The saga continues, Sam Leccia has been barred from the IPCPR by court order. Does this surprise anyone? Oliva is not going to roll over so easily with its law suit unless it comes out ahead. Reportedly Sam Leccia breached a five year non-compete after leaving Oliva where he was the face of the Cain and Nub line of cigars, to start his own independent cigar line. His first cigar is the Debut that has already taken pre-orders.
Sam does not agree that he has breached his contract with Oliva cigar co. and insists that he has been wronged by Oliva not holding up its contractual commitments to himself and his family.
Hopefully this disagreement can be settled quickly and Leccia can go back to making his highly anticipated cigars.
“I am saddened to announce that my Debut is on hold. I have been barred from attending the Cigar Show by court order. I will however, be vigorously pursuing Oliva’s failure to fulfill it’s contractual obligations to me and my family. I have faith in the legal system and I will see you all as soon as possible. Thank You all, from the bottom of my heart, for your continued support.” - Sam Leccia on his Facebook page 7/16/11
Oliva has released a statement in response to the recent controversy:
“I am always amazed by how quickly people will draw conclusions with little more than marginal information.Prudence prevents me from getting into details about this situation. I will however offer a few items for consideration.
The Oliva Cigar Co is not a big conglomerate; it is a small family owned business. The consistency of actions by the family and the company throughout the years should carry some weight when hasty generalizations are being made. For years Oliva has provided world class cigars at reasonable prices, even when the economy allowed for gouging. We have sought to bring new and innovative products to the genuine aficionado and to always advance our craft. Furthermore, the actual facts of the matter are not being sought by those eager to draw conclusions.
Consider that a judge heard facts that you have not and ruled accordingly. Consider also that during the course of future trials many more facts will be divulged. The life’s work of an honorable family and company should be considered. However, if that is not compelling enough, those who have taken an interest in this dispute should follow the litigation closely. Some patience may save you some egg on the face as well as surprise you.” – Jose Oliva
OOO a better choice of words would have severed Jose Oliva many times over. This sounds a bit egotistical but is it really? Lets take a big breath and break down this statement. His statement is merely passionate, self assured and obviously defensive.
His second paragraph of his statement is quit reasonable. Oliva is a family owned company that does commendable work. For example the Oliva V serie is just wonderful and will never become boring. But, Jose falters when he alludes that the industry was tempted to gouge the consumer. Oliva may have taken the high road and taken care of its consumers but, it just sounds in a sense holier than thou. But, he does remind us not to jump to conclusions. I hope we all agree that jumping to conclusions is not prudent.
In Jose’s final paragraph He reminds us that we are not in the court room and do not know what evidence has been brought forth to the judge. Then again he appeals to the legacy of the Oliva brand. Sensibly Jose tells us to monitor the the legal dispute closely. Well ya why not? But, again Jose’s word choice lack of tact when telling everyone that patience will save many the embarrassment of being wrong. Being confident is good but attacking those who are following the dispute between Sam Leccia and Oliva is not wise.
Lets chalk this up to heated emotions and yes the wave of negative outpouring that has backed Oliva into a corner in the realm of of public opinion. As we go forward please remember to weigh both sides fairly and hope that this does not turn into a dragged out legal battle. As more information presents itself lets take everything with a grain of salt and not let our sympathies get in the way and cloud our judgement. Yes, we at GoodFellasCigars would love that Sam Leccia go back to producing fine cigars for our enjoyment but, if Oliva has a valid and sensible claim against Sam and is held up in court we must respect that.