AXANAR LAWSUIT discovery ruling – what does it all mean? (Part 1)

Axaanr splash imageOkay, so everyone is talking about, cheering about, cursing about, and analyzing Friday’s ruling by Magistrate Judge Charles Eick after the hearing to determine Axanar‘s motion to compel discovery from the studios.

Rather than summarize exactly what just happened, I am going to humbly direct you to the blog website of my delightful counterpart over on the other side of the Internet fence, Janet Gershen-Siegel.  Unlike me, the Boston-based Janet actually went to law school, graduated, and practiced insurance defense law for a few years back in the 1990s.  She’s been analyzing and writing about the Axanar lawsuit in painstaking detail almost since it was filed.  And while we all have our little biases (yes, even me!), Janet’s meticulous reviews are sprinkled with a generous helping of comedic flairs to be very accessible for the lay-person.  And when I say I do my research before writing these blogs, hers is one of my never-miss sources of information and insight.

So instead of reinventing the wheel, I’m going to send those of you who are curious over there to Janet’s blog to read more about what the judge actually ordered the studios to do…and then come back here for the follow-up.  What I’m going to talk about is how the defense is planning to use all of this newfound “bounty” (an amazing amount of new discovery documentation and verbal/written answers to defense questions ordered by the court) to try to win their case…or at worst, not lose too badly.

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Breaking news!!! Magistrate Judge rules in AXANAR’s favor regarding discovery!

Axaanr splash image2I don’t usually get breaking news as it happens, but Judge Magistrate Charles Eick just ruled on the Axanar defense team’s motion to have the court compel discovery (force the studios to deliver documents they were refusing to produce for the defense to look over before trial).

I was in court myself observing this morning, and I hadn’t expected the judge to rule so quickly.  But Judge Eick understood that, with only 12 days left until the close of the discovery period, the clock was ticking.

His ruling JUST came out, and I don’t even have the full text yet.  All I have is this summary:

On or before October 28, 2016, Plaintiffs shall…

  1. serve supplemental responses without objection, and produce all documents responsive to, the following requests (except documents withheld under claim of attorney-client privilege): 14, 35, 36, 37 (limited to the works allegedly infringed and also limited to documents (which may be summary documents) sufficient to show revenues and profitability), 17 (limited to 2009 to the present), 18 (limited to 2009 to the present), 21, 25 and 29;
  2. serve supplemental answers without objection to Interrogatories Nos. 8 and 9
  3. produce for deposition a witness or witnesses prepared to testify as to Deposition Testimony Subject No. 28;
  4. serve a privilege log identifying with particularity all documents withheld under claim of attorney- client privilege; and
  5. to the extent not otherwise ordered herein, fulfill all discovery-related promises previously made by Plaintiffs to Defendants.

In short, Axanar got pretty much everything they wanted and the studios are going to have a VERY busy week ahead.

Now, I’m going to need a couple of days to parse this all out and translate it from legalese into lay-person’s English.  So please be patient.  (During that time, I’ve also Jayden’s karate class, soccer practice, a friend’s birthday, a soccer game, and a birthday party for one of Jayden’s classmates.  And so this is why I don’t blog professionally.)

But short summary: big win for Axanar during the discovery phase.  The actual trial is completely separate, but for right now, the defense is going to have a very happy weekend.

Bombshells begin in discovery phase of AXANAR lawsuit! (Part 2)

Axaanr splash image2Yesterday, we began discussing the two documents filed by the opposing parties in the Axanar copyright infringement lawsuit last Friday.  (There’s actually three documents, but more on that later.)

Both of the new documents are significantly shorter than the 60-page Joint Stipulation document from the previous week that argued for and against the court to compel the studios to produce a boatload of documentation related tot he case.

While the plaintiffs’ supplemental memorandum was only a page and a half and repeated most of what they argued previously, the defense’s supplemental memorandum used the full five pages permitted by the court.  When last we left off, we were talking about President Gerald Ford.  No, seriously.  Go back and read yesterday’s blog, and then come back here to see how team Axanar‘s strategy is becoming much clearer now…

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Bombshells begin in discovery phase of AXANAR lawsuit! (Part 1)

Axaanr splash imageDid you hear the fireworks last Friday afternoon? If you were in the Central District Federal Courthouse of the 9th Circuit, you might have!

As expected, both the Axanar defense team at Winston & Strawn and the CBS/Paramount legal team at Loeb & Loeb filed their brief supplements to their recent 60-page Joint Stipulation document to compel discovery that was filed on September 29th.  The deadline for adding anything to the original filing was the end of business last Friday, and things came right down to the wire!

Y’see, both sides wanted to get the last word in, so each waited as long as possible to file their supplemental memorandum.  But in the end, Winston & Strawn waited just a teensy bit longer and managed to adjust their filing slightly to address a couple of the points that the plaintiffs included in their supplement.

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No use crying over spilled water – FFF down for a few days

12Late on Thursday night, I accidentally spilled water all over my keyboard. As you can probably guess, this was not appreciated by my computer all that much, and I won’t see the trusty ol’ gal again until late Monday or Tuesday at the earliest…along with a $500 repair bill.

For those commenting on the Friday legal filings in the AXANAR case and the bombshells contained in them–like Paramount not providing ANY emails for discovery or the late news that CBS does, apparently, own Star Trek (oh, well)–yes, I’ve seen all three filings.  And I plan to write up a blog on them just as soon as I have a decent keyboard again.  I just can’t whip out a 2,000-word article on an iPad keyboard!

In the meantime, I’m researching what I can (what does President Gerald Ford have to do with AXANAR???) and getting ready for our next dive into the legal swimming pool.

AXANAR LAWSUIT discovery phase heats up! (Part 2)

Axaanr splash image2I’m going to save some time and instead of summarizing Part 1, I recommend you read it, if you haven’t already.  You can also link to the 60-page Joint Stipulation document that contains both  Axanar‘s Motion to Compel the studios to deliver the remainder of the documentation they initially asked for, and also the studios’ responses to those requests.

When last we left off, we were up to the third category of documentation requested by the defense (and not fully provided by the plaintiff)…

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AXANAR LAWSUIT discovery phase heats up! (Part 1)

Axaanr splash imageIt’s “High Noon” in the Axanar lawsuit…and we haven’t even gotten to trial yet!  But that ominous background music is playing, and the two gunfighters are facing off for a showdown in the middle of a dusty street in a western town.  More specifically, the CBS and Paramount lawyers at Loeb & Loeb are facing down the Axanar lawyers at Winston & Strawn (and vice-versa!), and the entire case could be won or lost right now by either side–months before trial even begins–and both teams of lawyers know it!

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STONE TREK (interview with BRIAN MATTHEWS and WALLY FIELDS, part 2)

kirkstone-and-kirkstoneLast time, we featured the first part of our interview with Brian Matthews, the creator of the hilarious parody STONE TREK, and his amazing voice-over artist, Wally Fields.  Stone Trek is one of the most inspired, creative, and well-executed of all the Star Trek fan film mash-ups, a series of nine cartoon shorts created by Brian Mathews and released online using Adobe’s Flash software between 2000 and 2007.  Merging the two distinct television franchises into a completely fresh hybrid, Brian and his team took us where no caveman had gone before…

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STONE TREK (interview with BRIAN MATTHEWS and WALLY FIELDS, part 1)

cover-2When it comes to fan films, Star Trek is no stranger to mash-ups.  Fans have taken Star Trek into the Star Wars universe and vice versa. Kirk and Spock have met the 1960s TV Batman and Robin.  Heck, the Enterprise has even picked up Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz!  (I’ve already done a feature on Star Trek vs. Batman.  The others are coming.)

But by far (at least in my opinion) the most inspired, creative, and well-executed of all the Star Trek fan film mash-ups is Stone Trek, a series of nine cartoon shorts created by Brian Mathews and released online using Adobe’s Flash software between 2000 and 2007.

Stone Trek is NOT some silly crossover where the USS Enterprise travels back in time to Bedrock and Fred Flintstone beams up to meet Captain Kirk. Instead, it’s a complete hybrid of the two shows, an entirely new entity combining recognizable elements of both but ultimately emerging as something totally unique and original.

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With STAR TREK: DISCOVERY delayed, are FAN FILMS needed now more than ever?

discovery-under-constructionHave you ever sat in the audience for something–a concert, a stage play, or a seminar–and there was an unexpected delay?  Maybe there were technical problems, or maybe someone was stuck in traffic.  Whatever the reason, as things took longer and longer to get started, was the audience becoming impatient?

Maybe you were lucky and there was a host or a warm-up act who could keep the audience engaged and entertained during the delay.  Or maybe you weren’t lucky and just sat there waiting…and waiting…and waiting.  Maybe some people even got frustrated and walked out before the show started.

What does any of this have to do with Star Trek: Discovery and fan films?  Glad you asked!

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