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A former media executive has filed a lawsuit against Proskauer Rose, claiming the law firm mishandled arbitration matters and had a conflict of interest while representing him. Former Ascent Media Group LLC Vice President William Frazee sued Proskauer Rose and Los Angeles partner Anthony Oncidi on Jan. 4 in Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court. He seeks more than $500,000 in actual damages plus punitive damages. Proskauer Rose e-mailed a response to a request for comment about the lawsuit. “While it is the firm’s policy generally not to comment on litigation matters involving it, this claim arises from ongoing litigation between other parties and is clearly intended as a tactic in that dispute,” the firm said. Frazee, whose complaint said that he previously held management positions with MGM Studios Inc., United Artists Corp., Dick Clark Productions Inc. and Norman Lear Productions, worked for Ascent when two women filed separate complaints against him and the company. One of those matters was an arbitration of a sexual harassment claim. The nature of the second matter is unclear from the complaint. Frazee’s lawsuit states that he signed conflict waivers that provided that he was responsible for obtaining other counsel at his own expense if a conflict arose. After the disputes with the women settled, Ascent claimed in arbitration that Frazee’s conduct fell outside the scope of his employment and that he was liable for about $500,000 in attorney’s fees and settlement payments made by Ascent. Frazee claims that Proskauer Rose did not inform him of the potential fee liability. He also claims that the firm had a conflict of interest in representing him and the company that the firm failed to disclose up-front. In addition, he asserts that Proskauer and Ascent settled the employee matters without informing him of the agreements’ particulars. “Somebody’s not telling the truth,” said Samuel Smith, an attorney in Beverly Hills, Calif., who represents Frazee. “Something’s off there.” Smith said that Frazee is currently unemployed. Leigh Jones can be contacted at [email protected]  

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