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May 2011 - HTWF rescinds Settlement Agreement

 

In the recent documents filed with the court we see that HTWF Board of Directors notified MJ Estate that they are rejecting & rescinding the Settlement Agreement stating that Melissa Johnson wasn't authorized to sign such agreement without asking the board of directors.

 

- Estate and HTWF began discussing a settlement on April 16th. They signed a binding agreement on April 19th - the first day of trial. 

- Judge gave them a month ( May 19th) to file a status report about the settlement (how they are working on the tasks required by the settlement).

 

- Today Estate filed a document with the court saying that they wouldn't be able to file the status report on May 19th because 

 

---- HTWF hasn't done anything they are supposed to do 

---- HTWF breached the confidentiality as some items were also copied to Howard Mann

---- They received an email from Mel Wilson of HTWF on May 13 saying there was a board of directors meeting on May 6th and that Board of Directors reject and rescind the Settlement Agreement as Melissa Johnson didn't have the permission and authority to act on behalf of Board of Directors (Yes Katherine and Joe are a part of board of directors).

- MJ Estate is planning on filing a motion by May 19th asking the judge to enforce the Settlement Agreement. There will be a hearing about it if possible by mid- June. 

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HTWF lawyer Pease asks to withdraw from counsel due to his and HTWF's disagreement to how to proceed. 

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June 2011

A new lawyer filed a motion to be the new lawyer of HTWF. This is extremely important for HTWF because they cannot continue in this case without a lawyer and if they don't have a lawyer they would have a default judgement against them. The new lawyer is a personal injury and labor law lawyer that took an intellectual property class in law school so he's not really an expert in this matter.  Like Leslie mentioned he says that HTWF is assembling a team of pro-bono and contingency lawyers that are expert in the area.

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June 2011 - Case closed with permanent 

injunction

 

I'll let you know what we know and let you form your own conclusions.  The order and everything else releated to the motion to enforce is sealed - meaning that we have no access to the documents and cannot read them. However Pacer system shows us the name of the documents that are filed - this is the only information that we have. 

 

 

 

Date terminated means that the [B]case is closed[/B]. It's the same day that the judge made a decision.

 

There's an order on the motion to enforce and there's also a permanent injunction. 

 

The rest is just an interpretation - so please do not take it as fact or correct

- As the case is closed and it's not going to trial, we think that HTWF wasn't successful in totally rejecting and rescinding the settlement. 

- The outcome cannot be told for certain from what we can see, it could be the settlement enforced, it could be a modified settlement is enforced, a new settlement or previous temporary injunction has been made permanent. All are the possibilities.

- Permanent injunction might also mean that the judge had the purpose of compelling a party to perform in a certain way.

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August 2011 

 

 

HTWF has hired a new lawyer in August 26th. and they are trying to file an appeal. 

 

As of now they are asking for an extension to file an appeal. If judge allows it , it would mean that they'll be filling an appeal.

 

 

As reported earlier HTWF has a new lawyer and asking for an extension to file an appeal and a relief from judgement. 

 

The recent and unsealed document shows us what we thought was true - the judge had enforced the settlement agreement. 

 

Now HTWF is asking the judge to reverse that order because their previous lawyer (Edward Pease) "breached his duties of loyalty, confidentiality and competence" in a "newly discovered evidence". Whatever evidence they are talking about is currently not public pending judge's determination - meaning judge can chose to seal them or make them public. 

 

if you remember previously they had argued that Melissa didn't have the power to sign for the charity and it needed board of directors approval. Apparently that argument didn't fly and now they are blaming the old lawyer for tricking Melissa Johnson into signing the settlement. 

 

There's a hearing set for October 24.

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Still most of the documents are being filed under the seal although a few is public record. There was an interesting declaration by Melissa Johnson. First let's establish that it wasn't sealed. 

 

 

This declaration had a series of emails between Melissa Johnson and her former lawyer Edgar Pease- which turned out to be highly interesting. 

 

On these emails we see that Melissa Johnson accused Pease of sending a list of her domains including her personal domains to MJ Estate and she says that's the reason that he was fired. Pease tells her that the list of the domains had already been given to the court during discovery phase. Pease is adamant that he did not send any documents that wasn't already public record and/ or filed with the court. 

 

We also learn a little more about the settlement. Like I predicted (if you remember it), it turns out that Melissa was given monetary compensation for settlement. 

As you can see MJ Estate had offered to pay all the expenses Melissa had per settlement.

 

In another document filed by HTWF we learn that Estate didn't pay the expenses because they believed the numbers they were submitted was inflated. 

 

 

From Edgar Pease's email we also learn that the TMZ story of Melissa getting a chair in the board of directors of HTWF was true but it didn't go as planned for Melissa either. 

 

Pease also writes in his email  the following "I will never work for on your behalf again nor will I ever work on behalf of any entities to which you or Mel are involved or related".

 

I personally do not think Pease and Melissa's relationship got any better because while asking for rejection of the court judgement / file an appeal Melissa is blaming Pease (her claims are sealed). All we can see is below:

 

There is substantial evidence, both prior to and subsequent to the Court’s ruling, that Defendants’ then-attorney had abdicated his duties to his client, and was actively attempting to undermine Defendants’ case.

 

After these both HTWF and MJ Estate had filed other documents. It turns out that the Judge decided to revise her judgement and asked feedback from both sides. 

 

HTWF argued that Melissa Johnson's personal property should be left out of the judgement. Interestingly they say the trademarks she registered on her own name is her personal property. Example of these trademarks are MJ, Make the change and HTWF. 

 

As you can guess MJ Estate is arguing that those are not her "personal" property but the stuff she trademarked for HTWF and therefore should be transferred to them. 

 

Now if you ask me what the judge decided about the extension of time to file an appeal and what did the judge decide about the "personal" property. I don't know. The documents are sealed. 

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Nov 2011 - HTWF filed an appeal to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The schedule is set as follows: 

 

Mediation Questionnaire due on 11/29/2011. 

Transcript ordered by 12/22/2011. 

Transcript due 03/21/2012. 

Appellants Heal The World Foundation, United Fleet opening brief due 04/30/2012. 

Appellees John G. Branca, John McClain, Triumph International, Inc. answering brief due 05/30/2012. 

Appellant's optional reply brief is due 14 days after service of the answering brief. 

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Jan 2012 - HTWF's lawyer has filed a motion with the court asking the judge to allow him to withdraw as the attorney for HTWF. He says he hasn't been paid by HTWF & Melissa Johnson for months.

 

Judge approved HTWF lawyer's request to withdraw. HTWF has 21 days to find new counsel or their appeal can be automatically dismissed

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Feb 2012 - HTWF finds a new lawyer. The appeal process is still ongoing.