time-consuming efforts to reconfirm his recollections were a reasonable — and predictable — response to Defendant Gloria James’s statements and the DNA test results that he’d allowed Defendants to arrange during a period when time was, unbeknownst to Plaintiff, of the essence,” the response says.
Stovell, a former lawyer for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is representing himself in the lawsuit. Squires, Sanders & Dempsey partners John Burlingame and Frederick Nance are representing LeBron and Gloria James; neither lawyer immediately responded to a request for comment. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.