Weinberger Law Newsletter – February 2021
Time to Address Your Legal Affairs Again
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is not nearly over, of late, we have been seeing our clients easing up on their own restrictions and beginning to focus again on getting on top of their legal affairs. During 2020, many legal issues, particularly those pertaining to disputes between business partners and contracts, were – for the most part – allowed to fester.
Now though, we are seeing much more proactivity, and clients are no longer allowing business toothaches to turn into root canals, so to speak. If you have been staring down the barrel of a legal issue for some time, or you have been telling yourself that it is time you address a certain matter, now is the time to do it – and we are here to help bring resolution to such situations. Fingers crossed that 2021 continues to be a year of improvement and awakening! Be well, and know we are here for you.
I Have Been Served with A Lawsuit – What Do I Do Now?
The Definitive Steps You Should Take
Being served with a lawsuit is a jarring experience, especially if you have not been involved in litigation before. Maybe you were expecting the lawsuit, maybe you were not, but in either case, the experience can be very intimidating and make you feel as though you are on your heels i.e., on the defensive before the lawsuit even gets going. When you have been served with a lawsuit, there are definitive steps that you can and should take right away to even the playing field quickly and protect your rights.
“Should I call my attorney to ask this question or should I just wait and see what happens…?”
We have all wondered this before. Choosing between saving money or being legally protected is a tough choice that might even be necessary, but it could be extremely harmful for you and your business.
Luckily, you don’t have to make the hard choice any longer!
Fractional General Counsel from Weinberger Law is a service based on a flexible fee structure with a flat monthly fee. We provide you with an attorney who is familiar with the legal concerns of businesses and available whenever you need legal support.
Whopping 9-Figure Default Judgment Leaves Defendant Frozen Out of Relief
In this month’s white paper (“I Have Been Served”), we emphasized the importance of not ignoring a lawsuit. Now we’re going to share the story of a company that did so – quite deliberately and blatantly – then went crying to the court for relief when a default judgment was entered against them and their assets frozen to facilitate collection.
Nagravision SA is part of a larger corporate group and creates and improves conditional access systems for satellite TV and digital cable. Basically, their solutions don’t allow you to steal channels like you used to be able to do in your college apartment complex by punching into your neighbor’s setup. Gotech International Tech Ltd is a China-based business that provides set-top boxes and digital televisions. You may very well have used one of their devices at some point, seeing as they send their products worldwide. Seeing the connection between the two companies? You need a receiver (like what Gotech offers) to pick up those 500 channels (that Nagravision makes sure you can only do with a paid subscription). Unfortunately, something went haywire in this marriage of digital technology, and in early 2018, Nagravision filed a lawsuit against Gotech, in the US 5th Circuit Court, believing the defendant violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), as well as the Federal Communications Act.
Gotech knowingly and intentionally ignored the lawsuit (remember, we told you… that’s a big no-no!), and the court issued a default judgment to Nagravision for $100 million. That’s $100,000,000 – 9 figures – a truly gigantic chunk of change that will put a dent in the ol’ bank account and definitely a scowl on the face. We haven’t been able to find information on how exactly the deliberate nature of not answering the lawsuit was so clear to the court. What we do know is Nagravision next started the process of collecting that money through a Hong Kong legal system filing and was able to get Gotech’s assets to be frozen.
Deciding ridiculously late in the game that maybe they should actually pay some attention to the Nagravision matter, the set-top box and digital television set provider filed a motion for relief from the $100 million judgment. After a denial, and an appeal by Gotech, the 5th Circuit doubled-down, stating the request for relief wasn’t going to happen because the company’s purposeful avoidance of responding to the lawsuit (in the first place) made them ineligible for relief.
We’re paraphrasing here, but we imagine the next attempt for Gotech to keep that judgment money in their account went something like this: “Let’s try… hold on, it’s coming to me… Nagravision wasn’t even the entity who could bring those claims against us. Maybe that will fly!” Gotech was struck down again with this angle, on the grounds that Nagravision did indeed experience negative effects that were traceable back to Gotech’s transgressions, which allegedly included misusing and circumventing the plaintiff’s security features and technology. A few more back-and-forths with the court ensued, as Gotech tried to argue improper jurisdiction, but the default judgment recipient could not meet the burden of proof showing in which jurisdiction the original case should’ve been brought.
What a colossal waste of time, energy, and resources (monetary and otherwise). The tension in Gotech’s conference room must’ve rivaled the best TV dramas, once news of the $100 million came down, and subsequent attempts to get relief from the judgment failed. Think about it this way – would you want to be the someone on their side that had the bright idea of not responding to the lawsuit because that individual was convinced they would get out of it due to a jurisdiction issue? We sure wouldn’t! There’s a good chance that the judgment could’ve been less (if there was going to be one at all) had Gotech simply answered the original complaint, or sought the possibility of mediation or arbitration, or done almost anything other than bury their heads in the sand.
|I recommended Attorney Weinberger to My Family
When they had an ongoing property dispute. Mr. Weinberger handled their manner with absolute professionalism and integrity. Any questions my family had been quickly answered. I would recommend him highly to anyone who needs legal representation.
| I trust Him
I hired Brian to help me with an office lease I was considering. He responded with the information I needed quickly, professionally, and clearly. He was able to provide me with the right questions to ask, the right steps to take, and he was able to set my mind at ease during the entire process. I signed the lease, and have been happy in my office, largely because of Brian’s work.
If you’re looking for an all-star attorney with the knowledge and know-how of a real champion this is your guy. I hired Mr. Weinberger and now I realize it was the best choice I’ve ever made with an attorney. The guy goes above and beyond for his clients. I highly recommend Brian to anyone who wants to be properly represented.
|A Winning Strategy
I have known Brian in excess of 4 years I was evolved in a family lawsuit that was ongoing for 5 years, my attorney all of the sudden took a medical leave and closed his practice. Well, of course, I was without representation! Brian was very willing to take 5 years of documentation and pour through it. Brian spent day`s night`s and weekend`s to come up with a winning strategy. Brian accomplished this in less than 90 Days. Brian is a very accomplished attorney. He has a tremendous command of the law and is highly respected by his peers. Thank you, Brian, for bringing home the VICTORY. I highly recommend Brian.
-Stan and Ricky
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