Perennial performer George Clinton is suing his former law firm Hendricks & Lewis, claiming that his lawyers did not protect his intellectual property adequately.
The 69 year-old Parliament-Funkadelic founder is suing the firm for $10 million for professional negligence, legal malpractice, fraudulent inducement and negligent misrepresentation. Clinton says he hired the firm to help him regain the rights and master recordings to many of his songs.
Clinton claims that the firm gave him bad legal aid and advised him to challenge Universal Music, a move that cost him $3.5 million. He also says that Hendricks & Lewis failed to or avoided regaining his copyrights in a number of other instances.
Hendricks & Lewis handled a similar case for Jimi Hendrex, and the firm said it dealt specifically with music rights cases.
Clinton's former lawyer Oscar Yale Lewis Jr. sees the case differently. He says that Clinton still owes his firm over one million dollars.
He owed a us a lot of money and we tried to reach a settlement. (When we didn't) we filed for arbitration and arbitrators awarded us $1.6 million, Lewis told BizJournals.
This is not the first time Clinton has been in financial or legal trouble. The Funk godfather has had to change record companies and band names a number of times to due to copyright issues. He is also one of the most sample artists of all time, and his work has been featured on more than 400 different songs, but he rarely sees money from the proceeds.
In December, Clinton sued hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas, saying they used a sample from his song (Not Just) Knee Deep in their 2003 Shut Up.