Tuesday, February 23, 2010

#40 - Case Update

Hi Gang! Not much has happened in the lawsuit since the injunction hearing back in the summer. Wow, seems like a million years ago that it was even warm . . . Remember summer?

However, today there was a phone conference between the Judge, myself, our attorney, and the attorney for Jill Koehler and Mike Kosowski.

I wanted to post because I am sure information is already buzzing around in emails and group posts and phone calls. As always, I wanted to provide our side of the story.

Justin (our attorney who Jill likened to Jason from Friday the 13th in an email to me) and I talked long and hard the last two weeks and came to a decision.

Because of Noah's accident, there was no way he can participate in the preparation for the trial and the actual trial. He is still in the active recovery process from his spinal fusion surgery and in a lot of pain.

Also, we don't have a vehicle that could safely and comfortably take him to and from Kansas City (about 100 miles each way) and the entire process could seriously undermine his health and recovery from his accident and surgery.

As much as we love Johnny West and the hobby, family has to come before business.

As a result, we have dismissed our case against Koehler and Kosowski. The dismissal was granted without prejudice, meaning I am free to refile the case at a later date. After Noah has recovered from his surgery and feels more comfortable with his condition, we will reexamine our position, and take whatever legal action we feel is right for our business. Again, family first, business later.

That action released Michael Kosowski from any further participation in this lawsuit unless Jill Koehler calls him as a witness.

Koehler had the option to also dismiss her counter-claim to cancel our trademarks (on her claim of 'fraud'), but chose not do, despite her knowledge of Noah's condition. As they say, there is no enemy like an old friend. No problem, that is her absolute legal right.

Regardless, even though the only claim left is identical to the one that Jill Koehler has on file before the federal Patent and Trademark Court, she chose to go forward with the duplicative lawsuit in Kansas. No problem, again, that is her absolute right and I look forward to seeing her personally in court. No night-before-the-trial ambushes this time. The question will be settled.

Meanwhile, we wait for the judge's ruling in the latest round of motions in the other case. For the last two years, the judge has issued rulings on March 1st, so we'll wait and we'll see.

To refresh your memory, that is the motion where I have asked for attorneys fees against American Plastic, joint and several with his attorney (who now represents Jill K). I asked for fees because the court ruled in our favor on all trademark and copyright claims. The other side filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider his decision on the copyrights because they just found a bunch of info that should have been in first claims all along, but wasn't, but they really mean it this time . . .

Again, as I said, we'll see what happens. Thanks for sticking with me during this seemingly never-ending process. I have no problem with the American court system. Yes, it seems like it takes forever (especially when it is your case), but the system does work. Back in law school there was a saying that the main thing you'll learn in three years is how to 'love the law.' It is times like this, that I understand that saying. Both sides have their say and the judge decides based on the accumulated legal knowledge of our culture. That is freedom and that is what we are about.