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Lawyer: Counsel Threw Coffee at Him

June 6, 2000

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Tempers were heated, but luckily the coffee was just lukewarm.

A lawyer says opposing counsel threw a cup of coffee in his face during mediation talks in a lawsuit.

The alleged victim, Arnold Levine, himself known for an in-your-face style, responded by slapping Jonathan Alpert with a lawsuit.

In the original case, Alpert is suing Levine’s clients, the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on behalf of season ticket holders irate over the way seats were assigned at the team’s new stadium. The Buccaneers countersued for defamation, saying Alpert’s lawsuit sullied the team’s name.

During mediation talks, Levine said, the parties were gathered around the table when Alpert suddenly left the room, returned with a 20-ounce foam cup and threw its contents in Levine’s face.

``It had cream,″ Levine said. ``I don’t know if it had sugar.″

He said he saved his stained green knit shirt.

Alpert said the allegation is not accurate, and called Levine’s lawsuit ``a stunt.″

The two lawyers work in the same Tampa high-rise but on different floors. Levine said Tuesday a friend gave him an umbrella and a rain poncho for any future run-ins with Alpert.

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