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Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by tongascrew, Jul 26, 2006.
many thanks for your help.
The deadline for any change of pleas (7 days before the 4th Dec CMC) has now passed. I have searched online to see what if anything has been filed but have not managed to find anything. Do you know anything?
The amended pleadings are not public documents and only the Court judgements are posted online. Friday is crunch day for Joe as he has not paid the costs awarded against him but still wants to participate in his fight against the HoA. His argument is a classic Joe argument insofar as he claims the London High Court should not have had the hearing on title first but should have determined the validity of the HoA first and then determined the title. His rationale is that he was winning in Ohio and the Ohio Court had only stayed the proceeding awaiting the outcome on the HoA but his motivation is obvious
The reality is that at the previous case management hearing, all the parties agreed (except Joe) to decide the title first in order to simplify the subsequent proceeding and that is what happened. The problem for Joe is that the outcome has seriously damaged his negotiating position and his ability to keep things going in Ohio and we can expect yet more "game changing plays". The wise words of the Ohio Judge keep ringing in my ears that "Joe is in over his head" and is only depleting his share of the proceeds by racking up yet more costs against him.
The other interesting point for Friday will be Wexner as he has clear title to take his car and now looks like he is claiming damages from the wrong people. Wexner continues to be Joes lifeboat and as long as he holds out that Joe has a claim then Joe has an ally with deep pockets. The motivation for Wexner or more to the point Stu Carpenter, to keep Joe afloat remains a complete mystery.
See you Friday
What has come out is that Stu Carpenter (Copely Motors, Land Rover and Porsche dealer specialists) was more than just a paddle waver at the auction. It will no doubt be explained at the Court hearing but it looks like he was fully aware of Joes dispute on the HoA well before the alleged "revelation" by Ray Lawson the week after the sale. It has also been suggested that Stu had his flight booked to Goodwood before even the Bonhams auction catalogue he claimed to be solely reliant on was printed.
How long until it's all back in Ohio courts?
Spring in London
Summer in Ohio
Autumn in Belgium
Winter in Florida
Nice, I could get used to that.
Another day in court.
I was there with Kim (Enigma Racing) who could only stay for the first hour so we agreed I would report on proceedings.
In court Bonhams, Swaters, Wexner, Zanotti and Gardner were all represented by counsel, and Chris Gardner was also there in person. Joe Ford was by voice link from Florida.
The hearing started at 12 noon .
The first issue was a plea by Zanotti's counsel to extend the period for amendments to pleas. I have to say that I didn't understand this as a previous judgement ruled that he had no ownership claim. Anyway that's irrelevant as Judge Flaux ruled it out of order.
Next were the various amendments to pleadings in light of the judgement giving Swaters title. It would seem that all parties were in agreement except Ford/Lawson who contest the HOA.
Ford/Lawson filed many amendments. Over the course of 45 minutes Judge Flaux agreed with Bonham's counsel and dismissed probably 90% of them despite despite some fractious interventions from Ford.
Ford tried to introduce supposedly new evidence from Anderson which he claimed was sent to Bonhams in Nov 13 which Bonhams suppressed. Flaux told him in no uncertain terms that under English law that is an accusation of fraud - a serious matter - which Ford has to consider carefully.
At 1pm the court rose for 30 minutes
In the second session Gardner’s Summary Judgement submissions were discussed. Flaux fairly quickly dismissed the case for judgement on the recision for frustration of the HOA as he said it was not on a point of law and that it would be wrong to make a judgement without Ford being in court. Gardner’s counsel accepted that.
However on the recision for misrepresentation the argument was that unless all parties in the HOA have misrepresented in a multi party contract then there is no misrepresentation. So it all hinged on whether Gardner had misrepresented. Of course Joe tried to claim that Gardner had misrepresented after the auction and Flaux had to continually point out to him that was irrelevant to the performance of the HOA. Flaux went to great pains to point out to Ford that he really is out of his depth and should be properly represented. He pointed out that even though Gardner is self representing he had still employed counsel, and praised Gardner for being sensible and polite (his exact words) in his communications with him - unlike Ford.
Ford attempted to persuade Flaux that there was more evidence to come showing Gardner had misrepresented. Flaux asked him if he had ever Read Charles Dickens' David Copperfield in which one of the characters, Mr Micawber, delays decisions hoping something else will turn up. Flaux says that Ford's argument is a Micawber argument. Not sure how much Dickens Ford has read
Bonham's counsel say they don't understand Ford’s position in persisting with pleading HOA invalid as if he wins that Swaters has ownership rights and Ohio gets nothing, if he drops that claim Ohio get 50%, which seems the commercially sensible option. They conclude Ford’s strategy is to get it back to Ohio.
Ford continues to argue that he should be allowed to wait till after appeal etc.
Flaux tells him he’s got to make up his mind now, he can’t go back to Ohio, and he can’t wait till after appeal. Ford does not comment.
So it came to judgement. Half way through it Ford interrupted and Flaux was much displeased. However, as he is required to do when someone is self representing, he allowed Ford to make his point, which once again was irrelevant, and then told Ford to be quiet as he continued delivering his judgement.
Flaux judged that the recision to the HOA due to misrepresentation be struck off
Costs were awarded against Ford/Lawson
Gardner’s costs £18K - £5K awarded
Bonhams costs £15,500 - £7,500 awarded
So Ford/Lawson have another £12,500 added to the £430,00.00 (I think) already awarded against them which they can’t pay.
Final discussions were about future case management. All agreed another CMC late February after witness statements circulated and discussed. Judge Flaux stated that he will no longer be acting in this court (moving on to other things) but will make sure he is available late February and also for the trial.
Ended shortly before 2.30.
I do have some more notes if anyone has questions.
Hello all you lawyers who are following this thread, yes I know you are! If you want to correct me (because it is all very complicated and I no doubt got bits wrong) then do please pm me an d I'll correct what I have written.
I suspect you won't.
See you all in February
Thanks so much for the update, Francis.
My take on Zanotti is that Bonhams agreed to pay him two million to waive his claim to ownership, and he's suing on the basis of that agreement, not on the ground that his claim was objectively true. Maybe this is a distinction only a weasly lawyer can understand, e.g. Charles Dickens, or myself.
I am afraid I don't understand the Chris Gardner motion with respect to misrepresentation. The context would be that Ford and Lawson allege that Gardner misrepresented something to them, but I can't think of or remember what it is that Gardner might have misrepresented to Ford and Lawson.
Also beyond understanding is the position of Wexner and Copley/Carpenter. The Other Site often exaggerates and sometimes gets things wrong, but Max Vito's take on Wexner is the only one I've seen that fits the known facts.
I agree on all points Bill. Flaux certainly agreed on point 2 in his judgement
Recall that OJ felt that Gardner was in collusion with the Swaters team, prior to the auction....not sure of the "why" or how that would have benefitted his position under the HOA.
Whether or not that is true, and whether that had any effect on the auction, Joe has offered no evidence to the court to support that, as Judge Flaux pointed out to Joe on numerous occasions.
Incidentally - I was also told by someone at the court (I have no documentary proof) that Joe's appeal to the Appeal Court (which is just an appeal against Flaux's refusal to allow an appeal - not an appeal against Flaux's judgement) contains accusations that Judge Flaux is a bully and is biased. I have no idea if this is correct or not as I haven't seen any papers, but if it is I question whether it is a sensible tactic to question the integrity of an English High Court Judge in such a way. Joe just doesn't seem to understand that English law is based on presentation and cross examination of factual evidence.
It occurs to me that the misrepresentation that Ford and Lawson were alleging was their silly fraud in the inducement attack on the HoA. Regular readers may recall that Ford and Lawson seek to avoid the HoA -- and the June 2014 auction sale -- on two grounds. One is that Florence Swaters wrote two emails to an unidentified Bonhams employee -- one before and one after the formation of the HoA in March 2013 -- sharing the common sense suggestion that a September 2013 sale should be postponed if the extra time would increase the proceeds. The other is that the HoA expired by its own terms when no auction took place in September 2013.
If my guess is correct, it would be the former line of attack that was the subject of the Gardner summary judgment motion that Justice Flaux granted on December 4. The order to grant the motion would mean that the London Court has ruled that the HoA was -- and is -- valid, enforceable, and binding on all parties, as a settlement and release of all the parties' substantive litigation claims.
The Lawson-Ford theory that the HoA expired in September 2013 is now therefore the only contested issue remaining with respect to the HoA. With respect to this issue Ford continues to aim his AK-47 at his own foot, set on full automatic, to what end no one knows.
Thank you Francis for the comprehensive coverage of the hearing.
This case baffles me. Wexner no longer wants the car, Florence Swaters now has the title and the only game plan Joe seems to have is to continue to appeal everything and ignore any Court order he does not like. Apart from being a Mr Micawber, Justice Flaux also called Joe legally illiterate and strongly recommended he employed legal Council to explain to him basic contract law and his current position vis a vis the Heads of Agreement. In true Joe style he has constructed the most ridiculous argument that the HoA was in fact two agreements, one he can accept because it gives him a share of the proceeds and one he rejects because it lifts the stay in Ohio. Another Dickensian reference of "having his cake and eating it"
Not just an AK47 shooting himself in the foot but also a case of forgetting the comments and advise of another learned Judge he has annoyed.
From the transcript of the January 20 hearing
Judge Martin : But as I looked at it at the time, I didn't see a whole lot -- your client -- if I had a view from this thing, I would say Ford's in over -- if I had to draw a conclusion about his case solely on these documents, I would say Ford's in over his head; he's making a play that he doesn't really know how to make; this is a big -- his big score; as opposed to just taking a piece, Ford's trying to parlay this whole thing into the big score he's dreamed of his entire life.
If I had to judge this case solely on these documents, that doesn't -- that's irrelevant to me. That's -- their feelings about that are irrelevant to the case, okay. It just is.
The other revelation from the hearing was the appearance of Mr Anderson (contributer to this thread SEESPOTRUN ).
We learnt that immediately prior to the hearing on title he wrote to the Court making a claim to the ownership 0384AM. Justice Flaux, ignored this claim as being unsubstantiated but we also heard that Anderson recently turned up at the offices of Wexner and left a dossier of papers outlining his case. This claim appears to have been dismissed by everyone except Joe who was shouting foul play and making yet another allegation of fraud (an ever growing list) against Bonhams who he claims were originally aware of this on the 7th November 2013 and deliberately concealed it from him prior to entering into an amendment to the HoA to proceed with the auction without him.
The facts of the Anderson claim are not disclosed but I have read the posts by SEESPOTRUN and have found several references to a claim that the car was not sold but shipped to Michael Kruch for restoration and maybe this is a clue
Post 3417 on 4th July 2015
Post 3447 18th July 2015
As for Joe and his recent protest, you only have to read the exchange of emails between he and Anderson to see what he thought of him and his claim.
Actually Kim, to be exact - I think it was the Bonhams' counsel that used the “legally illiterate” phrase and I think it was that Joe's argument was “legally illiterate” rather than Joe himself, but Justice Flaux did agree with that. It's a fine point, but I think it is important because if Flaux had accused Joe of being “legally illiterate” (rather than the point being “legally illiterate” he could possibly be accused by Joe of being biased. He didn't actually directly do that. Otherwise I agree with what you have written.
The two pleadings that Ford/Lawson made on the HOA are on misrepresentation and frustration. As I wrote, the misrepresentation one has been dismissed by a summary judgement. The frustration one will go to trial.
You are exactly right. The title of your post tells anyone who cares to read it all they need to know.
It was made abundantly clear to me in August of 1990 who Mr. Guy Anderson was and what his role in the affair was.
Anyone who has followed his posts in this thread and the nature of his hiding then later disclosing his identity can connect the dots themselves.
Fair point Francis and thank you for the correction. Justice Flaux has indeed shown great restraint and fairness towards Joe. My general point is for Joe to step back and assess where he is and where this case is heading.
He currently has 25% of the proceeds on the table that is being eroded by the cost awards against him. Objectively, what is the likelihood of Joe getting more from a car that the High Court of London says belongs to Florence Swaters ?
Hey Joe. Congrats! Given all the disparaging comments, foibles and sometimes fantasy conjecture that are missing from "the other site" -- glad to see it was removed and I'm assuming you had something to do with that fact. Their stating of the actual documented facts was one thing or sharing of legal documentation (when permissible), but pure character assassination or intentful defamation of family members is another (which is what that site unfortunately had become).
and of course that would never happen on this site