This started out as a straightforward trademark dispute. Now, the Taubman
Company is trying not only to get from me a domain name that they think should be theirs, they're
trying to shut down this website so I won't be able to tell the world about the underhanded tactics to
which they've resorted.
Act 1: I Register "ShopsAtWillowBend.com"
[May 29, 1999]
I'm excited to learn that the Taubman Company is going to
build a shopping mall, to be called "The Shops at Willow Bend," just a few miles from my home in
Dallas. I decide to create a "fan" website with information about the mall. Taubman has already
TheShopsAtWillowBend.com, so I register ShopsAtWillowBend.com for my site.
"Why should you have to
hire a lawyer just because
some big company wants to
take something from you?"
Act 2: Taubman Demands My Domain
[May 17, 2001]
Nearly two years later, I receive a letter from Julie
Greenberg of Gifford, Krass, Groh, Sprinkle, Anderson & Citkowski, Taubman's law firm. Ms. Greenberg
advises me that my use of ShopsAtWillowBend.com violates trademark laws and the Anti-Cybersquatting
Act. She threatens legal action if I do not immediately transfer the domain to her client.
Act 3: I Ask Taubman for Details
[May 24, 2001]
I do a little research, and it looks to me like I'm not violating trademark
laws because I'm not engaged in commerce, and I'm not being a cybersquatter because I'm not trying
to profit from the domain. So in my reply to Ms. Greenberg, I tell her that I'll
surrender the domain name to her client if she'll tell me exactly what sections of the laws I'm
Act 4: Taubman Ignores My Request
[July 5, 2001]
Ms. Greenberg writes me back, but does not provide the
information I asked for. Instead, she reiterates her threat and her demand. (She does, however, offer
to refund my $35 domain registration fee.) More...
Act 5: Again, I Ask Taubman for Details
[July 17, 2001]
I write back to Ms. Greenberg, again urging her "to let me
know exactly what language in which sections of what laws you believe me to be violating." If she can
show me that I'm breaking the law, I say that I will "immediately relinquish control of my domain
name to your client." More...
Act 6: Taubman Responds by Suing Me
[August 7, 2001]
Ms. Greenberg faxes me a copy of a complaint that she has
filed with the U.S. District Court claiming that I am infringing on her client's trademark and
violating the Anti-Cybersquatting Act. She says that she will proceed with litigation if I do not
transfer the domain name to her client within three days.
Act 7: I Register "Complaint" Domain Names
[August 10, 2001]
I write to Ms. Greenberg to say that three days is not
nearly enough time, but that I will respond by the end of September. I also tell her that I have
registered five "sucks.com" domain names (such as TaubmanSucks.com), and that I will use them to
publicly document our disagreement if she proceeds with litigation.
Act 8: Taubman Makes Me an Offer
[August 16, 2001]
Ms. Greenberg, "in an effort to resolve this matter
expeditiously," sends me a fax to offer me $1,000 if I will turn over to her client not only
ShopsAtWillowBend.com, but also the "sucks.com" domains I have registered. Constitutionally unable to
write a non-threatening letter, she adds: "If, on the other hand, you are not agreeable to these
terms, we will have no choice but to pursue the litigation."
Act 9: I Accept Taubman's Offer
[August 16, 2001]
Since I feel bad about leaving Ms. Greenberg with no choice but to sue me, I
decide to accept her offer. (The fact that my girlfriend is giving me grief about all the time
I'm wasting on this exchange of pleasantries with Ms. Greenberg may have something to do with
it as well.) And so, later on the same day, I write back to Ms. Greenberg and officially accept
her kind offer. More...
Act 10: Taubman Imposes New Conditions
[August 23, 2001]
Ms. Greenberg sends me some paperwork to sign to formalize
our agreement. To my surprise, she has added new conditions, including the stipulation that I have to
keep the terms of our agreement confidential. I double-check the original offer she made me, but
the confidentiality clause was definitely not part of our agreement.
Act 11: I Refuse the New Conditions
[August 24, 2001]
The next day, after I have time to calm down a little, I send
an email to Ms. Greenberg stressing that I will NOT accept her new conditions. I tell her that I
expect her to honor our original agreement which, as far as I'm concerned, is a
contractual obligation (offer, acceptance, consideration on both sides, a classic contract).
Act 12: Taubman Moves for an Injunction
[September 25, 2001]
Taubman files a motion in U.S. District Court for a
preliminary injunction. They accuse me of having some kind of scheme to profit from my "antics," they
accuse me of attempted extortion, and they ask the Court to force me to transfer all of the domain
names to them. More...
Act 13: I Oppose the Injunction
[October 4, 2001]
I file a motion in U.S. District Court opposing Taubman's
motion for a preliminary injunction. If you're an attorney, this probably seems like no big deal to
you but I'm not an attorney, so I'm pretty much flying blind here. (But why should you have
to hire a lawyer just because some big company wants to take something from you?) Anyway, I guess
I won't know if I did a good job until I find out what the judge thinks about it which, I guess,
is the only opinion that matters. More...
Act 14: I Withdraw My Acceptance
[October 8, 2001]
I don't want my acceptance of her offer to sit on the table forever, so
I write to Ms. Greenberg to tell her that our agreement will be terminated at the
end of the week (October 12, 2001) if she does not send me the $1,000 she offered me.
Act 15: I Lose Round One
[October 11, 2001]
It didn't take Judge Zatkoff very long to decide against me. Curiously, his
decision is not based on any of the factors that I had spent so much of my time (and Ms. Greenberg
had spent so much of her client's money) on putting before him. But an Order is an Order and
even though I've never been very good at following orders, I decide that this was one order that I
probably should not disregard. More...
Act 16: Taubman Tries To Kill This Site
[October 15, 2001]
On the very same day that she receives Judge Zatkoff's order granting the
preliminary injunction that she had sought, Ms. Greenberg not one to rest on her laurels
files a new motion asking the judge to expand his injunction to include this website! Not only
doesn't she want me to infringe on her client's trademark, she doesn't want me to be able to tell you
my side of the story. More...
Act 17: Taubman Requests a Default Judgment
[October 15, 2001]
My own personal nemesis is on a roll: On the very same day on which she
asks the Court to banish this website from the Internet, Ms. Greenberg also files a request asking
the Court to rule in favor of her original complaint by default. A lawyer gaining momentum is an
awesome sight to behold. More...
Act 18: I Oppose the Default
[October 18, 2001]
The request for a default judgment takes me by surprise. I'm not entirely sure
of how to respond actually, I don't know if any response is required or will even be
accepted. But I feel that I have to do something, so I write a response and send it to the
Court, hoping that my response might buy me enough time to figure out what to do next.
Act 19: I Answer the Complaint
[October 22, 2001]
Since I've been accused of being in default for not answering the initial
complaint, I figure that I'd better answer it now and hope that I'm not too late. Unfortunately, I
have no idea of how to answer a complaint. Fortunately, a helpful lawyer sends me some unsolicited
(but very welcomed) advice including information about how to answer a complaint.
Act 20: I Move To Dismiss the Default Request
[October 22, 2001]
I notice that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that a default
request for anything other than money should be directed to the Court, not to the clerk but Ms.
Greenberg directed her request to the clerk. Is that just a minor technicality, or will that be
enough of an error to get the Court to dismiss the default request?
Act 21: I Move To Dismiss the Complaint
[October 22, 2001]
I have been feeling a little uneasy that I let Ms. Greenberg talk me into
agreeing, via a telephone conversation, to waive service of the complaint. And now that I've seen the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, I think that I've spotted a rule that says that a waiver of service
has to be in writing. (I never should have been allowed to see those rules. A little knowledge is a
dangerous thing.) So if I have not been correctly served, can I get the judge to dismiss the
Act 22: I Move for a Change of Venue
[October 23, 2001]
If this case actually goes to trial, I'll have to fly up to Detroit, which
could be very expensive and more than a little inconvenient for me. Wouldn't it be great if I could
get the case transferred to Dallas, where I live? I don't know if I can do it, but it's worth a shot.
Act 23: Request for Default Denied!
[October 24, 2001]
Good news: The Court (the clerk, actually) turned down Ms. Greenberg's request
to enter a default judgment against me! It's not a "great victory" or anything like that filing
a request for default is probably pretty standard procedure but it sure beats losing!
Act 24: I Oppose the Amended Injunction
[October 25, 2001]
A couple of weeks (and several thousand motions) ago, Ms. Greenberg filed a
motion asking the judge to amend the injunction in which he had ordered me to remove the website about
which Taubman had originally complained. In the new motion, Ms. Greenberg asked the judge to order me
to remove this website. Here's my response. More...
Act 25: I'm Ordered To Show Cause
[October 26, 2001]
It's a good thing that I've been getting a lot of practice creating
legal-sounding documents, because the judge wants me to write another one. I just received an "Order To
Show Cause," which basically demands that I submit a specific and detailed response to Taubman's
contention that I violated the "safe distance" rule by going live with this site.
Act 26: I Respond to the Order To Show Cause
[November 1, 2001]
I feel like I'm back in school the judge has given me a couple of
topics to discuss, I have five days to prepare my response. But even though it's an essay question, at
least it's an open-book take-home test. More...
Act 27: Notice of Scheduling Conference
[November 1, 2001]
When I go to my mailroom to send in my response to the Order To Show Cause,
there's an envelope from the Court waiting for me. It seems that the judge wants me to come to Detroit
for something called a "Scheduling Conference." More...
Act 28: I Request a Telephone Conference
[November 1, 2001]
As much as I'd like to go to Detroit and meet the judge (and my friend Ms.
Greenberg, Esq.), I'm not quite as happy about having to buy a ticket to fly to Detroit with less
than two weeks' notice, which will set me back nearly $1,000 (actually twice that much, as I'll be
travelling with an associate). So I ask the judge if he can either postpone the conference
(allowing me to buy considerably cheaper tickets) or better yet conduct the conference
by telephone. More...
Act 29: Taubman Replies to "Show Cause"
[November 6, 2001]
They're getting nasty (nastier?): In their latest response (to my response to
their... well, you get the idea), they've accused me of deliberately ignoring the judge's
Act 30: Taubman Opposes My Motion To Dismiss
[November 6, 2001]
Not only doesn't Ms. Greenberg think there's any merit to my motion to
dismiss, she wants the judge to order me to pay her for having to take the time from her busy
schedule to file a response! More...
Act 31: Taubman Opposes a Change of Venue
[November 6, 2001]
I'd really like the case to be transferred to Dallas. However, judging
from the length of their response, Taubman would really like the case to be tried in Detroit,
on their home turf. More...
Act 32: I Appeal the Injunction
[November 9, 2001]
An attorney who's been offering me advice has pointed out that the deadline
for appealing the preliminary injunction is rapidly approaching. To keep my options open, I submit
the "Notice of Appeal" form that I find at the Court's website.
Act 33: I Challenge the Court's Jurisdiction
[November 12, 2001]
I can't claim credit for this one (as you'd know as soon as you read it):
Paul Levy, an attorney with Public Citizen, suggests that I should file a motion to dismiss the
case for a lack of jurisdiction. Paul is kind enough to write a rough draft of the motion for me; I
edit Paul's draft and submit the motion. More...
Act 34: Public Citizen Files an Amicus Brief
[November 12, 2001]
It's Good To Have Friends: Public Citizen, a "National Non-Profit Public
Interest Organization," has filed a "friend of the court" brief in opposition to Taubman's effort to
force me to remove this website. More...
Act 35: The Scheduling Conference
[November 13, 2001]
We conduct the conference via telephone and after some initial
jitters, I get through it OK. The judge scolds me for not following the rules in some of the
documents I've filed. Then he gets ticked off at Ms. Greenberg because she won't stop talking. Then
he sets a discovery cutoff date of mid-February and a trial date of next August.
Act 36: Motion To Dismiss Complaint (Take 2)
[November 15, 2001]
If this looks familiar, it's because I've already submitted this motion.
However, the judge pointed out that I submitted it without a brief, which is not in accordance with
the local rules. So here it is again. More...
Act 37: Motion To Change Venue (Take 2)
[November 15, 2001]
This is the other motion that I was "asked" to resubmit.
Act 38: Taubman Opposes My Jurisdiction Challenge
[November 27, 2001]
On November 12 (Act 33), I filed a motion to dismiss Taubman's complaint for
lack of personal jurisdiction. This is their response.
Act 39: Scheduling Order
[November 27, 2001]
The judge has issued a scheduling order, specifying deadlines for discovery,
witness lists, dispositive motions, motions in limine, and all kinds of other things that I don't
Act 40: Taubman Opposes My Motion To Dismiss (Take 2)
[November 29, 2001]
As you may recall, the judge "suggested" that I resubmit a couple of motions
to bring them into compliance with local rules. Here's Ms. Greenberg's reply to my refiled motion to
dismiss the case due to improper service of the complaint.
Act 41: Taubman Opposes a Change of Venue (Take 2)
[November 29, 2001]
This is Ms. Greenberg's reply to my other refiled motion.
Act 42: I Reply to Taubman's Allegation
[December 4, 2001]
Maybe I'm being too thin-skinned, but I've been bugged my Ms. Greenberg's
repeated (and patently false) contention that I've ignored the judge's explicit order. Here's my
Act 43: Personal Jurisdiction, Revisited
[December 4, 2001]
I had challenged the court's jurisdiction in the case, and Ms. Greenberg had
opposed my challenge. So here's my reply (with a lot of help from Paul Levy) to Ms. Greenberg's
Act 44: I Lose Round Two
[December 7, 2001]
Frankly, I wasn't very optimistic about the chances of my motions to dismiss
the case or have it moved to Dallas. As it turns out, I had good reason not be optimistic. However, I
was very optimistic that the judge would not order me to remove TaubmanSucks.com, as none of
Taubman's arguments seemed very persuasive. Unfortunately, the judge didn't see it my way.
Act 45: My Appeal Is Docketed
[December 6, 2001]
It took a while (the wheels of justice grind exceeding slow...), but my
appeal of the first injunction (ordering me to remove the "mall" site) has finally been "docketed" by
the Court of Appeals, so I'm officially on their schedule.
Act 46: I Appeal the New Injunction
[December 10, 2001]
Now that the Court of Appeals has docketed my appeal of the first
injunction, I guess it must be time to initiate the process of appealing the second
Act 47: I Move for a Stay
[December 12, 2001]
Although the judge is unlikely to grant a motion to stay his own injunction,
we (Paul Levy the attorney who's handling my appeal and I) filed this motion as a
precursor to filing the same motion with the Court of Appeals.
Act 48: A Curious Exchange
[December 20, 2001]
You'll have to read this one to believe it: Julie Greenberg (of the crack
legal team of Gifford, Krass, Groh... well, you know the rest...) says that my "mall" website (which
the judge ordered me to remove from the Internet) is still "clearly operational"... even though she
can't actually see it... More...
Act 49: A Note about Web Archives
[December 23, 2001]
My "enjoined" websites live! Even though the judge ordered me to remove my
websites from the Internet, the magic of web archiving keeps them alive.
Act 50: My New Appeal Is Docketed
[December 21, 2001]
The Court of Appeals has now docketed both of my appeals and they tell
me that, for certain purposes, they've combined them.
Act 51: Taubman Opposes a Stay
[December 19, 2001]
As expected, Taubman is opposing my motion for a stay pending my appeal of the
Act 52: Preliminary Appeal Paperwork
[January 2-3, 2002]
It's a new year. it must be time to begin a new legal process... and sure
enough, the first signs of my appeal of the injunction are beginning to surface.
Act 53: I File My Discovery Requests
[January 2, 2002]
The judge ordered us to complete "discovery" by February 15 and since
I have to give Taubman at least 30 days to respond, I guess it's time to send them my discovery
Act 54: My Motion for a Stay Is Denied
[January 4, 2002]
I've been getting curious about when the judge would rule on my motion to
stay his injunction. It turns out that he denied my motion nine days ago, it just took a long time
for the mail to travel from Detroit to Dallas. More...
Act 55: We Appeal the Order
[January 15, 2002]
The appeals process can take a year or more, so we're asking the Court of
Appeals to allow me to put my TaubmanSucks website back online until they can hear the appeal. (I say
that "we" are appealing the order because Paul Levy, an attorney with
Public Citizen, is representing me on the
Act 56: Taubman Opposes the Appeal
[January 24, 2002]
For some reason, Taubman doesn't agree that the injunction should be stayed.
Act 57: We Reply to Their Opposition
[January 30, 2002]
We remind the Appeals Court of the free-speech problems inherent in
suppressing this website. More...
Act 58: I Submit My Witness List
[January 30, 2002]
This case doesn't seem to lend itself to "witnesses" in the traditional sense.
In other words, I don't think that anyone can testify to observing me while I was in process of not
infringing Taubman's trademark, if you know what I mean. So, under the circumstances, my witness list
is mercifully short. More...
Act 59: Taubman Wants to Depose Me
[January 30, 2002]
Two-and-a-half months into the discovery process (for which they said they
needed no more than thirty days), two weeks before the end of the discovery period, Taubman's lawyers
decide that they want to talk to me and that they'd like me to gather tons of documents by next
week. They must not be familiar with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which is why they don't
know that they're supposed to give me 30-days notice.
Act 60: Taubman's Witness List
[February 1, 2002]
On the last possible day, Taubman sends me a short (but curious) witness list.
Act 61: Taubman "Responds" to My Discovery Requests
[February 1, 2002]
Even though they've ordered me to appear for a deposition (with woefully
inadequate notice), and even though they've asked to see every business record in my possession (and
all of the notes that I've ever exchanged with my girlfriend), Taubman seems to have decided that
they're under no obligation to provide any meaningful information in response to my discovery
Act 62: I Object to Taubman's "Responses"
[February 4, 2002]
I explain to Taubman why their supposed "responses" to my discovery requests
are unacceptable. More...
Act 63: I'm Represented!
[February 5, 2002]
After months of muddling through the wonderful world of self-representation,
I finally have an attorney! Paul Levy of
Public Citizen, who has been representing me on
my appeal, has agreed to represent me on the main case as well.
Act 64: The Deposition
[February 7, 2002]
For four hours, I answer (via speakerphone) the often-confusing questions of
Ms. Julie Greenberg, Taubman's attorney. I don't think that she's deliberately trying to confuse me
(well, maybe on a couple of occasions), I simply don't think she knows a great deal about the subject
matter of this case. See for yourself, I've posted the complete transcript of the deposition.
Act 65: We Move to Supplement the Record
[February 8, 2002]
To resolve the problem of how the appeals court is going to be able to rule
on the case without being able to review the banned websites, we ask the judge to allow us to
"supplement the record" with a CD that contains both of the sites that were forced off the Web by his
Act 66: Taubman Opposes Supplementing the Record
[February 20, 2002]
Predictably, Taubman opposes our plan to supplement the record.
Act 67: We Reply to Their Opposition
[February 26, 2002]
Just as predictably, we're opposed to their opposition.
Act 68: Extending the Deadline
[February 28, 2002]
Some legal minutiae: Both my lawyer and Taubman's lawyer want to extend the
deadline for filing motions for summary judgment, but they disagree on how long that deadline should
be extended. More...
Act 69: Taubman Moves to Amend the Complaint
[March 6, 2002]
Taubman seems to have just realized that they can get some mileage out of the
fact that two of the graphics on my original site were downloaded from their site. They've never
complained it before, but now they have. Officially. More...
Act 70: Success!!
[March 11, 2002]
They say that "you can't lose them all" (or something like that), and today
I finally won one, and a big one at that: The Court of Appeals granted me a stay on the injunction
that forced me to remove TabumanSucks.com from the Web! This means that I can actually put the site
back online allowing everyone to see for themselves, in copious detail, exactly why I've been
spending so much time trying to expose the fact that the Taubman Company does, indeed, suck.
Act 71: Summary Judgment Motions
[March 15 - April 18, 2002]
Over a period of about a month, my lawyer and Taubman's lawyer have submitted
motions and a series of responses urging Judge Zatkoff to dispense with a trial and decide the case
in my favor or in Taubman's favor (depending on whose brief it is).
Act 72: Taubman Issues a Statement
As far as I can tell, this is Taubman's first "official" comment on these
Act 73: Amending the Complaint
[March 25 - May 17, 2002]
I reported earlier that Taubman wanted to amend their complaint to add a
charge of copyright infringement. Over our opposition, the judge allowed them to amend the complaint.
Now, we're challenging the court's jurisdiction. More...
Act 74: Supplementing the Record
[April 2, 2002]
A couple of months ago, we moved to "supplement the record" so that we could
send a CD to the appeals court containing the sites that had been forced off the Web by Judge
Zatkoff's injunctions. Today, the judge basically granted our motion.
Act 75: We File More Discovery Requests
[April 13, 2002]
When Taubman amended their complaint, they opened the door to a fresh round of
discovery proceedings. Here are the discovery requests we sent to them.
Act 76: Taubman Files More Discovery Requests
[April 25, 2002]
And here are the new discovery requests that Taubman sent to us.
Act 77: We File Our Appeal Brief
[May 1, 2002]
A couple of months ago, the Court of Appeals issued a stay on the injunction
that had forced me to remove this site from the Web. Now, we're asking them to permanently lift both
injunctions and while we're at it, we're challenging the District Court's jurisdiction. (If the
Appeals Court agrees that the District Court lacks jurisdiction, the entire case will be thrown out,
and Taubman will have to decide whether they want to file elsewhere and start all over again.)
Act 78: The ACLU Weighs In
[May 6, 2002]
Much to my surprise, the ACLU has decided to submit a "friend of the court"
brief to the Appeals Court on my behalf! I had no idea that anything like this was even in the works
in fact, I wouldn't even have known about had it not been for a congratulatory email I
received this morning. What a great way to start the day!
Act 79: Taubman "Responds" to Our Discovery Requests
[May 13, 2002]
Once again, Taubman has refused to provide any meaningful information in
response to our discovery requests. (At least they're consistent.)
Act 80: Taubman Files Their Appeal Brief
[May 22, 2002]
Back in the Court of Appeals, Taubman has filed their brief. Based on their
curious version of the facts of the case, they're asking the Appeals Court to uphold both of the
injunctions issued by the District Court. (If they're successful, of course, this website will be
Act 81: We Move to Compel Discovery
[May 24, 2002]
Since Taubman's attorneys don't seem inclined to send us any meaningful
responses to our discovery requests voluntary, we're asking the judge to force them to cooperate.
Act 82: We Respond to Taubman's Discovery Requests
[May 29, 2002]
Although I'd love to "stonewall" Taubman's discovery requests (as they've
done to mine), I'm told that I'm legally required to respond in good faith whether they do or not.
Having said that, we're obviously not going to respond to their more outrageous requests. So here's
what we sent them. More...
Act 83: Taubman "Supplements" Their Responses
[June 6, 2002]
Now that we've initiated action to try to force them to provide more
substantive responses to our discovery requests, Taubman has decided to throw us a bone by elaborating
on one of their responses. More...
Act 84: Taubman Opposes Our Motion to Compel
[June 6, 2002]
We're asking the judge to force Taubman to be more forthcoming on their
discovery responses. Taubman begs to differ. More...
Act 85: We Reply to Taubman's Appeal Brief
[June 12, 2002]
We filed a brief with the Court of Appeals, and Taubman filed their brief in
response. Here's our reply to Taubman's response. More...
Act 86: Our Motion to Compel is Stricken
[June 13, 2002]
Judge Zatkoff doesn't like the way we combined the elements in our motion to
compel discovery, so he has stricken the motion and has suggested that we try again.
Act 87: We Move (Again) to Compel Discovery
[June 25, 2002]
Following the judge's instructions, we submit a "simplified" version of our
motion to compel Taubman's responses to our discovery requests.
Act 88: Taubman Moves for Summary Judgment (Copyright)
[June 27, 2002]
As you may recall, we and Taubman have submitted myriad motions seeking
summary judgment on the trademark issues. Now, Taubman is seeking summary judgment on the copyright
issue as well. More...
Act 89: The Discovery Issue Is Referred
[June 28, 2002]
Second time's the charm: Judge Zatkoff has accepted our resubmitted motion to
compel discovery, and he's referred the issue to his magistrate.
Act 90: Discovery Hearing Schedule
[July 3, 2002]
Now that the discovery issue has been referred to Magistrate Judge Komives,
he's scheduled a hearing on the issue. More...
Act 91: Taubman Opposes (Again) Our Motion to Compel
[July 3, 2002]
We resubmitted our motion to compel discovery on the copyright claim
and now, Taubman has resubmitted their opposition. More...
Act 92: We Move to Defer the Trial
[July 7, 2002]
The discovery dispute is slowing things down, so we ask the judge to postpone
the trial. More...
Act 93: Our Motion to Defer is Denied
[July 15, 2002]
Saying that he wants to wait to see how Judge Komives rules on the discovery
dispute, Judge Zatkoff says that it's premature to talk about delaying the trial.
Act 94: We Reply to Taubman's Opposition to Our Motion to Compel
[July 16, 2002]
We resubmitted our motion to compel discovery, and Taubman resubmitted their
opposition to our motion so now we're replying to Taubman's resubmitted opposition to our
resubmitted motion. (Got that?) More...
Act 95: We Oppose Taubman's Summary Judgment Motion
[July 18, 2002]
Taubman has moved for summary judgment on the copyright issue. But since
they've refused to provide us with any meaningful discovery on the issue (and for several other
reasons as well), we're opposed to their motion. More...
Act 96: The Discovery Hearing
[July 25-30, 2002]
Judge Komives listens to what both sides have to say about the discovery
dispute. Later, both sides follow up with letters to the judge.
Act 97: The Discovery Order
[August 1, 2002]
After reviewing both sides of the issue, Judge Komives grants about two-thirds
of our discovery requests. More...
Act 98: Our Appeal Is Scheduled
[August 6, 2002]
We're appealing both of the injunctions, and we're challenging the jurisdiction
of the District Court. The Court of Appeals has put us on their calendar for October 16.
Act 99: We Both Move to Defer the Trial
[August 12, 2002]
It had to happen sooner or later: Taubman and I agree on something!
Unfortunately, it's not substantive, it's procedural: We agree that we'd like to postpone the trial
until March. More...
Act 100: Taubman's Supplemental Witness List
[September 5, 2002]
Now that Taubman has expanded the suit to include a charge of copyright
infringement, they're going to need a few more witnesses.
Act 101: Taubman's Supplemental Discovery Responses
[September 6, 2002]
Although the really important material is not actually included, Taubman has
complied with the judge's order and finally has sent us some responses to our discovery requests.
Act 102: Additional Appeal Authorities
[October 9, 2002]
My attorney submits a letter to the Court of Appeals to supplement the briefs
that he has previously submitted to them. More...
Act 103: Our Motion to Dismiss the Copyright Claim Is Denied
[October 4, 2002]
Saying (among other things) that I submitted myself to his jurisdiction by
answering letters from Taubman's Michigan lawyers, Judge Zatkoff denies our motion to dismiss the
copyright claim. More...
Act 104: We Ask the Judge to Reconsider
[October 17, 2002]
My attorney submits some information that we gleaned from Taubman's belated
responses to our discovery requests, and we ask the judge to reconsider his most recent decision with
our new points in mind. More...
Act 105: The Appeals Hearing
[October 16, 2002]
Conclusive proof that the law firm of Gifford, Krass, Groh, Sprinkle, Anderson
& Citkowski really does suck: In an appearance before the United States Court of Appeals, Doug
Sprinkle makes false statements to a federal judge about an important point in his client's case
against me. Other than that (or, perhaps, including that), the hearing appears to go pretty well.
Act 106: Taubman's Expert Witness
[November 1, 2002]
At the trial, Taubman will present the expert testimony of David Williams, an
Associate Professor of Marketing at Wayne State University in Detroit.
Act 107: We Move to Stay the Trial
[November 5-11, 2002]
When the Court of Appeals issues a ruling on the injunctions, their ruling may
have an impact on the trial so we're asking the judge to delay the trial until the Court of
Appeals has a chance to reach a decision. More...
Act 108: Our Expert Witness
[November 11, 2002]
Taubman submitted the report of their expert witness earlier this month, so
now it's our turn. If you're at all interested in domain names and trademarks (and if you're not, why
are you reading this?), you owe it to yourself to read this eminently sensible and persuasive report.
Act 109: Our Motion to Stay the Trial is Granted
[November 14, 2002]
The judge grants our motion and agrees to delay the trial.
Act 110: New Rulings
[January 8, 2003]
My attorney sends a letter to the Court of Appeals to bring to their attention
a few recent (and, obviously, favorable) rulings. More...
Act 111: Taubman Responds to Our "New Rulings" Letter
[January 24, 2003]
Taubman's attorney responds with her own interpretations of the rulings that
we submitted to the Court of Appeals. More...
Act 112: We Win the Appeal!!
[February 7, 2003]
It starts out as a bad day: I have to drive halfway across town to get my
mortgage company to endorse an insurance check so I can get some repair work done on my house. But
while I'm driving home, I get a call from my attorney, who tells me that we've won the appeal.
Suddenly, it's a good day after all! More...
Act 113: It's Over!!!
[February 11, 2003]
Just four days after their decisive loss in the Court of Appeals, Taubman
realizes that there's no point in pursuing the case. More...
Act 114: It's Really Over!!!
[February 19, 2003]
On February 19, 2003, a little more than 21 months after Taubman first
threatened to sue me, Judge Zatkoff officially dismisses the case.
Act 115: Money, Money, Money...
[February 19 May 19, 2003]
Having been deprived of anything important to argue about, Taubman's attorneys
file a motion with the District Court to avoid reimbursing us for less than $850 in court costs.
Act 116: Fighting Back
Is it fair that a big company should be able to sic their pit-bull lawyers on
you without having to fear the consequences? I don't think so. And so I've set out to try to do
something about it. More...
Act 117: I File a Complaint
[September 15, 2003]
Having pretty well exhausted all of my other options, I decide to file an
ethics complaint against Doug Sprinkle with the Michigan bar.
Act 118: Doug Responds to My Complaint
[October 15, 2003]
Doug Sprinkle doesn't feel that he did anything wrong. Here's what he has to
say for himself. More...
Act 119: The Commission Dismisses My Complaint
[October 20, 2003]
To my dismay, the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission rejects my complaint,
saying that Doug Sprinkle was merely fulfilling his obligation "to protect and serve the best
interests of his client." More...
Act 120: I Request Clarification
[October 27, 2003]
I'd like to appeal the Commission's decision, but I can't follow their
reasoning so I ask them if they can explain it to me in more detail.
Act 121: My Request for Reconsideration is Denied (in Advance)
[October 30, 2003]
Even for these strange proceedings, this is bizarre: The Commission has
rejected my request to reconsider their decision. The shocker: I haven't made any such request. (I'm
not making this up.) More...
Act 122: I Request Reconsideration
[November 4, 2003]
Since the Commission seems to have derived so much pleasure from rejecting my
reconsideration request, I decide to actually make a reconsideration request so they can do it
Act 123: Doug Responds to My Reconsideration Request
[December 9, 2003]
Doug Sprinkle gets creative in his response, including "by reference" material
that does not exist. More...
Act 124: I Reply to Doug's Response
[December 29, 2003]
Although this back-and-forth is getting repetitive, I feel obligated to reply
to Doug Sprinkle's response to my request that the Attorney Grievance Commission reconsider their
dismissal of my complaint. (Got that?) More...
Act 125: My Request for Reconsideration is Denied (Again)
[January 7, 2004]
Now that I've actually made a reconsideration request, the Attorney Grievance
Commission wastes no time in rejecting it, just as they did before I made it. (At least
they're consistent.) More...
Act 126: I Appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court
[January 20, 2004]
Appealing the Commission's decision to the Michigan Supreme Court is
expensive, but I'm determined to follow this process through to the bitter end.
Act 127: Doug Responds to My Appeal
[February 4, 2004]
Complaining that I have "too much time on my hands" (a state of affairs that
he seems determined to remedy), Doug Sprinkle sends a short note to the Michigan Supreme Court.
Act 128: The Commission Responds to My Appeal
[February 12, 2004]
The Commission tells the Supreme Court that they "did not abuse their
discretion" in dismissing my complaint. Is that the real issue in my appeal? Beats me.
Act 129: I Reply to Doug's Response
[February 17, 2004]
I point out to the Supreme Court that Doug Sprinkle hasn't even bothered to
respond to some of my allegations. More...
Act 130: I Reply to the Commission's Response
[February 18, 2004]
I point out to the Supreme Court that the Commission's response to my appeal
contains gaping logical holes. More...
Act 131: The Supreme Court Has the Last Word
[June 30, 2004]
Using uncontestable logic, the Supreme Court explains that they denied my
appeal because they didn't feel like granting it. So I guess it's all over... ?
Act 132: I File a Complaint with the U.S. Court of Appeals
[August 27, 2004]
But wait! There's more! By complete accident, I learn that the Michigan
Supreme Court is not the end of the line: It seems that the U.S. Court of Appeals has a grievance
procedure of its very own. More...
Act 133: The U.S. Court of Appeals Receives My Complaint
[September 17, 2004]
The Court of Appeals tells me that they've received my complaint! I'll get
some kind of response from them soon, right? All I have to do is sit back and wait... and wait... and
Act 134: OK, I Give Up
My intent was not to post any material about these ethics proceedings until
they had been concluded, one way or the other. But now that it looks like I may never get any kind of
response from the Court of Appeals, I'm throwing in the towel.
Act 135: It's All About Doug
[August 13, 2014]
Even after all these years, I have to admit that I think about the TaubmanSucks
case from time to time. And, it turns out, so does Doug Sprinkle, the lawyer who lost the case.
Taubman Sucks: The Movie!
You've browsed the website, now see the movie! I'm not making this up, my
protracted legal ordeal has been made into a short documentary, which you can download (for free!)
or purchase on a DVD. More...
Taubman Sucks: The Book!
Well, OK, it's not a book yet, just a book proposal. But if you'd like
to follow along as my agent and I try to sell the story of the TaubmanSucks saga to a publisher, I've
created a blog just for that purpose.
"TaubmanSucks" In The News!
Here are links to a few articles that have been written about (or that mention)
the TaubmanSucks case. More...