Former KISS Guitarist Sues Lawyers

Former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent has filed a lawsuit against his attorneys, alleging both professional negligence and breach of contract. The charges stem from an unsuccessful federal suit Vincent, whose real name is Vincent Cusano, filed against his former bandmates in 1997, which was dismissed earlier this year. Additional charges surrounding Cusano's bankruptcy case are also included.

The suit claims that Vincent's lawyers dropped the ball regarding his grudge against his former comrades, and owe him $5.6 million - the value of his lawsuit - as well as compensatory and punitive damages.

Vincent replaced founding KISS guitarist Ace Frehley in 1982, but left the group two years later, refusing to sign a contact that would relinquish his songwriting credits. He was also part of the band's 1991 album Revenge. In 1997, Vincent took action in federal court against the other members of KISS, claiming he was cheated out of royalties for Creatures of the Night (1982) and Lick It Up (1983).

This time, Vincent is after the attorneys who, he says, cost him his lawsuit. He claims one attorney withdrew a $2.6 million proposal that a previous lawyer had presented to the other side, calling it "grossly inadequate." He also accuses them of failing to include certain claims in the failed federal case, including foreign royalties and trademark violations, as well as failing to communicate with him in a timely fashion. Once his bid against KISS was dismissed, Vincent was also unsuccessful in an attempt to reopen his bankruptcy case - another incident he blames on his lawyers. According to the newly filed lawsuit, Vincent accuses his attorneys of telling him he would have 30 days to appeal a bankruptcy court's ruling, when in fact the deadline was a mere 10 days.