Trademark v A&E Trial Begins November 5

According to the most recent information on the docketing system, jury selection and trial in Trademark v. A&E is expected to begin on Wednesday, November 5, 2008.  You are cordially invited to attend.  The Charleston Federal Courthouse is located at 85 Broad Street in Charleston, South Carolina 29401.  For more information, the Clerk’s phone number is (843) 579-1401.  Arrive before 8:30 to get a good seat.

The Honorable C. Weston Houck will preside over the trial.  There are still a number of dispositive motions which were improperly sealed by A&E in order to prevent the public from viewing them, but some new documents have been filed since the last trial update.  The most important of these are A&E’s motion in limine to prevent Trademark from using their damages expert, Mark Halloran, at trial.  Mr. Halloran initially represented Trademark’s damages as 50% of the net revenues that A&E has earned from the television show “Flip This House”.  At a later date, after receiving discovery materials that A&E failed to produce until after his deposition, he did some research to determine that if a show like “Flip This House” makes it four seasons on TV, it will make it for fifteen.  This would, of course, significantly increase the amount of money owed to Trademark if, in fact, the Jury finds in their favor.  The Judge has determined that the jury should not hear Mr. Halloran’s opinions.

The parties seem to be in general agreement over the net revenues from the show, and the main dispute at this point is whether there was an actual agreement between Trademark and A&E that Trademark would receive 50% of the net revenues.  The jury will decide this and several other questions after reviewing the evidence at trial.

For those curious about the excluded witness, you may wish to review the transcript of the October 16, 2008 hearing and the Order GRANTING A&E’s Motion.  There are also various documents relating to Jury selection and instruction.

  • Docket as of October 30, 2008
  • 09/11/2008 #95 NOTICE of Bar Meeting: set for 10/14/2008 10:00 AM in Charleston Courtroom #4, U. S. Court House, 85 Broad St, Charleston before Honorable C Weston Houck.
  • 10/22/2008 #108 OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings Motion hearing held on 10-16-08, before Judge C. Weston Houck. Court Reporter/Transcriber Debra Potocki, Telephone number 843-723-####. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Parties have 7 calendar days from the filing of the transcript to file with the court a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction.. Redaction Request due 11/12/2008. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 11/24/2008. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 1/20/2009.
  • 10/24/2008 #110 STIPULATION Dismissing Plaintiffs’ Promissory Estoppel Claim by Trademark Properties Inc, Richard C Davis, A&E Television Networks.
  • 10/24/2008 #112 Defendant’s Deposition Designations RULE 26(a)(3)PRETRIAL DISCLOSURES by A&E Television Networks. Objections to PreTrial Disclosures due by 11/10/2008.
  • 10/27/2008 #113 Proposed Voir Dire by A&E Television Networks.
  • 10/27/2008 #114 Proposed Jury Instructions by A&E Television Networks
  • 10/28/2008 #116 ORDER granting 98 Sealed Motion Signed by Honorable C Weston Houck on October 28, 2008.
  • 10/29/2008 #117 Proposed Jury Instructions by A&E Television Networks.

While I will be attempting to get copies of the trial transcripts, I will be unable to attend the trial.  Several of our regular visitors, however, have promised to share updates with me as the trial progresses.  I also have not had the time necessary to intervene and request that the Court unseal those documents which were inappropriately restricted. 

Good luck to everyone involved.

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