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Wipe Out! [updated]

Well he hopped in his car
And he hollered, "I'll be headin' to court now!"
But if you drive in LA,
You know you wish you had an armored escort now.
He was 13 minutes late,
The judge dismissed him with a sniff and a snort.  Now

There's no more
Fun fun fun
Since hizzonner threw their lawsuit away-ayay!

Los Angeles attorney Danny Morin represents The Beach Boys' company, Brother Records, in a lawsuit against the owner of a warehouse where Beach Boys memorabilia was stored.  According to the suit, warehouse owner Allan Gaba took a large quantity of memorabilia without permission, claimed it was his own, and with the help of his friend Roy Sciacca arranged to sell it at auction in the UK. 

Brother Records filed suit on the band's behalf in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles and the case was scheduled for a final pretrial hearing on December 11.  Unfortunately for attorney Morin, he arrived for the hearing 13 minutes late, only to discover that highly controversial U.S. District Judge Manuel Real had ordered the case dismissed

The entertainment gossip site reports on the case here.  TMZ also posts a copy of a separate Complaint [PDF] that was filed in state court six days before the federal court's dismissal.


Matters are actually somewhat worse for the Beach Boys and Morin than the story reveals.

Thanks to some speedy but intrepid online investigative work, a fool in the forest can reveal EXCLUSIVELY that in August defendant Sciacca filed a counterclaim seeking damages from Brother Records.  When attorney Morin arrived late, not only did Judge Real dismiss the Beach Boys' complaint against all of the defendants, he also ordered entry of Brother Records' default on Sciacca's counterclaim and scheduled a hearing for January 8 in which Sciacca is to prove the amount of damages he should recover against Brother Records.

Attorney Morin filed an immediate ex parte request to set aside the dismissal and default on December 11, which Judge Real summarily denied on December 14.  Yesterday (December 27) Morin filed a request to have a formal motion for relief from the dismissal and default heard on an expedited basis or, alternatively, to delay the hearing on Sciacca's damages pending resolution of the dismissal issue.  Judge Real has not issued the seemingly inevitable denial of ruled on that application at this writing.



UPDATE [011207]:  A check back into the Court's docket reveals that Judge Real found himself in a giving mood on January 8, 2007, and granted attorney Morin's motion for relief from the dismissal, etc.  Judge Real set aside the dismissal and vacated the hearing on the default judgment, on condition that Morin pay the attorneys' fees incurred by opposing counsel when they appeared and he -- so far as Judge Real was concerned -- did not.  The final pretrial conference is back on, the Beach Boys' case is now rescheduled for trial on March 27, and in Mr. Morin's office there is, no doubt, much rejoicing.


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