Legal Fight Raises Questions Over Who Owns Rights to Titans of Mavericks - NBC Bay Area
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Legal Fight Raises Questions Over Who Owns Rights to Titans of Mavericks

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    Big-wave surfers line up at the opening ceremony of 2016/17 Titans of Mavericks season. (October 21, 2016)

    The organizers of the Titans of Mavericks surf contest are in the midst of a legal swirl that raises questions about the future of the event.

    As NBC Bay Area reported, Cartel Management, which owns the rights to the surf contest, lost a $1 million lawsuit in Los Angeles last month.

    The lawsuit concerned an endorsement deal gone bad with a tanning company owned by Segler Holdings LLC. Segler sued Cartel and its client actress Marisa Miller, and a jury forced Miller to pay back $300,000 and Cartel $700,000.

    The San Mateo County Harbor District received a letter Thursday from a law firm representing Segler Holdings expressing concern over Cartel's efforts to have a five-year contest permit moved to Titans of Mavericks.

    In the letter obtained by NBC Bay Area, attorneys for Segler states: "Segler Holdings considers the assignable permit to be an asset owned by Cartel. It is my understanding that Cartel has asked the district to transfer the permit to Titans Of Mavericks LLC. I am concerned that Cartel has asked the district to transfer the permit to Titans Of Mavericks to liquidate and/or move assets which could be used to satisfy the anticipated judgment against Cartel in the lawsuit. Such a transfer may violate the California Voidable Transactions Act."

    The letter has all sides scrambling.

    Harbor District Commissioner Sabrina Brennan says it raises a lot of questions on "who will ultimately own the rights to the contest? Who will put it on? Will it be put on? And does this create a financial situation or problem for Cartel to pay expenses and purse prizes?"

    Brennan says she's not sure if or when the Harbor Commission might address the issue. Attempts to reach Mavericks organizers were not returned Thursday.

    The window for the one-day worldwide surf contest at Pillar Point is now open through March 31.

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