QUEENSRYCHE Trial Now Delayed Until January

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 @ 3:54 PM

Tates Had Asked For Continuance

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Just when you thought that a resolution to the ongoing QUEENSRYCHE court case/drama was soon to be had, vocalist Geoff Tate was granted a continuance until January 27, 2014 in the legal battle with his former bandmates over the rights to the group's name.

Of course, everyone should know the story by heart now. Eddie Jackson, Michael Wilton and Scott Rockenfield fired Tate last year. Tate and his wife Susan, who had also been fired as the band's manager, filed suit to have the QUEENSRYCHE name granted to them. The other members countersued, alleging a plethora of destructable behavior and questionable business practices.

On August 9, the Tates filed a motion for continuance of the trial, which was supposed to begin on November 18. In their filing they requested "a minimum 180-day continuance to provide sufficient time for the parties to continue active settlement negotiations without incurring substantial trial preparation costs and, if such efforts fail, to provide sufficient time to complete discovery and properly prepare for what will be a very lengthy trial." Approximately "80 potential witnesses" have been identified for trial and they estimated that the parties will need to collectively take 20 to 40 depositions. Because Tate's former bandmates will be traveling for most of September and will be unavailable for depositions further complicates the matter.

The Breakdown Room web site, which has been posting all of the legal documents as they become available, revealed this in the latest filing: "There simply is not enough time to properly prepare for trial. Discovery is incomplete. Even if the parties only depose a fraction of the witnesses identified, doing so will take 20 to 30 days. Many of these witnesses are located out of state. The facts that underlie this dispute span nearly 30 years. Trial could take three to four weeks with 20 to 40 witnesses."

As expected, on August 16, Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson filed a challenge to the Tates' motion to continue the trial date and amend the case schedule, claiming that "Now, as a result of Plaintiffs’ (Tates') complete lack of diligence in this matter, they claim to be unable to be prepared for trial. Any challenges they face are 100% the result of their failure to properly prosecute their case and as such should not be able to delay the resolution of this matter to Defendants’ (Jackson, Wilton, Rockenfield's) detriment or Plaintiffs’ (Tate's) advantage."

In their opposition, Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson also wrote, "From October 2012 until April 2013 there was nearly no activity in the case. In April 2013, Plaintiffs (Tates) propounded interrogatories and requests for production on Defendants (Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson). Responses were supplied in May. Not until July 31, 2013, did Plaintiffs (Tates) raise any objections to the adequacy of the responses to that discovery, more than two months after said responses were served. Other than two related subpoenas for documents, (Tates) have engaged in no other discovery."

In addition, they state that "Since the filing of the suit, Geoff Tate continues to harm the QUEENSRYCHE brand". "The newest self-titled QUEENSRYCHE CD release by the (non-Tate version) entered the U.S. charts at #23 and continues to get 9-out-of-10-star reviews and is still selling very well on a weekly basis around the globe," Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson wrote. "In comparison, Geoff Tate released his own QUEENSRYCHE CD in April of this year, titled Frequency Unknown, and depicted as F.U. on the cover, which entered the charts at #82, received very bad reviews around the world, and has slowed to almost no more weekly sales. (The Todd La Torre-fronted version's) new CD even outperformed the last two CDs of them with Geoff Tate, selling more in a month than the Dedicated to Chaos CD has since its release in 2010, and charting much better than both that album and the previous one, American Soldier. Thus, the return to the classic sound Defendant (Todd version) bandmates have made with the new CD and live shows has been met with overwhelming success."

Continuing, they add: "Geoff Tate also chose very poorly in hiring live musicians that have shown that they are not capable of representing the correct performances of the QUEENSRYCHE music legacy, and he was constantly replacing them. He has been offering his low-quality version of QUEENSRYCHE to the promoters at a much reduced rate, as low as $10,000 per night, when, in fact, (the former) bandmates have done their best to keep the authorized QUEENSRYCHE at an average of well over $20,000 per show this entire year. However, this becomes harder and harder with Geoff Tate's sub-par band and cut-rate pricing that continues to be damaging to the QUEENSRYCHE brand and legacy no matter who ultimately wins control after trial."

The current word is that there are ongoing negotiations between the parties even now and that there is still some sort of hope of a settlement to this case prior to the actual trial starting. Stay tuned for more details.....

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