Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Marathon Reprographics et al vs. Kevin Rowe et al - Update on Lawsuit

And, the beat goes on …..

In posts on the Reprographics 101 Blog, on September 24th and 25th, we mentioned a lawsuit that was filed, in July, by plaintiff Marathon Reprographics against defendants Kevin Rowe, Beth Swanson, TRC Digital Services, Inc., TRC, Inc., Iplantables, LLC, James Costello, and The Whiting Turner Contracting Co (the latter, a very large GC based in the Baltimore area). 

Marathon’s claim:  Copyright Infringement

Subsequent to the initial filing, Kevin Rowe (et al) filed a counterclaim against Marathon.

Case update (based on filings shown in Pacer.gov, last checked on Dec 17):

On November 15th, the United States Magistrate Judge ordered the parties to conduct a “settlement conference”, on December 10th, in a courtroom in Kansas City, MO.  In that order, it says:  The purpose of the settlement conference is to assist the parties in determining if settlement is appropriate. The conference will be conducted in such a manner as not to prejudice any party in the event settlement is not reached. To that end, all matters communicated to the undersigned in confidence will be kept confidential by her, and will not be disclosed to any other party, or to the trial judge.”

The settlement conference was held on December 10th and it lasted six hours.  Those attending and participating in the settlement conference included: 
Plaintiff: Shelley and Dominick Armato and Tim Harrison with counsel Kenneth N. Caldwell
Defendant Rowe: Kevin Rowe and Beth Swanson with counsel Thomas V. Bender, Defendant TRC Digital/TRC, Inc., and Costello: James Costello with counsel David L. Jacobson, Defendant The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company: Richard Vogel with counsel David Barnard appearing for Matthew Hubbard.
Apparently, the only issue resolved was that the case was settled as to defendant Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.  (In other words, Whiting-Turner is no longer involved in this lawsuit.)  Apparently, the other participants in this lawsuit failed to reach an agreement as to how to settle this lawsuit.
Subsequent to the settlement conference, Marathon did issue subpoenas to at least two different parties to “produce documents” associated with their discussions, dealings and correspondence with the defendants.  Those receiving subpoenas to produce documents include – Harkins Builders (a general contractor / developer based in Maryland) and the University of Maryland Construction and Facilities Procurement Department.

Blog Publisher’s comments:

I’m given to nostalgia.  Early in my career (our first company was based in the Washington-Baltimore area), I did business with Whiting-Turner, Harkins Builders, and the University of Maryland Construction and Facilities Procurement Department.  In addition, I’m a graduate of the University of Maryland.  I know Kevin Rowe personally.  I used to work with James (Jim) Costello.  Both are upstanding, very experienced gents.  Although I’ve never met the Armato’s, I have exchanged e-mails with Shelley Armato in the past (not in pertaining, in any way, to this lawsuit), and I know, from friends in the industry, that the Armato’s are fine, upstanding people.

As I said in a previous blog post about this case, “I guess is that the only “winners” in this case will be the attorneys who represent the Plaintiff and the attorneys who represent the various different Defendants named in Marathon’s case.  As is usually the case in most civil lawsuits!” 

By now, some 54 different documents have been filed with the Court in conjunction with this case, and there’s been at least one “mass” trip to the Court in Kansas City.  It’s not out of the realm of imagination to speculate that, so far, the parties involved in this case have already spent upwards of $50,000.00, if not more.  I hope that the participants in this case will soon find a way to settle/resolve their issues.  I’d be glad to offer my services as “mediator” for this case.

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