Miss Pennsylvania $5 million Miss Universe Judgment is not what it seems

The law firm which represented former Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin clarified the alleged $5 million "judgement" and its recent withdrawal as her counsel and defended her counterclaims against the organization.
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Former Ms. PA Sheena Monnin
Former Ms. PA Sheena Monnin
Jan. 17, 2013 - PRLog -- Philadelphia, PA (January 17, 2013) – In the wake of speculation surrounding a recent $5 Million Dollar award granted to the Miss Universe Organization, owner of the Miss USA Pageant, by a private arbitration panel, the law firm which represented former Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin clarified its recent withdrawal as her counsel and defended her counterclaims against the organization.

With respect to the firm’s decision, Ms. Monnin’s former attorney, Richard Klineburger of the law firm Klineburger & Nussey said, “My firm formally withdrew as Ms. Monnin’s counsel owing to a potential conflict of interest that would arise in the event I am called as a witness to testify on her behalf,” adding that “I firmly support Ms. Monnin's position, but due to tactics taken by counsel for the Miss Universe Organization and Donald Trump, I was forced to make a decision that best served the needs of my client.”

Last year Ms. Monnin had claimed that in her opinion the Miss USA pageant was rigged because she and other contestants discovered the names of the top 5 contestants prior to the conclusion of the pageant’s various rounds of judging. The Miss Universe Organization responded by raising legal claims against Ms. Monnin but demanded she submit to resolving them privately in arbitration. When Ms. Monnin and her attorneys refused and instead sought to resolve the matter in a neutral court of law, the Miss Universe Organization nevertheless hired a private arbitration company to rule on its claims, without the presence or participation of Ms. Monnin or her attorneys and knowing they did not consent to the proceedings. This private company found in favor of the organization and awarded it a $5 Million Dollar judgment.

Klineburger explained that the “purported judgment” against Ms. Monnin was not issued by an independent judge or neutral court, but by a private company that was solicited and funded in full by the Miss USA Pageant. “I find the actions taken by the Ms. USA pageant to be no better than that of a bully in a playground,” said Klineburger. “I am a firm believer in utilizing the law for justice – not for publicity or manipulated sound bites.”

In defense of her accusations, Ms. Monnin recently announced publicly that the Miss USA Pageant contract contains a clause asserting that the Miss USA officials can select the pageant’s winner, as well as its four runners-up. In fact, buried in her contract it specifically states that it’s possible winners may not be selected by judges at all, but at any time by “[the Miss Universe Organization], NBC, or [Donald Trump]…in their sole discretion.”

“The inclusion of this language, alone, is a red flag,” said Klineburger. “If the competition’s results were based solely on the opinions of independent judges, as the Miss USA Pageant claims, then why would its officials need to reserve the right cherry-pick the winners? The unusual wording of the contract is extremely strong evidence that Ms. Monnin was truthful in her opinion, and I’m confident that she’ll be vindicated when all is said and done.”

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Tags:Donald Trump, Miss Usa, Miss Universe, Miss Pennsylvania, Freedom Of Speech
Industry:Legal, Lifestyle, Entertainment
Location:Haddonfield - New Jersey - United States
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