Update: Park West vs Fine Art Registry

The Detroit Free Press has been a good source of information on the litigation between Park West Gallery and Fine Art Registry.  Teri Franks of the Fine Art Registry also has a statement on the FAR website. The following excerpts are from Teri Franks at FAR and the Detroit Free Press article on Judge Zatkoff's recent ruling vacating the juries decision and ordering a new trial.  Each of the statements sheds additional information and commentary on the judges decision to vacate.

As was the case after the initial verdict, Park West stated they would appeal, attorneys for Fine Art Registry will appeal the judges decision to vacate the juries decision as well.

Some legal experts state in many of these situations the two parties typically will settle before a retrial.  Those involved in the case state they will not settle, so we can probably expect another trial.

Teri Franks of the Fine Art Registry states

Suffice it to state that it is my opinion and the opinion of many others that the Judge's order is utterly one-sided, colored, and exceedingly distorted. We will appeal seeking to have the Judge's ruling reversed and the jury verdict reinstated.

The truth is a defense to defamation. During the trial, I was precluded and in fact stripped of my right to present the truth regarding Park West Gallery's unfair and deceptive trade practices through relevant testimony and key evidence--nearly all of the damning evidence I had gathered about Park West Gallery over the last three years was stricken--all of the documents redacted so much so that one could not even recognize them from the original. All of it taken completely out of context by the Park West lawyers.

Much to my shock, it wasn't until after the trial that it was revealed to me that there might be a "special relationship" that exists or existed between Park West Gallery lawyer, Rodger Young and Judge Zatkoff. Given Zatkoff's recent ruling, it will now be necessary to follow up on the details of this disclosure, especially given my recent discovery of the relationship between Rodger Young and Michigan Attorney General, Mike Cox. (See my recent videos on the Mike Cox race for Governor and Rodger Young's involvement.)

In any event, eight jurors sacrificed 5 1/2 weeks of their time to render a verdict in this case. It was the right verdict and it should not have been disturbed--not by Zatkoff anyway. Learn what a juror had to say about the Judge's order in my video that will be published soon. Why have a jury trial at all when a Judge can instantly render the verdict void with the flick of his pen. It's insanity and it's an outrage for the jurors who served and for the Michigan taxpayer who footed the bill for this trial.
To read the full statement by Teri Franks of FAR, click HERE.

From the Detroit Free Press

His decision thrilled Park West founder Albert Scaglione and his lawyers, Rodger Young and Jaye Quadrozzi of Southfield.

"We felt it was an egregious case of misconduct on the part of the defendants and the defendant's lawyers. We are delighted the court has agreed with us and look forward to a new trial," Young said, adding that he's confident of winning the case on retrial.

Payton called the decision unfair and vowed to appeal.

"We think the decision is certainly one-sided and doesn't consider all of what went on at the trial," he said. "We made mistakes, but so did they, and the judge overlooked them."

Franks launched an Internet crusade against Park West in 2007 after hearing from customers who said Park West overcharged them for mostly worthless artwork.

She has posted more than 200 articles and videos and helped customers obtain more than $2 million in refunds.

Scaglione sued her for defamation, saying she cost him $46 million in losses and fueled more customer suits. Several lawsuits are pending in Oakland County and Washington state.

In late April, a jury in Zatkoff's case unanimously rejected Scaglione's defamation claims against Frank and awarded her $500,000 for trademark infringement. The jury said Park West created a Web site with a name similar to that of Frank's to lure away her users and berate her.

Zatkoff's decision voided the $500,000 damage award.

It's unusual for a judge to throw out a jury verdict, especially after a costly 5 1/2 -week trial, legal experts said.

Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia, said judges will do it if they think the lawyers' conduct has unfairly influenced the jury.

Michael Downey, a practicing lawyer who teaches legal ethics at Washington University law school in St. Louis, said it's not unusual for such cases to settle before retrial.

But Young said he and Park West have no intention of settling.
To read the full Detroit Free Press article, click HERE.

No comments: