A closer look at the MOTIONS TO LIMIT EVIDENCE in the AXANAR LAWSUIT (Part 1)

Now that I’ve indulged my little emotional rant last Saturday, it’s time to sit down and take a somewhat less passionate look at the 19 motions in limine that both sides filed last week to exclude evidence and witnesses in the AXANAR lawsuit.

The plaintiffs are challenging TEN different items of evidence and potential witnesses (including yours truly!) while the defense team is challenging NINE.  I’ve consolidated all those separate motions into two huge PDF documents:

Defense Motions to Exclude

Plaintiff Motions to Exclude

In Part 1 of this blog series, I’d like to explore what a a motion in limine is and how and why it is used. In this way, I’m hoping to give you all a better idea of what is going on right now and why it’s so important (and also give myself more time to research and write up parts 2 and 3!).

First, don’t confuse these in limine motions to exclude evidence with the motions for summary judgment…even though many of the same arguments are being made in both motions.  For example, the defense argues in their motion for summary judgment that the full Axanar feature film was never made, and the scripts have been changed multiple times since the “locked” version that was admitted into evidence.  Therefore, the judge should rule that the full Axanar feature is not relevant to the case and the complaints regarding it thrown out…because you can’t sue someone for something they haven’t done yet!

But assuming that judge doesn’t grant that motion, the defense is also asking in their in limine motions that the “locked” version of the script be excluded as evidence since seven newer versions of the script have been written since the lawsuit was filed.  Same argument…different goal.

So what the heck does in limine even mean anyway???  Sounds Latin to me!  (Most legal terms are.)

In limine means “at the start” or, more literally, “on the threshold.” Despite the translation, evidentiary challenges can, in fact, be made at any time…even during the trial itself (although not with the jury present).  However, there is usually a period set aside before the trial specifically to allow each side to challenge whatever evidence and testimony they don’t want the jury to see.  The deadline for filing those motions to exclude evidence and testimony was, in the Axanar lawsuit, this past Friday (December 16).

Now, you might be asking the obvious question, “If it’s evidence, then why should the jury NOT see it?”  After all, hiding important facts from the jury means they could decide their verdict without knowing all the facts!  Well, yes, but there’s another side of that coin.  You can’t un-ring a bell.  In limine challenges are meant to keep things from the jury that are prejudicial and might prevent them from deciding the case based solely on the facts.

Essentially, the legal system wants to keep juries focused on the case and not distracted or confused be irrelevancies…even if those irrelevancies are, themselves, facts.  They also don’t want to waste the time of jury and the judge discussing things with little probative value (meaning something that will help the jury reach a verdict).  So those are the reasons–irrelevant, prejudicial, confusing, and/or a waste of time–that attorneys can use to challenge evidence and witnesses.

And challenge, they do…early and often!

It’s not unusual for each side to challenge just about every piece of potentially damaging evidence they can find.  Usually, the defendant makes more challenges than the plaintiff, although in this case, both sides are being pretty aggressive in trying to take as many arrows out of the other side’s quiver as they can.

And why not?  The worst that can happen is the judge says “no,” and the evidence/witnesses are allowed at trial.   Well, actually, that’s not entirely true.  If one side or the other files too many challenges, the judge can get royally pissed off at the wasting of his time and subsequently have a predisposition against one side or the other going into trial (even though he’s not supposed to).  On the other hand, at least in this case, both sides are submitting just about the same number of challenges, so it probably won’t be a worry.

And also, the reward can be significant!  Just imagine the judge excluding a key piece of evidence or a convincing witness that one side or the other really needs to win the case.  Although such decisions can be appealed, if upheld, you’ve just benched a star player for the entire game!

So what does it mean if the judge grants one or more of these motions?

Well, obviously, if he excludes a witness (such as myself), then that witness simply cannot be called to testify.  Period.  Or potentially, the witness could be allowed by the judge, but only with certain questions being permitted.  For example, in my case, I might be limited to discussing only my own personal experiences with fan films and not supplying any “expert” opinions about the quality or content of specific fan films or the fan reaction to fan films in general.

If the judge excludes a particular piece of evidence, such as Alec Peters’ financial statement from the 2015 annual report, then it simply cannot be mentioned at all during the trial–not in opening statements, not during the trial itself, not in the questioning of or answering by witnesses on the stand, and not during closing arguments.

Any violation of the exclusion ruling, even inadvertently by a stray comment by a witness, can be objected to immediately by opposing counsel.  And the judge, having issued the exclusion ruling previously, can move to strike the comment from the record and then instruct the jury to disregard that last comment.  Of course, they seldom do!  So an “oops” moment can potentially be worth it.  Unfortunately for attorneys, the legal system is aware of this and also allows the judge to issue a $1,000 fine to the attorney(s) or their law firm for each violation of the exclusion.  And if it’s a serious enough breach that it completely risks the jury’s impartiality, then the judge can even declare a mistrial.

And what’s so bad about a mistrial?  Well, when you’re paying your law firm a thousand dollars or more for each hour your attorneys are sitting in the courtroom, then starting over from scratch is a VERY expensive inconvenience.  And remember that even though Alec Peters’ legal team is working pro bono–for free–starting over from scratch still means that much longer for Axanar to be in legal limbo.  And therefore, it really isn’t in either side’s best interest to risk a mistrial.

So even though the big show right now is waiting for the judge’s ruling on the motions for summary judgment (which could come at any time and possibly even end the trial before it begins!), these in limine motions challenging evidence and witnesses could be just as important in determining who wins this case!


Next time, we’ll take a closer look at what the plaintiffs don’t want the jury to see, their reasons justifying the challenge(s), and how these witnesses and pieces of evidence could hurt the plaintiffs’ case if they are allowed in trial!

 

112 thoughts on “A closer look at the MOTIONS TO LIMIT EVIDENCE in the AXANAR LAWSUIT (Part 1)”

  1. I just recently saw the Prelude to Axanar, and I’m more than just impressed at the work put into it. The acting is practically spot on, the scripting is incredible (and is the thing that actually pulled me in the most), the make-up looks like it was professionally done, and did I say scripting? It’s possibly the best fan work I’ve seen done on Star Trek, not to say that some of the others were not good. Even if Axanar is not able to be made into a full fan film, the Prelude, alone, is so good that it can stand on its own as just a short film/documentary of sorts. That said, I still hope that the Axanar team will be able to continue the work on it, and eventually get it released for all of us excited (but trying to hold our breath during the lawsuit, in case things don’t pan out the way we hope) fans. Over time, a lot of Star Trek content has kind of distanced itself from how the original was, leaving out some of the best elements that fans love, miss, and want desperately to see more of, again, but are left disappointed at the official releases. Axanar gives us the very things we love, though. ST isn’t just about violence and stopping some dire attack, which does exist in ST, but it’s also about the sense of discovery. It’s about poetry, it’s about delving into history, it’s about seeing things through others’ eyes, it’s about story telling, etc. It’s such a huge universe full of rich details and information, but nearly all of it has been lost over time, especially in the ST movies. It’s refreshing to see a ST fan film bring it back. There’s so much you can do and so many places you can go with Star Trek, but it seems to be mainly the fans that are able to see that and really take it somewhere.

    With all that out, I’d be really interested in hearing about what evidence the plaintiffs don’t want the jury to see. I’ve been semi-following the trial, as I found this site and Prelude yesterday, but from the looks of it, I got the impression that they’re trying to do everything they can to halt production, right down to changing fan film guidelines in order to make it almost impossible to create anything if you want at least decent works, as well as refusing to release documents that show that they gave you permission to work on Axanar.

    And as for fan films in general, in regards to the many people saying that the Axanar team will be the downfall of fan films, I’m not sure that I agree with them. For years, CBS/Para have had their eyes on fan productions. That’s nothing new. It was something like a shadow hovering behind us that most of us saw coming at some point, or had a feeling would come. Even if they didn’t go after the Axanar team, I think, at some point, they would have targeted a fan production. It seemed overdue, in my opinion.

    Just wanted to compliment all of you, as your work is really some of the best that I’ve seen, and I’d love to see more. Really do hope this pans out in the team’s favour.

    1. Ah, an Axa-virgin! Welcome to Garth’s World, Julie…there’s a lot to catch you up on. A good place to start is page 94 of this document:

      https://fanfilmfactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/The-History-of-STAR-TREK-fan-films-Jonathan-Lane.pdf

      It’s a really good and fairly short history of Axanar up to the filing of the lawsuit. And if you want to explore everything that’s happened since the lawsuit (at least on the legal front), all of my Axanar lawsuit blogs going back to January can be found here:

      https://fanfilmfactor.com/category/blog-entries/axanar-lawsuit/

      You’re not alone in being bowled over by Prelude to Axanar. It’s an amazing achievement. And with luck, there will be more to amaze us!

      1. Welcome to the club, Julie! Just would like to clear up a slight misconception on your part. CBS/P has never given ‘permission’ to any fan film ever that I know of. What they have done up till now is just look the other way when it comes to fan films. They certainly have been keeping an eye on them I would imagine but have never acknowledged, approved or in any way assisted fan films.

        That all changed with Axanar and particularly ‘Prelude To Axanar’. Prelude was just too good and they knew it. Not only was it fan funded to a unheard of amount of money but it did exactly what it intended to do and showed the fans what could be accomplished with just a smattering of equipment, a damn good story and a team of highly knowledgeable fans!

        And when it led to $1.2 million in fan donations for the feature, CBS/P felt they had no choice but to attempt to put a stop to it. They certainly did not want to see the floodgates opened for a whole string of inexpensive (relatively speaking) and near professional level films coming out even if they were free.

        Thus, the lawsuit!

        I believe you are spot on when you say that a lawsuit was inevitable eventually. They’ve been seeing constant improvements in the quality of fan films over the decades. It was only a matter of time.

        Now that you’ve seen Prelude, it is probably clear to you just what they’re afraid of.

    2. Well said Julie! Prelude to Axanar made me remember how much I love Star Trek. Especially TNG and DS9. Tony Todd’s speech to the Federation Council brings tears to my eyes. I want to see CBS/Para lose big.

      1. You do know I hope that Tony Todd left the project and won’t be in any Axanar movie in the unlikely event one is actually made which will be hard to do since Axanar has no money.

        1. I’ll miss Tony Todd, but no one can take away from the power and emotion his performance brought to “Prelude to Axanar.”

          As for Axanar having no money, well, I for one am waiting for the trial to be over so I can donate to the next Axanar crowd-funding campaign! REALLY! I got $100 with Alec’s name on it. If anyone’s willing to do likewise, please respond to this comment and let me know. I’d love for the detractors to see us Axanar supporters still line up behind the project to fund it…even after all the controversy an accusations. If enough people respond to this comment in support, it’ll REALLY piss off the haters! 🙂

          1. I think that’s what they (the detractors) don’t comprehend, I think a lot of fans are more than willing to donate for a renewed Axanar should one be possible, but these poor sods think it would all be over. Time moves and things bend and break, things happen, maybe even Axanar. =)

          2. After they blew through 1.4 million dollars and only have a 20 minute short and a vulcan scene to show for it I would never give them another dime.

          3. You have $100.00 with Alec’s name on it ? You really are joking I hope ! What are you donating for, his next trip to Europe?

      2. Charles, are you a real person or just one of those Internet robots who spit out BULLSHIT !
        Watching third string actors standing in front of a green screen reading lines of cue cards is bring Star Trek back into your life – lol…
        Watching various spaceships firing phasers in a war like setting brings memories of Star Trek ? Where in the hell in any canon Star Trek adventure did you see war and massive attacks (excluding the new Trek JJ movies) within the Starfleet setting ? Nowhere !
        These are the scenes which restore your faith in a return to the past years of vintage Star Trek experiences ? Really !
        As for the Tony Todd bring tears to your eyes, it brought tears to many Axanar supporters when he told them to shove it and moved on – – he was probably the best thing going for this fan film !

        1. Warning about the S-bomb, Tony. Next one gets trashed without posting. You can say “SHAT” instead.

          As for Prelude to Axanar, well, 2,727,071 Youtube views can’t be wrong! 🙂

          1. I would say that the “Errand of Mercy” (although the battle is prevented by the Organians intervention) and “Balance of Terror” episodes from “TOS” would also qualify by “watching various spaceships firing phasers in a war like setting.”

    3. Hi Julie.

      Just so you know there are a lot more issues surrounding the lawsuit than the simplified claim that ‘Prelude to Axanar’ and ‘Axanar’ were just too good. Personally, I really enjoyed Prelude to Axanar but certain things have personally put me off of the Axanar fan film and those that are directly involved.

      Things that you probably should look into before quickly assigning blame.

      – The Alleged Use of donated funds for the personal expenses of Producer, Alec Peters, and his at the time girlfriend.

      – The construction of a studio (Ares Studio renamed to Valkyrie Studio and then renamed as Industry Studio) as a For Profit financial venture based of funding raised from fans using the Star Trek brand.

      – The continual attempts to to force people who have raised concerns, asked questions and otherwise challenge Alec Peter’s PR Spin into silence. Forcefully refunding donors who do so to keep them out of Donor restricted areas.

      – “Licensing” Axanar branded coffee. In other words, gaining a monetary benefit from a product that’s based on the Star Trek universe without approval or licensing from CBS and without compensating from using Star Trek races and ship design in the packaging.

      – “Axanar is the first fully-professional, independent Star Trek film.” – Alec Peters, basically he was previously saying Axanar wasn’t a fan film, which essentially meant that Axanar was direct competition to CBS/Paramount using CBS/Paramount’s own IP.

      – Alec Peters met with people from Netflix and Amazon in an effort to “produce Star Trek” material on those platforms.

      I’ll be happy to respond to any questions regarding this.

      1. Oh, Julie one other thing.

        Tony Todd as well as a large number of behind the scenes crew. Including the Director, Christian Gossett are no longer associated or working with Axanar. As such, the quality of Prelude now no longer has any indication of how good Axanar might actually end up being.

        1. On the other hand, J.G. Hertzler, Gary Graham, Kate Vernon, and the AWESOME Richard Hatch WILL be back…and three of them are quite psyched about it. (I haven’t spoken to Kate personally, only the three guys.) And Robert Meyer Burnett is an awesome director. I don’t know if you ever saw “Free Enterprise” with William Shatner and Eric McCormack (Will from “Will and Grace”), but Robert directed that. And he was the editor on Prelude. I think the project is in good hands, Julie. Fear not!

          (And I think you can begin to see what I said about the truth being out there. Dealing with all the crazy nay-sayers, though, is exhausting…like Whack-a-Mole!) 🙂

          1. A “large number” of kids in my son’s kindergarten class might be a dozen. A large number of planets discovered by the Kepler space observatory is currently in the thousands. So really, “large number” can have a WIDE range of values. 🙂

      2. Me, too! All of these allegations sound so juicy and despicable!!! It’s hard to imagine anyone could be this nefarious and still have thousands of people support him. 🙂

        The truth is out there…and so, apparently, is the alternative.

        1. Jonathon is right about one thing. The Truth is out there. Don’t just take my word and don’t just take his. Look, search and ask questions and try to find the truth. The effort to come to your own conclusion is all I ask, even if it is contrary to mine.

          As for ‘nefarious’. Just look at politics, it doesn’t matter if it’s American, Australian, British, German or Uzbekistani. I’m sure you can find someone you can identify as being nefarious there with more than the thousands of voter support. So even if Jonathon wasn’t being hyperbolic (which is what I suspect) then number of followers means absolutely nothing.

          I judge someone not on what they say, saying stuff is easy, but based on what they do. As far as Alec Peters is concerned he’s failed on this metric alone.

          And one final note regarding the quality of the full feature Axanar. All I’m saying is that enough has changed (especially with the Director having left and actually being a witness for CBS/Paramount) that the quality of Prelude can no longer be directly linked to the Quality of the Axanar full length film. It might be great, might be horrible. There is now simply no way for me to accurately assess what the films quality might be.

          1. I don’t understand your last paragraph, why would you have to assess the quality of something that might not even be produced, but assuming it is, why is it important for you to feel like you have to assess its quality?

            If it comes it comes out, regardless what its quality is; Many ‘real’ (professional) films have an amazing trailer and then invariably lets down the audience in the actual film (at least this is the case for me), for a fan film I change my bar of expectation a bit and allow for it to not be on the same level.

            “There is now simply no way for me to accurately assess … quality”, there was *never* a way for you to assess its quality. Had Axanar been allowed to run its course you would still not have known its quality until you saw it. And what’s up with “quality” anyway? Whose definition of quality are we talking here?

            If your last paragraph is about making an argument for not supporting something because “you don’t know what you’ll get”, I’m afraid that ship has sailed, that’s what all crowd-funding is about, and you can never put that genie back in its bottle.

          2. It is rather amusing that some of the detractors are trying to cast doubt that the full AXANAR movie will be “as good” as PRELUDE. Remember that this is still a fan film. Most fan films don’t reach the level of quality of a PRELUDE TO AXANAR or STAR TREK CONTINUES or RENEGADES. So even if the quality of AXNANAR took a huge nose-dive from the loss of Christian Gossett and Tony Todd (although I think folks are selling Robert Meyer Burnett really short), it’d still very likely be a significantly strong fan film.

            Don’t get me wrong; I love all fan films…even the ones that scrape the bottom of the barrel. It’s because these films all try so hard and deserve my patience and respect. But there are some fan films and series that I start watching and think, “Man, this is gonna be GOOD!!!” And that’s the way I’ll feel about the full AXANAR feature until proven otherwise.

  2. I really like to read your block 🙂 but please reconsider your backgroundcolor. I feel always dizzy after reading your block 🙁
    so here a pretty please for changing your background color 🙂

    1. The background color should be a dark black with white text, Daniel? Is that what you’re seeing? It was the default color for this template style from WordPress, and I kinda liked the way it resembled the black of space or the LCARS computer displays in the 24th Century STAR TREK series. Sorry about making you so dizzy.

      1. yes black background and white text… it seams I’m the only one who gets dizzy after reading a long blog? oO
        Ok next time I will just copy your text to read it with white background and black text 😉

        I usually don’t read comments… but I have to say, there are really some people with way to much time and the hobby of trolling…
        thank you for all your work analysing the law suit, it is much work and I really appreciate it 🙂

        1. Thanks for the kind words, Daniel. Yes, the first day of winter has seemed to bring out the trolls this year. And man, they all take themselves so seriously! C’mon, guys…lighten up a little. The world is miserable enough right now. A little self-deprecation, a little non-insulting chuckle every now and then. I can’t be the only humorist on in the comments section, can I? 🙂

          And yeah, Daniel, copy/pasting into another program with black text on white is a smart idea. Wish I’d thought of it! (See…self-deprecating humor, folks. Try it–it’s fun!)

          1. you need something like a “like” button 😉

            for lazy folks like me, it would be easier just to show what they think…

            and a dislike button so all the trolls can just click it all the time and don’t need to write long boring texts with always the same content… do they actually copy paste? or do they have a phrase random generator oO I would definitely build something like this for efficient trolling :X
            sorry, dry German humor 😉

          2. Hey, at least it’s humor…and from Germany, no less!

            Actually, it’s a bad time to joke about Germany. Our thoughts in the U.S. are with you all, Daniel. Viel glück.

          3. yes there was actually a real jerk with who knows what other problems he had to do something so terrible :'(

            but we will not succumb to people like that, we will still be an open and free country who will welcome people in need 🙂
            ok not everyone, there are also some German jerks who forgot what happened in history, not 100 years ago where we were refugees (many going to the us – even Einstein was a refugee)… but every country has it jerks…

          4. We have our jerks here in the U.S., as well. I really wish the world could just collectively flush them all, but alas, ’tis not to be. Maybe by the 23rd century…

          5. The trolls are coming out because they’re getting worried. Things just keep looking worse and worse for the studios.

          6. I copied and pasted the white characters from the blog into MS Word which has a white background.

            That made reading it really fast. (Since there was really nothing to read…) LOL.

            How’s that Jonathan? (Wink)

          7. Sorry I should have mentioned this earlier, but I didn’t think of it until just now; The browser I use (Vivaldi, available at http://vivaldi.com ), in the bottom right corner there’s an icon that says “”, and in it there are a number of filters one can apply to the page, you can hit “Filter Invert”, and it’ll change the page to be black text on white background.

            I’m pretty sure such filters exist for most browsers, so you should be covered by whichever one you use, if you search a little. Otherwise try out Vivaldi if nothing else then just for this site.

            Again sorry for thinking of this so late.

  3. Losing your readership eh, Slow Lane. All you could muster up was three comments from readers. Hmmm, I guess as the trail gets nearer REAL Star Trek fans, NOT Axacrap fans are waking up and realizing you, Alec and the rest of you are full of hot air. Alec spends 1.4 million never produced a film and not because of the lawsuit but because he is a narcissistic greedy bastage who used the money to afford a lifestyle he could never afford working like the average Joe.

    Yet here you sit with your thumb in you *** praising a man who not only ripped off 1.4 million dollars but actually condoning it. You are a real piece of SH*T Jonathan Lane!

    Oh, I know I am going to be attacked for this comment, even a little ridiculed with condescending asinine comments defending Alec. Maybe even Alec will chime in himself and tell me I have no credibility. Alec doesnt even know what credibility is when you consioder how much he has lied to the donors, lied to me and lied to the court. You Alec have ZERO Credibility!!!

    1. Rand, do you ever wonder how you sound to intelligent, civilized people? You don’t come across well, if I may be completely honest with you.

      Anyway, even though you put an asterisk in the s-bomb, the following still gets you an official warning:

      “You are a real piece of SH*T Jonathan Lane!”

      No direct insults to anyone…not even me. That’s the rules. I don’t mind people taking pot-shots at me–used to happen all the time back in elementary school (are you in elementary school, by the way?)–but rules are rules and I don’t want to seem like I’m bending them in ANY situation…lest people think I’m inconsistent in my enforcement. No direct personal insults on this blog, Rand. You can criticize the thoughts or opinions of others, disagree with their actions, or debate interpretations of events. In fact, that’s why the rest of your post would not have earned you a warning and would have gotten an actual response to your points and not just a warning from me. But if you have to resort to direct, personal insults, you’ve already lost any intelligent argument you might have been trying to make, and you’ve certainly lost any respect I might have given you as a fellow human being.

      So warning: next direct personal insult against anyone–me, Alec, another poster–gets immediately trashed. Have a nice evening, and Happy Holidays.

      1. You certainly have more patience than I have, Jonathan. I’d have scrapped his post the second I saw it. I was once told that ‘profanity is the result of a weak mind trying to express itself forcefully’. I still believe it. ANd you are correct, too, when you say he lost all credibility from that point on.

          1. I don’t think it has anything to do with swearing, I swear all the time in daily conversation, and I’m a lovable and charming bloke, sometimes it’s just part of culture you know. My point is, just adding some swearing isn’t what made him a bottomfeeder, it’s all the venom coursing through his veins that has addled his mind, it’s almost a sickness and it goes a lot deeper than a few swear words.

          2. Yeah, probably. But the swearing doesn’t help. And I just don’t like the potty language on this blog. Call me a prude, or maybe it’s just left over from my old days on the radio when we had to log each curse word that was said and report it to the FCC (seriously!). But it’s ingrained in my head…especially now that I’ve got a six-year-old. It’s not that I never swear. I just do it discretely and in appropriate company and situations.

          3. He lost it with the first condescending sentence. Apparently your blog still holds his interest to read and comment on it.

          4. I’m glad my blog is still holding someone’s interest! Tomorrow, I’ve got my longest article yet…unless I chop it in half. Haven’t decided yet, but it’s a good one! 🙂

      2. If you were a professional journalist, as you claim you are, then you should know there are no blinders on the truth Jonathan! What Rand said might be too straight forward for most of your followers, it’s actually more truth than fiction! Sometimes truthful statements are blunt and forward, however within true journalism this information should come forward, be public and known .. There are differences between simply writing blogs and pushing out one side of a story and delivering true journalism with both sides being weighted out accordingly, I think in your case Jonathan it leans more to a simple blog with your cheerleaders Alec, Britto, and yes even Reese jumping up and down in excitement on the sideline… If your going to play in the major leagues make sure to bring the big bats to the game !

        1. “If you were a professional journalist, as you claim you are,”

          Whoa, whoa, frickin’ WHOA!!!

          When did I ever claim to be a professional journalist. Tony??? I’m a blogging hobbyist whose hobby is Star Trek and Trek fan films. I don’t get paid to write this blog (meaning I am not “professional”). My wife WISHES that I were getting paid for writing this thing all day long! But the best I get is a couple of bucks a day from Google Ads. (If it’s a REALLY good day, I sometimes crack THREE dollars!!! At this rate, I’ll have enough for my own sushi lunch by next summer!) 🙂

          But seriously, Tony, I never went to journalism school. I graduated with a degree in Psychology from Cornell, went on to study Graphic Design at Pratt, and I was a Creative Director for 12 years. I’ve done usability design and business analysis, information architecture, I’ve taught elementary school, consulted for Star Trek licensing, I’ve owned two small businesses, and I wrote two books (one of which is a Star Trek reference book…not sure if that counts). And now I write a blog in my spare time. At no point did my resume EVER say “journalist”–professional or otherwise.

          I’m guessing your resume doesn’t say “journalist” either…’cause I’ve certainly said it enough times that I’m just a blogger, not a journalist.

          Oh, and I also used to answer Willy Wonka’s fan mail, but that’s another story.

        2. Funny Tony how you discredit cheerleaders. Axanar cheerleaders are positive informed, usually creativity talented individuals who have chosen to support at project we believe in.

          Haters on the other hand have shown to be vile hateful individuals with no play in the game, as they have no talent to speak of, and trying to latch on to any celebrity in the fan community they can, to try to heighten their own failed existence.

          I am hoping when things go our way, you may start thinking for yourself, and not blatantly follow Carlos or Michael who boosts haters for their friends at STNV and STC.

          As for Rand. It’s all about not getting the attention he never received from us. He knows nothing because he was never trusted.

      3. Well, you see when I get a little ticked off I tend to forget to spell check myself before I hit the submit button. As for the insults to you or Alec they are well deserved as far I am concerned. Let’s be realistic here. Alec takes in 1.2 million from KS and IGG campaigns another $200,000.00 from Paypal retro packages and direct sales from donor store ( 1.4 million total ), instead of putting all the money away to be sure it could be used to make the film what does Alec do, he squanders it everything but the film. I saw the independent audit from the court ordered CPA, Alec actually spent more money that he took in, as a matter of fact if I am not mistaking the math, he is over $20,000 in the hole. So tell me how does Alec expect to make film if by some divine intervention he wins? You see he can’t. He would have to start a new round of crowdfunding or solicit private donations but with the information out there regarding the lawsuit and Alec’s other failed ventures no one is going to be that stupid to give him any funding at all. So you see we all lose because Alec screwed everyone and just lies about it.

        You know just before Alec had my FB acct suspended for a week for insulting for poor narcissist ego he mentioned something about credibility. That made me do some serious thinking. You see anyone with credibility tells the truth, anyone with credibility doesn’t insult his friends. A person with credibility always does what he says he will do and keeps his word as bond. A man with credibility does not try to profit off the backs of others. A man with credibility would give back all the money to the donors if he could NOT do what that money intended for him to do.
        YOU and Alec have ZERO credibility!!! Anyone involved with Axanar has ZERO credibility. But don’t let that stop your from being his little pom pom cheerleader. You still have NO credibility!

        1. What do you mean Alec should have put the money away? He was less than two months away from filming when he was served with a lawsuit. Most of the money had already been spent on studio build-out, set construction, VFX, studio equipment, costumes, props, etc. Alec did not know the lawsuit was coming, so he was continuing on with the production schedule. There was no point where Alec could have “put away” that $1.4 million. A big chunk of it was already spent by the time the lawsuit happened. Once it did, then expenses became limited to just rent and utilities (no sushi!).

          I really don’t think you get how a movie is made, Rand. But that might not be your fault–I don’t know if you have any business or professional production experience. I live in L.A. and know lots of industry people (“lots” = about 14 give or take…two are my son’s godparents). You’re out there near Lake Erie, so you most likely don’t have access to the experience that would educate you in how an actual movie is made.

          As for your Facebook account getting suspended, Facebook doesn’t do that unless you’ve really earned it. So before you start calling out Alec Peters for having a narcissist ego, why not take a good long look in the mirror?

          (And yes, I know I have a big narcissist ego, as well. I’m just aware enough to admit it…although, that would kinda cancel out the narcissist part, wouldn’t it? Damn, now my brain hurts again!)

          1. Charles as for my first words to you I’ll give them as an acronym so even you can understand them…. KMA!

            Anyway tell me Chuckie where is the Retro Donors Roster and don’t give that crap Terry deleted it because I have talked to Terry and I know for a fact he did not delete it. The retro donor was the list I was on and what I donated through using Paypal, I still have my receipt, it was the forth list on the donor roster page at the bottom and it was deleted shortly after Terry walked away. Its still hasn’t been restored and that is a hell of a lot of donors names missing. You see the Wayback machine website records website pages. Wayback shows the retro roster was still on the page as of May of 2015 and it was deleted several months AFTER Terry left as of August 2015 it was no longer on the page. According to my research as well as others who did some checking as many as 4000 or more Donors names are gone. Everyone that donated did so through PayPal. So that proves I am not a liar because others who also donated to the retro packages can back it up and as I said I still have my original receipt.

            Now now two month away from filming when he never got any C&D to stop filming when the lawsuit hit he could have finished the film and just waited until the suit was over to release it Jon. Yes, I do know how it works and its a bitch to say the least. Your not the only person who has lived in California, I was raised there and live there most of my adult life. Lovely California, I still visit there because I have family there.

            I have no ego Jon, as I said before and I’ll say it again its not about me it about everyone that is getting screwed over by Alec because there is not a snowballs chance in hell he will get to make Axanar because he spent all the money for his personal gain and CBS/Paramount are going to win and will never let him make the film, Period!

            Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

          2. I don’t smoke, Rand. Never have, never will.

            Alec stopped filming in January because he was hoping to resolve the lawsuit amicably as quickly as possible. Pushing the pedal down and continuing to to do the very thing the studios were suing him for was NOT the way to get the studios to work with him toward a mutually-agreeable settlement. And back in the early days–when Alec first suspended production–it did actually look like there could be some kind of workable settlement. Alec even had the studio executives out to take a tour of the studio, and they reportedly were surprised to see how small it was. They’d actually thought he was building something much larger and more significant.

            So after that initial face-to-face meeting, it was looking like this might have just been a big misunderstanding. And with a few adjustments to to his script and production plans (like releasing Axanar in shorter segments and limiting crowd-funding), Alec might have been able to get the lawsuit dropped and the studios’ permission to make Axanar with certain newly imposed constraints. He was all for exploring that possibility (this was, like, mid-March of this past year). But going ahead with production BEFORE working things out with the studios–as you suggested, Rand–would have been the fastest way to escalate the crisis.

            Now, as it happened, the studios weren’t nearly as willing to settle as Alec had thought–although JJ Abrams’ announcement in May brought new hope. So again, not a good time to spit in the studios’ face by re-starting up production. So again, Alec waited. Unfortunately, there was a shift at the studios (I’m not allowed to say what happened), and suddenly one of the plaintiffs became MUCH more interested in making an example of Alec Peters and knocking him completely out of fan films forever. The other studio had softened (which is why J.J.’s announcement wasn’t entirely fabricated), but by June, there was a new driver of the lawsuit, and all bets were off.

            Now, I suppose Alec could have restarted production in July or August, since it was beginning to look like the case was going to trial after all. But from a legally prudent perspective, that would be a bad idea. A jury might not look as favorably on a defendant who was still going balls-to-the-wall doing the very thing that got him sued in the first place. On the other hand, a jury seeing a defendant politely waiting for them to determine if and how he could continue might be viewed much more favorably.

            You’re welcome to smoke that pipe if you’d like, Rand. I realize my response doesn’t match what you were previously smoking and tried to hand over to me, but mine is more detailed and accurate and actually makes logical sense.

            And you have no ego, huh? Then why did you get so pissed off about your name not appearing on the donor list? And why do you always need to have the last word and prove yourself right? I mean, I admit to having a huge ego, which is why I always need to have the last word and prove myself right. If you have no ego, Rand, then what’s your excuse?

        2. Rand, again, you know nothing because you where never trusted. You blocked me because you didn’t want to hear that little truth.

          As far as trusting Terry for information shows you really are living in a fantasy world. If you haven’t figured out by now that someone who creates fake Axanar porn sites, instead of actually suing if he actually own any program, and claims he’s “decided” he will not testify in court and fight a court order of contempt, can’t be trusted, you both deserve each other’s company. Maybe you can visit him in jail if he doesn’t appear in court?

      4. And so you should Jonathan.Express your opinion sure but no need for the bad language..Merry Xmas to all..

    2. Rand, if anyone is going to attack you, it’s over the manner in which you go off half-cocked. Last month you came on this blog and ranted about 3000 missing names on the donor page (or which yours was one), all people who donated through the store. I actually did some research, and found that 1) There never WAS a separate list for donor store donors, that your name was ALWAYS listed under the Kickstarter donors, and that between all the lists, there was a aggregate ADD of about 1100 names. I found that all out by doing what you said to do, go to the Internet Wayback Machine (something which is obvious you did not actually do…..)

      But instead of acknowledging there might just have been some mistake, you just ignored it, and now you pop up here occasionally to make an ass of yourself.

      What chaps my hide the most is how you go after my friend Jonathan. I doubt you’ve ever spoken to him, otherwise you wouldn’t be blindly attacking him like you are. He’s a good guy, and doesn’t deserve the vitriol you’ve unleashed on him.

      1. Yeah, I’m a good guy, dammit! I hold the door open for people and let cars into my lane even if they don’t use a blinker! I don’t deserve vitriol. Maybe Geritol, though, I turn fifty next month…fifty years of being a good guy!

      2. Dave, I attack because he lies!!!! There is no MONEY left because Alec spent it all. Are you going to call the court ordered independent CPA that audited Alec and Axanar productions a liar???

        NO MONEY LEFT BECAUSE ALEC BLEW IT ALL AWAY ON HIMSELF!

        1. What court-ordered CPA? Did I miss a memo? If the court had ordered a CPA to review Alec’s financials, why would the plaintiffs be trying so hard to get that CPA’s findings excluded from evidence?

          Rand, sometimes you just make no sense.

          1. He’s referring to an excerpt that was in one of the filings which showed the income from the various fundraisers, and the total money spent, but it doesn’t list out the specific expenditures. Therefore, Rand is assuming Alec blew it all on hookers and blow, and not all the expenditures one has in setting up a studio and getting ready to shoot a movie……..

        2. So, no response to my first two paragraphs, eh Rand?

          You know, Rand, you once thanked me for my wisdom and advice. That very same wisdom that you once appreciated is leading me wonder if you are gullible, or just plain stupid.

          1. There will never be a response to truth and facts when those go against your core beliefs, the only thing they can do is ignore it and throw tantrums and move the conversation elsewhere, and hope that other people will forget the facts.

          2. At this point I just wonder if he’s aware enough to appreciate the irony of ragging on Jonathan’s readership now that this section is approaching 100 comments……

      3. If you follow the Axanar PR pages you should already know that many of the donors names were lost, Hell even their brainless leader Alec Peters confirmed the fact ! It’s nothing too major when you view the total picture of this mismanaged mess !

    3. Rand, In respect to Jonathan, I will not be calling you names.

      You do remind me of the woman I once dated. You are very much like her, and you remind me of the old saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.

      She would fly off the handle when she wasn’t constantly praised, and often lied to get attention. She made me feel uncomfortable. She was untrustworthy. I knew I couldn’t trust her with any information as she would often blow it out of proportion to make herself seem more important than she actually was. She gave good intelligent women a bad name.

      This is you Rand. You lied that you found out something about Alec and Axanar that made you turn against him. Truth is, you were never trusted with any information, and you were never trusted inside any inner circle. You have always been unpredictable. No one trusts unpredictable. You turned against Alec and Axanar because he and we wouldn’t give you the attention your required. Frankly, we though we were dealing with an adult. Sorry we couldn’t babysit your pathological needs.

      I’m amused that the haters marked you an easy turn, as all they had to do was praise your hobbies and give your ego the desperate attention you craved. Good for you. You found exactly what you needed. Can’t wait until they chew you up and spit you out, when they realize you know and have nothing to offer except, “Rants of Rand” Inc.

      1. “Sorry we couldn’t babysit your pathological needs.”

        This borders on a personal insult, Charles. I appreciate you standing up for me, just please don’t sink to Rand’s level.

      1. Pissed into the wind !
        When everyone was viewing these photos of Alec and his homeboys eating extravagant lunches and dinners, who do you think was paying for them ?
        When everyone was viewing these photos and videos of the various conventions which Alec and his girlfriend attended throughout the country, who do you think paid for ALL the expenses – good ol’ donors !
        The simple fact is that absolutely anything which could be linked to Axanar, gas, tire wear, food, etc., etc., Alec indulged himself to label as business expenses and therefore somehow justify the money spent in his mindset as production related – lol ..
        This plays out like the neighborhood kid who doesn’t have a job and no real source of income driving around in a new Corvette with his girlfriend wearing a real fur coat, where’d the money come from ? In this case, we know where the money come from !

        1. Man, you guys just so do not get it. Why do I even try to explain it to you? Alec brought in over a million dollars in funding. That was his job. Business expenses are part having a job. My wife gets reimbursed for certain expenses (including marketing lunches to bring in new clients and air travel to meetings in New York City or San Francisco). I used to get reimbursed for business expenses when I co-owned a company…as long as the expenses had to do with me fulfilling the requirements of my job. Alec’s job was to go to conventions and promote Axanar. Whether he drove there or flew, these trips resulted in publicity, exposure, and ultimately, more donations. So Alec did his job, and the results show that he did it well.

          Seriously, can I just get back to blogging now? I’m writing about CBS and Paramount challenging evidence and testimony…and you guys are gonna love it if I can just finish the darn blog.

  4. You can’t blame the defence for trying to remove all the evidence against Alec, because that’s what they’re attempting. It’s quite hilarious really. Do they really think the judge will grant the motions about Christian’s and Terry’s evidence? They are the only two with first hand inside info other than Alec and his ex (Oh wait, they’re trying to remove references to that too!). I highly doubt that will happen. The fact that Ranahan is trying to hide practically all of the Plaintiffs evidence shows how little of a defence they have. I’m soooo looking forward to this trial!

    1. “The fact that Ranahan is trying to hide practically all of the Plaintiffs evidence shows how little of a defence they have.”

      Given that L&L are doing the exact same thing, by your logic, it means that is shows the Plaintiffs have little offense for pushing forward to win the case.

      Or, just maybe… lawyers are being lawyers? Yeah… you’d probably already know the answer to that if you read Jonathan’s blog rather than just commenting on it. 😉

    1. Oh, so I’m a troll am I? Right, I forgot that anyone who disagrees with Lord and Master Alec and his minions is a troll and a hater. What does that make you then, a sycophant?

      1. I wasn’t referring you specifically, Herr Universum. But when someone makes bold assertions without actual evidence to back them up (not to mention subsequently being proved wrong), then yeah, I call them a troll!

        1. When I read Hubcap’s post I did not think he was talking about you at all, Mr. U, but rather all the other comments. I didn’t see you as a troll. However seeing your extreme over-reaction to what you perceived was an assertion about yourself, has actually revealed your inherent trollishness. Good job, Mr. U!

          1. Yeah, it was kinda like that comic cartoon where the guy is holding a giant coffee cup, his hands shaking, his desk a mess of papers, his hair disheveled, his clothes all wrinkled, bags under his eyes, teeth clenched, and he’s yelling at his co-worker, “I….AM……NOT……STRESSED!!!!!!!!”

            Yep, we believe you, Mr. U. Not a troll. Got it.

  5. “This is you Rand. You lied that you found out something about Alec and Axanar that made you turn against him. Truth is, you were never trusted with any information, and you were never trusted inside any inner circle. You have always been unpredictable. No one trusts unpredictable. You turned against Alec and Axanar because he and we wouldn’t give you the attention your required. Frankly, we though we were dealing with an adult. Sorry we couldn’t babysit your pathological needs.

    I’m amused that the haters marked you an easy turn, as all they had to do was praise your hobbies and give your ego the desperate attention you craved. Good for you. You found exactly what you needed. Can’t wait until they chew you up and spit you out, when they realize you know and have nothing to offer except, “Rants of Rand” Inc.”

    ROFLMAO!!!!! Ya know what Chuckie… get this… After I left the groups and before I joined CPvsA Alec invited me to join the inner circle…. I flat out turned him down because I did not need that kind of aggravation, LMAO!!! You have gone totally MENTAL, Holy smoke, I cant stop laughing. Alec not giving me attention…???? ROFLMAO!!!! Babbysitting??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA, thats a good one especially considering I was only Admin at ISWA who was the most active when I was there even to the point Alec actually though it was my group. ROFLMAO!!!!! I guess we know who was doing the babysitting Huh? Try harder Chuckie your attempt to intimidate me has failed!!!

    God I am still laughing at the stupidity of your comment, OH MY GOD HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA OH boy, I gotta get off here before I piss my pants! ROFLMAO!!!!!!

    1. When Rand has to tell us all so many times how hard he’s laughing…

      Guys, I think Rand is feeling really hurt right now. I think we should all stop. Seriously. I’m not being snarky or sarcastic. This really seems to be bothering him. I know, because I’ve felt that kind of pain before myself…so intense that I felt I needed to write something like Rand just did. “The tears of a clown,” as the song goes. It’s not fun, it’s not any kind of victory, and its nothing we should feel proud about. I don’t want our comments making someone who visits this blog site feel that badly about himself. So please, let’s all just leave Rand alone for now. I mean that sincerely.

      Rand, I’m sorry I approved those negative comments about you. I shouldn’t have done that.

    2. Rand, the only game you had with Axanar was being an admin of ISWA. A group I am now the admin, because of what used to be our friendship. When I asked why you were leaving you said, Quote, “I am tired of the negativity from the haters” unquote. That statement is screenshot if you want me to find it. You never said anything about finding anything out about Alec or Axanar. It was weeks AFTER you left, and the haters stroked you that suddenly you had info that made you leave Axanar. So I call definite bull on that.

      On the second lie….no, you were never asked to join the inner group because I am in that inner group and Alec asked us if you were trustworthy. By a large margin, it was voted you were too much of a loose cannon to be trusted. So you were NOT asked.

      I’m beginning to understand your whole game depends on what Terry, O’Halloran, and other haters tell you to say. But I’m sure they are getting tired of your kind of crazy, that’s crazier than their crazy. You are actually doing damage to the hater agenda, than they care to say. I’m afraid you’ll soon be looking for new friends. I hear Star Wars haters have availability…

      1. I can confirm that the inner group vote happened, ’cause I was one of the ones Alec polled. I abstained (as I recall) because I didn’t know Rand well enough at the time. Others knew him better and, yes, they voted to recommend that Alec not ask Rand to be a part of the group. Yes, that sounds cliquish and exclusionary, but in hindsight, I’d say they made the correct call.

    1. Actually, Sandy, if you wanted to give my readers an apples-to-apples comparison, you should have provided this link:

      http://www.semanticshenanigans.com/axanar-plaintiffs-motions-limine/

      That’s a link to her blog about the ten plaintiff motions (similar to what I’ve written today just with less colorful commentary because, well, Jonny just likes to talk a LOT!). Like me, Janet focused on the plaintiffs’ motions first (plaintiffs always go first in trial, too), and then did a separate blog on the defense motions…which is what you’ve provided a link to. Both are excellently done as usual (my hat is always off to Janet Gershen-Siegel!).

      My next blog will look at the defense’s motions in limine, and–spolier alert!–I kinda agree with Janet on many of them (even though I’m not a “real lawyer”). We don’t agree about everything, though, and that’s what makes this case so interesting to talk about!

      Anyway, yes, absolutely check out Janet’s blog, everyone. It’s AWESOME!

        1. Right back atcha, Janet. You get a shout out in today’s blog, as well (to be posted as soon as I finish editing it…another long one!). Spoiler alert: I agree with you twice and disagree once…and that’s why this is such an interesting lawsuit to follow. There are just so many ways to analyze it from both sides and sound perfectly reasonable each way. It’s still anybody’s game with just 40 days to go…eight of them with pretty candles, dreidels, latkes, and jelly doughnuts; and one with a jolly fat guy in a red suit climbing down our chimney…oh, and one with the airing of the grievances (which I’ll leave to the detractors). 😉

          1. And this, people, is a beautiful example of how adults can agree to disagree. Kudos and respect to both Janet and Jonathan!

  6. I always find it funny when people who “hate” Alec and Johnathan call them names, or spout off about money being spent, like the fact that money spent is the crux of the case against him and Axanar.

    If it were ONLY about money, then money would be at the heart of the suit. Of course we know better, Alec is being sued for copyright infringement, NOT spending donated money on something other than an actual movie.

    If this were a case of embezzlement, they would have a point, but it is not.

    Also see how Rand can not post without insulting everyone, I almost funny to read, if it wasn’t such a sad attempt at attention.

    I happen to read both johnathans and carlos’s blogs because they both happen to write well even though their viewpoints are diametrically opposite. I also go to the CBS/P Facebook page, only to read the comments and because Jody has been kind enough to spend his own dime and post all the filings.

    Happy holidays to Johnathan, his family and all his readers.

    1. Happy holidays to you, too, my friend. (No extra “h” in “Jonathan,” by the way. I use enough letters as it is!) 🙂

      You make really good points about the detractors. It does seem that a large percentage of their arguments are attached like bungee cords to personal insults. Most of those guys just can’t seem to communicate without them. Notice that I seldom if ever use personal insults or call people nasty names (and in the rare times I do, I apologize later), and I can make my points cogently and clearly. So it IS possible to be polite and respectful of others but to still disagree with them.

      Sometimes, I hold out the naive hope that this blog just might be seen as a model for good debating etiquette for others…that someday someone will say, “Yeah, that Lane guy is very patient; maybe I’ll give his technique a try, too.” Then I realize that one of the detractors is just gonna take a screen capture of this paragraph, put it up on CBS/P v Axanar on Facebook, and then insult me. And I sigh…

  7. I think its always wise to remember when discussing legal and court issues that there is a big difference between “right” and legal. So much that happens in Court and before Judges is determined by legal precedent where available, rules of evidence, as well as the rules of court. In my view thats why laying out the motions as Johnathan and some other bloggers have is very handy in understanding the ultimate outcome. Also, I have seen attorneys annoy the Judge by trying to stretch the legal envelope to the point the Judge got uber technical and that became the big issue not the matter at hand. All of this means in my opinion, the winner will most likely not be the most righteous but the side that made the best legal arguments and used the rules and good legal conduct to their advantage.
    Happy Holidays all!

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