Capricorn fallout

As Georgia record industry legend Phil Walden and his son, Philip Walden, Jr., make preparations to unveil their new label, Velocette, some unfinished business from their former company, Capricorn Records, has surfaced in a battle of competing lawsuits.

On March 22, Capricorn's former Executive Vice President/General Manager Michael Bone — the highest ranking non-Walden at the company until he left in January — filed a lawsuit against the Waldens alleging breach of contract and fraud in connection with an unpaid bonus due to Bone upon the sale of the company, which occurred on Dec. 19, 2000.

Capricorn must have been reading Bone's mind. The day before his lawsuit was filed, the company fired a pre-emptive strike by filing its own suit against Bone. The company wants to put off paying Bone his bonus until it can determine the net proceeds of the sale. Alternately, the suit says Bone isn't due a bonus at all, claiming he broke his employment contract by violating a confidentiality agreeement.

Bone's 5 percent bonus could be worth up to $650,000, though company liabilities would lower that figure considerably. In addition to the claim, Bone's suit claims the Waldens misused company funds and accuses an unspecified Walden of contributing to a "hostile work environment ... by engaging in extra-marital affair with a company employee."

In a statement read by Capricorn spokeswoman Michelle Roche, the Waldens contend, "Mike Bone's lawsuit is a reaction to [Capricorn's lawsuit]. Our lawsuit deals with legal issues and is not trying to embarrass anybody."