Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Glaser, Weil Prevails Over Record Producer in C.A.
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Gerald “Jerry” Goldstein, the record producer behind such bands as The Strangeloves and War, has lost a bid before this district’s Court of Appeal to challenge assignment and turnover orders obtained by a law firm after the man allegedly failed to pay his legal fees.
The unpublished decision by Justice Maria E. Stratton of Div. Eight, filed Monday, affirms the orders, and rejects an argument by law firm Glaser, Weil, Fink, Howard, Avchen & Shapiro, LLP that Goldstein’s appeal should have been dismissed under the disentitlement doctrine.
After winning an arbitration for the unpaid fees, Glaser Weil obtained a $868,000 judgment against Goldstein in 2016. The firm spent more than a year trying to identify the man’s assets, and conducted a judgment debtor examination.
Glaser Weil ultimately requested an order assigning to itself the right to payments from TMC Music, Inc. and Far Out Productions, Inc., or in the alternative an order that Goldstein turn over his shares in the two companies as well as a third, The Last Experience, Inc.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Edward Moreton Jr. issued the orders.
Judgment Debtor Examination
The judgment debtor examination initially commenced in April 2017.
At the first session, Goldstein testified that he owned all the shares of TMC Music, which owns hundreds of musical compositions.
He also stated that he owned all the shares in Far Out Productions, which holds rights to thousands of master recordings of various songs, which it licenses for distribution through Universal and BMG.
Goldstein did not produce any documents. Moreton ordered him to do so, and continued the examination until the next month.
At the next appearance, Goldstein’s counsel submitted a declaration informing the court that his client was sick; no documents had been produced.
Moreton later found Goldstein in contempt for his failure to produce the documents.
Firm’s Disentitlement Argument
Glaser Weil argued that Goldstein should be barred from appealing the orders under the disentitlement doctrine. They alleged that he was willfully disobedient of the trial court’s orders, citing the contempt finding, his failure to comply with the turnover order, and a bench warrant issued after a failure to appear, which they contended made the man a “fugitive.”
Stratton disagreed. She wrote:
“Glaser Weil’s description of Goldstein makes him appear to be an ideal candidate for the application of the disentitlement doctrine. The record, however, shows only one instance in which Goldstein was held in contempt of court. That occurred in May 2017 for failing to produce documents. Although application of the disentitlement doctrine does not require a finding of contempt, it does require a showing that the appellant engaged in willful disobedience or obstructive tactics. The record on appeal raises a doubt that Goldstein has deliberately or willfully ignored court orders since the May 2017 contempt finding.”
Although Div. Eight did entertain the appeal, it nevertheless found Goldstein’s arguments unavailing and affirmed the orders.
The producer argued that he had not received proper notice of the entry of both the turnover and assignment orders, as Glaser Weil had presented the requests in the alternative.
“Where, as here, a moving party requests two forms of relief in the alternative, the opposing party is on notice that it must respond to both forms of relief. Goldstein in fact responded to and opposed Glaser Weil’s request for an assignment order and its request for a turnover order….On the face of this record, and because Goldstein fully briefed the propriety of and objected to each order, we find no error.”
The opinion also holds that sufficient evidence supported the orders.
The case is Glaser, Weil, Fink, Howard, Avchen & Shapiro, LLP v. Goldstein, B285198.
Joseph S. Klapach of Klapach & Klapach in Beverly Hills argued for Goldstein. Glaser Weil was represented on appeal by Daniel L. Reback of Krane & Smith in Encino.
Goldstein first came to prominence in the 1960s as one third of the band The Strangeloves, best known for its hit “I Want Candy.” Before that, he and his bandmates—Bob Feldman and Richard Gottehrer—had written the 1963 number-one hit “My Boyfriend’s Back,” recorded by the Angels.
In 1968, Goldstein entered an agreement with Jimi Hendrix’s manager to film Hendrix’s 1969 tour and produce a concert film. The film was eventually produced, but a disagreement between Goldstein and Hendrix’s successor company prevented its release by Sony Pictures, which had been ready to enter a contract for a limited theatrical distribution.
That disagreement resulted in an unpublished opinion by Div. Two of this district’s Court of Appeal last year. Goldstein’s company The Last Experience owns Goldstein’s rights to the original Hendrix contract.
Goldstein was also the producer for the entirety of the band War’s discography, including such ubiquitous classics as “Low Rider”—which was also written by Goldstein—and “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”, both released in 1975. Far Out Productions and Goldstein have been sued multiple times for allegedly unpaid royalties due the band.
In 1989, Goldstein signed a management deal with funk legend Sly Stone, in the hopes of reviving Stone’s career. That relationship resulted in a royalty dispute which ended in 2015 with a jury awarding Stone $5 million in damages, $2.45 million of which was against Goldstein.
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