Axanar Motion Objections

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Jespah (Janet Gershen-Siegel) has been a fan of Star Trek since probably the first set of reruns of The Original Series. She has an eclectic background, including an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, a JD (she practiced insurance defense law for a few years in New York and is a lot happier since she retired from that in 1990), and a MS in Interactive Media, which is a real-live social media degree.

Along the way, she has about a decade and a half of data analysis work under her belt and currently works as a blog coordinator for a high-end wedding blog and also as a blogger for hire (topics include diverse subjects like ad retargeting but also the nursing job market), and has a shingle out to work on social media presence, with a focus on independent authors as she is also a published science fiction author. Plus, she has been a community manager for a large Q & A website since 2002, which is before that existed as a job title.

She was raised on Long Island so, when she is riled up, the accent gallops back out and she can sound like Fran Drescher with a law degree. She lives in Boston with her husband of over 20 years and more computers than they need.

She can always be bribed with pie.

Axanar Motion Objections

The Axanar Motion Objections (to the various Motions in Limine by both parties) have arrived. Fortunately, even though there are a lot of documents, they mostly do not require a lot of analysis. Because we have all read these arguments already. Hence I will not comment much, unless it is something truly of interest. However, as always, if you do not understand something or want me to go over it again, please feel free to contact me and I will endeavor to answer you as quickly as I can.

Axanar Motion Objections

We will start with defense.

Response to Axanar Plaintiffs Motions in Limine to Exclude Evidence #6

Axanar Motion Objections – Defense Objection to Plaintiff MIL #6

Defense presents a rather novel theory that the plaintiffs are seeking statutory damages (I don’t believe they had decided yet, as of the writing of this blog post) and so a pattern of acceptance of fan films would go toward the question of willfulness. More likely, a pattern of acceptance would go toward an estoppel claim, and that’s never mentioned in the defense response. Is the counterclaim still going to be pursued? Check your secret decoder rings, kids!

In addition, plaintiffs sought to exclude testimony and documents regarding Star Trek fan films. Plaintiffs wanted to exclude this information because (a) defense said they were not a fan film and (b) whatever action plaintiffs took (or didn’t take) as against other productions would be immaterial. Plaintiffs added:

… an analysis of each of these fan films would result in the conducting of a miniature
trial regarding each fan film, or dozens of trials within a trial.

Response to Axanar Plaintiffs Motions in Limine to Exclude Evidence #7

Axanar Motion Objections – Defense Objection to Plaintiff MIL #7

And here, defense presents the idea that if the jury sees defendant Peters once worked with CBS, surely his actions would be seen as innocent. Except that could potentially also show that (a) Peters knew enough about licensing to understand he would require a license to continue (and his legal training should also bear that out) and (b) Peters’s other emails would be fair game, including those where he kept sending notes to Mr. Van Citters and to Liz Kalodner, telling them of perceived infringements. Again, this would go to knowing infringement on the defendant’s part.

Furthermore, plaintiffs sought to exclude any testimony and documentation regarding defendant Peters’s unrelated work on Star Trek props.

Response to Axanar Plaintiffs Motions in Limine to Exclude Evidence #8

Axanar Motion Objections – Defense Objection to Plaintiff MIL #8

Defense’s argument is that subsequent statements are admissible because plaintiffs seek to include some post-lawsuit documents. And I have to say, the defense may have something here. However, it may not go the way they want it to, as the defense released considerably more documents (tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, etc.) since the start of the litigation. And many of those documents are problematic at best. A full review of all of the defendant’s post-lawsuit communications would reveal anger, conflicting statements, and a donor ‘store’ still selling unlicensed merchandise, even today.

And then in this one, plaintiffs sought to exclude –

all testimony and documents regarding events after the filing of the original
complaint in this litigation, including but not limited to, any reaction to this
litigation by fans or others, any comments on the litigation, any fan reaction to
guidelines, any statements by third parties such as J.J. Abrams or Justin Lin
regarding the litigation or fan films, any post-litigation scripts, and any financial
information prepared by Defendants after that date.

Response to Axanar Plaintiffs Motions in Limine to Exclude Evidence #9

Axanar Motion Objections – Defense Objection to Plaintiff MIL #9

In this instance, I suspect defense may prevail, and Mr. Tregellis may end up qualified as an expert. This does not mean he cannot be impeached on the stand. However, he will likely (hey, I’ve been wrong before) be qualified as an expert at trial.

In addition, plaintiffs sought to exclude the testimony of Christian Tregellis. This included the expert report, another exhibit coming from the Defense Summary Judgment motion.

Response to Axanar Plaintiffs Motions in Limine to Exclude Evidence #10

Axanar Motion Objections – Defense Objection to Plaintiff MIL #10

Also, I suspect defense will prevail here, and Professor Jenkins may end up qualified as an expert. However, I also believe he will be impeached at trial or at least any time he attempts to draw a legal conclusion, that a plaintiff objection would be readily sustained.

Furthermore, plaintiffs sought to exclude the testimony of proposed expert Henry Jenkins.

Stern Defense Declaration and Attached Exhibits

In addition, attorney Amy Stern filed a declaration which accompanied some new exhibits.

Stern Defense Declaration

And here are the exhibits.

Exhibit 1 – Excerpt from Bill Hunt Deposition

The main interesting part is on page 2, about the script not being ready.

Exhibit 2 – Kalodner emails from 2010

Exhibit 3 – Kalodner emails from 2008

Both of these exhibits seem to be presented solely for a few fleeting positive things Ms. Kalodner said about defendant Peters. However, this may be another instance where admitting these items could come back to bite the defense. After all, given the nine-year-old connection between the parties, it makes it harder and harder to believe defendant did not know about licensing and infringement.

Exhibit 4 – Van Citters emails from 2010

Finally, this exhibit is most noteworthy because of the invitation by Mr. Van Citters, to Mr. Peters, inviting the latter to blog about props. While relevancy is at issue, yet again this could be the sort of document which could harm defense as it could show a familiarity with licensing.

Now let’s move onto the plaintiffs.

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Jespah (Janet Gershen-Siegel) has been a fan of Star Trek since probably the first set of reruns of The Original Series. She has an eclectic background, including an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, a JD (she practiced insurance defense law for a few years in New York and is a lot happier since she retired from that in 1990), and a MS in Interactive Media, which is a real-live social media degree. Along the way, she has about a decade and a half of data analysis work under her belt and currently works as a blog coordinator for a high-end wedding blog and also as a blogger for hire (topics include diverse subjects like ad retargeting but also the nursing job market), and has a shingle out to work on social media presence, with a focus on independent authors as she is also a published science fiction author. Plus, she has been a community manager for a large Q & A website since 2002, which is before that existed as a job title. She was raised on Long Island so, when she is riled up, the accent gallops back out and she can sound like Fran Drescher with a law degree. She lives in Boston with her husband of over 20 years and more computers than they need. She can always be bribed with pie.

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