As discussed earlier, a number of documents were filed as sealed documents, unavailable to those of us interested in monitoring the case.
Some of those documents have now been released in a public version. The most important of these is the memo in support of summary judgment:
- Docket as of 4/30/2007
- Letter from Robert H. Jordan, Esq., Attorney for Defendants
- Appendix 1 – Correspondence between counsel for parties regarding unsealing of Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support Thereof
- Appendix 2 – Public Version of Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment filed April 2, 2007
- Appendix 3 – Public Version of Memorandum in Support of Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment filed April 2, 2007
- Exhibit A to Memorandum in Support of Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment
We’d like to thank the attorneys in this matter for providing a public version of these documents.
From Trademark Properties on April 20, 2007:
Hello to all supporters of Team Trademark!
Guess who’s Back??!! That’s right, no more pretenders, time for THE REAL DEAL to take over red rover:)
We know it’s been a long time but “THE REAL DEAL” is less than 36 hours away! It has been a long time since you saw a new deal from us, but sit back, turn up the volume, strap yourself into your recliner and hold on, cause HERE WE GO, and you’re welcome to come along for the ride:)!!! Please help spread the word to FLIP THE CHANNEL to TLC Saturday night at 9pm to see the latest from the GREATEST!!!:)
Thank you all for your passionate and continued support, without you, none of this would have been possible!!!!! You guys are the best, hope you enjoy your window into our world every week for a long time to come!!!
From Trademark Properties on April 17, 2007:
We hope you are doing well! Its been an eventful year and the crew at Trademark Properties thanks you for your support. After several crazy adventures, many months of filming, and a lot of fun Trademark style, it is finally time for our return – and we are so excited!
The first episode takes place in Charleston and finds our team tackling the impossible by investing in a house that’s been on the market for almost a year. We renovate this five bedroom eye-sore (of course in Trademark fashion) and make it a thing of beauty in just five days. But as always, this job comes with a myriad of problems that will keep you wondering how we pull out off!
Please remember Trademark Properties and The Real Deal are now on TLC, so please tune in and let us know what you think – its great to be back! Enjoy!
– Team Trademark
For Immediate Release
April 17, 2007 THE REAL DEALIn THE REAL DEAL, premiering Saturday April 21 at 9pm ET/PT, real estate mastermind Richard C. Davis and his team at Trademark Properties face down a falling housing market and turn property into profit. Each week, Richard and the rest of the Trademark team locate, renovate and profit from the most challenging projects they can find. Together, Richard and Team Trademark pull off what everyone else says is impossible, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Their secret? Make your money when you buy, get the job done right and get it done fast.
In THE REAL DEAL, premiering Saturday April 21 at 9pm ET/PT, real estate mastermind Richard C. Davis and his team at Trademark Properties face down a falling housing market and turn property into profit. Each week, Richard and the rest of the Trademark team locate, renovate and profit from the most challenging projects they can find. Together, Richard and Team Trademark pull off what everyone else says is impossible, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Their secret? Make your money when you buy, get the job done right and get it done fast.In each one-hour episode, viewers get an up- close view of how Davis and his staff evaluate properties for investment potential and then inject them with much-needed improvements to maximize their profit. The result is a no-holds-barred look at the realities of real estate, where the stakes are high and the timelines are tight, and a look inside the spirit of teamwork and community spirit that propels Trademark forward. Whether it’s a house that’s been on the market forever, a condo, restaurant or a community project like his old High School concession stand or a monument to a military hero, Richard and Team Trademark do what no one else can, or at least, what no one else has the guts – or heart – to try.
Armando Montelongo, though the magic of Google Ads, is advertising his Master Home Study Course and Flip and Grow Rich Ebooks on the sidebar of this website. Several people have commented on the $997 package, but thus far I’ve not received a report from anyone who has purchased the materials.
If you’ve purchased this package, and would be willing to share your review, please contact mark at flipthislawsuit dot com.
The San Antonio Crew has been very effective in maximizing the return on their appearances on A&E. Their first episodes focused on their business website, Melina launched a site focusing on motherhood, and now Armando is focusing on sharing the lessons he’s learned in real estate.
I’ve been able to obtain the transcript of the discovery hearing, which took place on February 6, 2007. You can review it here.
- …the plaintiff has evidenced a propensity for publication. [p7, 20-21]
- There’s no reason the case can’t be tried in June, July. [p10, 12-13]
- The Court: Do you have any authority that an oral agreement under these circumstances is unenforceable?…
AETN: Your Honor, I really am not prepared to argue that at this stage…
The Court: You should be. I mean, that’s the key issue…
AETN: There’s not a shred of evidence to support that claim…
The Court: His testimony is sufficient, unless some form of Statute of Frauds covers the agreement, thereby requiring it be in writing. And I don’t know of any. You spoke of New York law, and I don’t claim to know any New York law, I don’t even know whether New York law applies to this case or whether South Carolina law or somewhere in between. And I haven’t looked at the Statute of Frauds. But it seems to me that’s the first place you’re going to look. Because if the Statute of Frauds doesn’t prohibit his establishment of a contract, oral contract, enforceable oral contract, then his testimony is enough to override any summary judgment. It creates a genuine issue of fact. [pp13-14]
Mediation in the Trademark Properties v A&E lawsuit was scheduled to occur before March 1, 2007. Reviewing the docket, however, it appears that mediation was not successful and that litigation continues.
Of concern to your webmaster are documents filed with the court that are now sealed. By sealing these documents, the parties, and the Court, have prevented those of us who desire to follow the case from knowing what is taking place in this litigation. This level of restriction is highly unusual.
For example, we have this interesting docket entry made just a few days ago:
04/02/2007 – Document #50
Sealed Document. (Attachments: # (1) Exhibit A# (2) Exhibit B# (3) Exhibit C# (4) Exhibit D# (5) Exhibit E# (6) Exhibit F# (7) Exhibit G# (8) Exhibit H# (9) Exhibit I# (10) Exhibit J# (11) Exhibit K# (12) Exhibit L# (13) Exhibit M# (14) Exhibit N# (15) Exhibit O# (16) Exhibit P# (17) Exhibit Q# (18) Exhibit R# (19) Exhibit S# (20) Exhibit T# (21) Exhibit U# (22) Exhibit V# (23) Exhibit W# (24) Exhibit X# (25) Exhibit Y# (26) Exhibit Z# (27) Exhibit AA)(Jordan, Robert) Modified on 4/3/2007 to correct the file date (erav, ). (Entered: 04/03/2007)
In the United States, there is a presumption in favor of open court records. In order for the public’s presumptive right of access to be limited, specific reasons must be presented to the Court. The sealing of records must be authorized by statute or required by compelling circumstances. Also, a party seeking to have the record sealed has the burden of showing that their interests in confidentiality outweigh the public policy in favor of open court records.
I have found no indication that, instead of sealing the record, the parties considered redacting sensitive information from the record. Doing so would allow some access to the court records and at the same time help protect any valid privacy interest.
I have contacted the Court in an attempt to gain access to these sealed documents so that I may report them to our readers. Access was denied (as is expected, unfortunately).
Absent a compelling circumstance, our courts should not allow litigation under a cloak of secrecy from public scrutiny. Simply wishing that the public would not know the details of pending litigation is not a compelling circumstance.
The docket number of this case is 2:06-cv-02195-CWH. The case has been assigned to the Honorable C. Weston Houck. The attorney for Trademark Properties is Frank M Cisa, Esq. The attorney for A&E is Robert H Jordan, Esq. Their names of the attorneys link to their email addresses. I encourage those interested in exercising your right of access to these court documents email the attorneys and request that documents not be filed under seal but instead be filed publicly with redactions as necessary to protect confidential information.
I have, however, downloaded those documents which are publicly available since my last docket update. They are as follows:
- Docket Report from 04/05/07
- #22 Rule 26(f) Report by Trademark Properties Inc.
- #25 MOTION to Compel Discovery Responses of Plaintiffs/Counterclaim Defendants by Departure Films, A&E Television Networks
- #26 RESPONSE in Opposition re 25 MOTION to Compel Discovery Responses of Plaintiffs/Counterclaim Defendants Response filed by Trademark Properties Inc, Trademark Properties Inc, Richard C Davis.
- #29 RESPONSE in Support re 25 MOTION to Compel Discovery Responses of Plaintiffs/Counterclaim Defendants Response filed by A&E Television Networks, Departure Films, A&E Television Networks
- #31 First MOTION to Compel by Trademark Properties Inc, Richard C Davis.
- #33 Consent MOTION for Confidentiality Order by Departure Films, A&E Television Networks, A&E Television Networks(a Joint Venture of the Hearst Corporation).
- #34 CONFIDENTIALITY ORDER granting 33 Motion for Confidentiality Order. (details outlined in order).
- #35 RESPONSE in Opposition re 31 First MOTION to Compel Response filed by Departure Films, A&E Television Networks, A&E Television Networks(a Joint Venture of the Hearst Corporation).
- #40 AMENDED COMPLAINT against Departure Films, A&E Television Networks, filed by Trademark Properties Inc, Richard C Davis.
- #41 ANSWER to Amended Complaint and, COUNTERCLAIM against Trademark Properties Inc, Richard C Davis, Trademark Properties Inc, Richard C Davis by Departure Films, A&E Television Networks, A&E Television Networks(a Joint Venture of the Hearst Corporation).
- #42 REPLY by Trademark Properties Inc, Richard C Davis Plaintiffs’ Reply to Defendants’ Amended Answer and Counterclaim.
- #46 AFFIDAVIT of Charles Norlander by Departure Films, A&E Television Networks.
- #49 DECLARATION by Departure Films, A&E Television Networks of NANCY DUBUC.