Basketball, Lawyer of the Day, Pregnancy / Paternity, Sports

Lawyer of the Day: Leicester Bryce Stovell (aka LeBron’s Daddy)

Does LeBron James have lawyerly genes?

LeBron James, who’s your daddy? (Unfortunately, it’s not the Knicks, to Elie’s great dismay.) Could it be a Washington lawyer by the name of Leicester Bryce Stovell?

Stovell came forward this week, claiming to have knocked up Gloria James when she was 15 and to have genetic proof that he’s the King’s father. Like all good dads should, Stovell is suing his new-found son and baby mama for $4 million for denying paternity. TMZ reported on the lawsuit on Wednesday along with photos of Stovell, saying the resemblance is uncanny. At the very least, it’s true that they’re both tall.

TMZ was blown away by Stovell’s credentials:

[T]he man making the claim isn’t some schmuck — dude is a Princeton graduate … who earned a law degree from the University of Chicago … and then became a Senior Legal Advisor for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Au contraire. You can get a law degree from the U of Chicago and still be a schmuck. One of Stovell’s former colleagues attests to that…

Stovell is no longer at the SEC. BLT reports that he filed a discrimination claim in 1999 and that the SEC settled it for $230K in 2002. Now’s he a contract attorney. Says a tipster:

This guy is a total freakshow. He travelled to Houston last year for the sole purpose of working on a doc review project and was staying at the YMCA (I had no idea people actually stayed there?). He used to get up and go smoke cigars and come back to our room smelling like ass.

He was very tall though, so I guess there’s a chance.

(We can see why the SEC hired him. They like freak shows.)

In his lawsuit, Stovell claims he met Gloria James at the nightclub “DC Space” in 1984. After they “socialized” for a few hours, she went home with him. She said she was in her 20s and visiting from Ohio. She also allegedly revealed that she was a virgin. He put his ball into that basket, though he took it to the board a little too early, leaving her unsatisfied. The next day, he dropped her at a Metro station and gathered that she wasn’t a big fan.

But several months later, she supposedly returned to let him know that she was preggers. He also found out that she was actually 15. He gave her his business card and told him his middle name, and she said she planned to name the baby LeBron, inspired by Stovell’s first and middle names “Leicester Bryce.” His only advice: “If he’s mine, make sure he plays basketball.” (According to his Facebook profile, Stovell’s nickname during high school basketball days was “Count.”)

Skip forward 20 years. Stovell hears about this basketball wunderkind. He reaches out to LeBron’s lawyer, Frederick Nance at Squire Sanders, to see if he’s the baby daddy. Gloria James has previously told the media that Anthony McClelland, a dude with a criminal record, is the dad but Stovell says Nance told him that a DNA test disproved that. Stovell got LeBron to agree to a paternity test (which came back negative). But the evidence of (1) LeBron naming a child Bryce and (2) an encounter with LeBron at a Cavs game at the Verizon Center convinced Stovell that this is in fact is his one, true son.

Based on his Facebook notes, Stovell is obsessed with the idea of being Lebron’s daddy, primarily posting photos of the “chosen one,” like this one:

Size 15 shoes? And Gloria James was a 15-year-old virgin? That had to be unpleasant (if it actually happened).

Stovell thinks LeBron tampered with the test, and that the Jameses conspired to keep him from knowing the fruit of his loins. He’s suing [PDF] the newest Heat player and his mom for $4 million, claiming common law fraud, misrepresentation, breach of oral contract, and defamation — because LeBron James has been quoted saying “I want to be a better father than mine was.”

The best defense against defamation is the truth, and Stovell certainly doesn’t seem like the world’s greatest dad. Nor the world’s greatest lawyer. What do you think of his claims?

UPDATE (9/15/11): Here’s how the case was resolved.

LeBron Sued by Man Claiming to be His Father [TMZ]
Washington Lawyer Says LeBron James Is His Son [BLT: The Blog of the Legal Times]

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