Three attorneys drop out of 'Who Dat' litigation

Alejandro de los Rios Jan. 27, 2011, 11:40am


Three attorneys working for the plaintiff in a suit over the rights to the term "Who Dat" have withdrawn as counsel of record, according to filings in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Metairie attorneys Joseph Piacun, Thomas Gennusa II and Reid Uzee filed their motion to withdraw as counsel of record for Who Dat? Inc. (WDI) on Jan. 26.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier presides.

Who Dat? Inc., run by brothers Sal and Steve Monistere, is suing the National Football League (NFL), NFL Properties (NFLP), the New Orleans Saints, Liquid Ventures Inc., Logo Express Marketing Inc., Monogram Express, Storyville Apparel, and Fleurty Girl for alleged misappropriation of the phrase Who Dat on their merchandise.

The original suit was filed against the NFL after the league claimed to own the phrase and any relation to the Saints in February 2010, prior to New Orleans winning the Super Bowl. The plaintiffs added the non-NFL related retailers in an amended petition filed Oct. 12.

In addition, Fleurty Girl's Facebook page has been shut down by Who Dat Inc.'s attorneys.

Earlier this month, Barber denied defense motions seeking to block counterclaims filed by Fleurty Girl LLC, Storyville Apparel LLC and Who Dat Yat Chat Cafe.

New Orleans attorney Mark Edwards is representing Storyville. In October 2010, he filed a defense and counterclaim against WDI.

The counterclaim states that the phrase "Who Dat" has "been applied to many sporting contests...for many decades before 1983" and that WDI "has abandoned any trademark rights it may have ever had in WHO DAT? By non-use and non-exclusive use for a significant period of time."

The Storyville counterclaim also alleges that WDI violated the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (LUTPA).

New Orleans attorney Ernest Svenson is representing Fleurty Girl.

New Orleans attorney Darleen Jacobs is representing Who Dat Yat Chat.

Federal Case 2:10-cv-0133-CJB-KWR

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