WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt says he's headed into retirement, talks relationship with Vince McMahon

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2022/01/18/wwe-attorney-jerry-mcdevitt-says-hes-headed-into-retirement-talks-relationship-with-vince-mcmahon/

The longtime WWE attorney reflects on his relationship with the company.

Since the late 1980’s, Jerry McDevitt has worked as the attorney for World Wrestling Entertainment/Federation. McDevitt went on to establish a relationship with the company and with its Chairman Vince McMahon that led to him handling Vince’s personal trust work such as his estate plan and tax returns.

The Pittsburgh-Gazette Post published a feature about McDevitt and he spoke candidly about his working relationship with Vince. McDevitt turned turning 72 this month and said he’s been trying to scale back on his work duties as he’s headed into retirement. But because of his longstanding relationship with WWE, he continues to represent them although he has told McMahon he wants to retire.

WWE is a major client, but I have other clients. I also represented Dr. Cyril Wecht. I’ll be 72 in January, so I’ve been trying to turn it down a little bit as I’m headed into retirement. But because of my longstanding relationship with WWE, I continue to represent them, although I keep telling Vince I do want to retire.

Most relationships nowadays with lawyers and publicly traded companies are at the general counsel level. Outside lawyers work with the general counsel of the company and never with the CEO or chairman of the board.

But my contact and my relationship is directly with and to Vince. It always has been. It always will be. That’s kind of a unique relationship in the landscape of the law these days for the outside counsel to have that sort of direct relationship.

McDevitt looked back on the WWE/F steroid trials as the turning point for his relationship with the McMahons. He stated that since then, WWE has become a big part of the DNA of his law firm.

I represented Hulk Hogan in the first investigation. Then I represented the company when they were criminally charged up in the Eastern District of New York in the early 1990s, which is really where the relationship kind of cemented because they went through 18 months of an ordeal unlike anything I’d ever seen. It was a real witch hunt.

They were acquitted of all charges without even calling a witness. We just cross examined the government’s case. After that, my relationship with Vince and Linda McMahon became almost family-like.

Since then, me and my firm have done everything for them. It’s not just litigation. We do Vince’s estate plan. We do his tax returns. We handle a bunch of trust work. We’ve established an estate planning device for him and his family.

The litigation that I’ve had to do for him has been across the board on every subject imaginable from defamation claims to defamation defense to copyright infringement to trademark infringement to litigation with the USA Network on whether we would be permitted to leave that network and take our programing to other places, to helping Vince set up the XFL Football League, not once but twice.

The WWE through the next 30 years became such a big part of the DNA of my law firm.

Last week, Major League Wrestling filed an antitrust lawsuit against WWE, citing WWE’s attempt to undermine competition and monopolize the professional wrestling market by interfering in MLW’s contracts and business prospects as their reason for filing.

To hear a breakdown of the suit from Wrestlenomics and POST Wrestling’s own Brandon Thurston, check out the 1/12 Daily News Update on the POST YouTube channel.