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Lawyer For Texas Real Estate Firm Says It Used Tim Duncan’s Image Without Consent, But With No ‘Bad Intent’

tim duncan 1005 faces

Tim Duncan 1005 Faces

SAN ANTONIO — The lawyer representing a Texas real estate firm that allegedly used Tim Duncan’s image without permission in a Facebook promotion says his clients’ actions were done without “bad intent.”

But Duncan’s lawyer Michael D. Bernard pooh-poohed the suggestion, saying that the act was both “blatant and so shameless.”

On July 15, Duncan filed a suit against Robert Elder of Keller Williams Realty, claiming the agent altered and posted an image of himself without his approval.

The photo, pulled from a project 1005 Faces by artist Sarah Brooke Lyons, shows St. Croix’s Tim Duncan holding a sign with a short, inspirational message: “Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is your best!”

The allegedly doctored promotional image the San Antonio agent posted to his Facebook page displays Duncan holding a frame bordering the Robert Elder Real Estate Group logo and contact information. Elder included a caption, writing, “Wow! Just WOW! TD took the time to give us some love! Thanks Tim! We love you too man!”

The altered photograph was removed and the Robert Elder Homes Facebook page has since been deactivated.

Jack Hawthorne of Hawthorne Partners, PLLC, is representing Keller Williams in the case.

“Mr. Elder, with no bad intent, did use an image of Tim Duncan he didn’t own. Tim Duncan sued,” Hawthorne said. “We’re at the point where in a complicated suit, the legal team was all incredibly professional and mimicked the character we expected from Duncan — he’s a super nice guy.”

Duncan’s lawyer, Michael D. Bernard, told theSan Antonio Express-News that the act was both “blatant and so shameless.”

The lawsuit claims Elder, Stefanie Graham of Keller Williams San Antonio and two anonymous individuals misappropriated Duncan’s name to capitalize on the basketball star’s recent retirement and celebrity status.

Duncan’s lawyer cold not be reached for comment.

In a prepared statement, Hawthorne wrote, “Our office is working closely and cooperating fully with Mr. Duncan’s legal team and we are in the process of resolving this matter. We are not able to comment on any pending litigation; however, we will provide a statement once the matter comes to closure.”

That statement is to be released following settlement, Hawthorne said.

Businesses using the brand of retired basketball players and getting burned for doing so is nothing new. Michael Jordan was awarded $8.9 million in August 2015 after a federal jury found the owners of a supermarket chain guilty of using his likeness in an advertisement selling steaks without his permission. Jordan, who owns a steakhouse in Chicago, pledged to donate the money to local charities.


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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.


  1. July 27, 2016 at 2:37 PM — Reply

    Tim Duncan has enough money to live happily ever after. Now in this world full of hatred, confusions and conflicts, is there a need to file lawsuits all the time? The Real Estate was really trying to say that their good was at their best. More love and understanding, less lawsuits and hate; will make a better wolrd.
    As Michael Jackson sang ” Heal the World, make it a better place for you and for me”.

  2. July 27, 2016 at 2:41 PM — Reply

    aloha aloha aloha .. MONEY LOVE IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL.

  3. July 27, 2016 at 2:43 PM — Reply


  4. July 27, 2016 at 2:45 PM — Reply


  5. July 27, 2016 at 2:45 PM — Reply


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