Thursday, November 12, 2009

Summary of Jon's attorney's response to TLC

Court documents can be found here:

Some highlights, broken down as we see them. Basically the nutshell summary is TLC has to prove a number of things to get an injunction, and Jon asserts they have not proven the required elements:

1. Jon contends TLC is not entitled to an injunction because the contract is unenforceable as a matter of "public policy." Basically whenever an attorney uses the "public policy" argument it means it's generally unfair and against what we want to promote as a society. Here, they say it is against public policy because:
a. the children weren't paid
b. the children did not have permits
c. other actions that violated child labor laws

2. Jon contends the contract is "unconscionable," or basically grossly unfair and therefore unenforceable, because he and Kate were not represented by an attorney and the contract was one-sided in favor of TLC.

3. Jon asserts TLC's harm is not irreparable, or unable to be made right, because they can put a dollar amount on what Jon made post-show and can be appropriately compensated for the breach.

4. Granting of TLC's injunction will hurt Jon more than it would hurt TLC to deny their claim.

5. Jon's lawyers describe Jon's contract with TLC as "indentured servitude."

6. Jon asserts it is a contract for personal services and cannot be enforced by injunction

15 sediments (sic) from readers:

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Debbie and I posted the earlier question asking if someone needed to file an appearance/answer for the corporation JKIG. I am sure this comment will also come across as anonymous as I am not computer savy enough to know how to set up a profile but I wanted to say that I appreciate you blog and your summary of the case. I think that this all will be quite interesting. It seems to me that the corporation has also been given notice of the lawsuit against it and I wonder if no one appears to represent the corporation then a judgment or order could be entered against the corporation. From what I read in Jon's paperwork his attorney is representing Jon as an individual and also representing Jon's share of interest in the corporation. Would you say that is correct? I thought that perhaps Jon would file in a way to have not only his interest protected but also that of the corporation. It is all so complicated. Perhaps Jon could not have his attorney represent the entire family's interest in the corporation without Kate's permission. I don't know if I am making any sense but overall I guess I am concerned about the financial interest of the children if they are part owners of the corporation and a monentary judgment is entered against the corporation. Just my thoughts...but again thanks for the summary and information. Anonymous Debbie

amanda said...

After reading your blog, I wrote to TLC and complained about the lawsuit. I'm sure it's pointless and no one will read it, but I felt better! Thank you for this thoughtful blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about this, but I think JKIG would have to have its own representation, an attorney who would represent the interests of the corporation, not Jon or Kate individually. ~ Administrator said...

I think we're missing a piece of the puzzle that would answer this question, and that is how they've divided up the corporation. Say for example, for purposes of this suit they each hold 50% of the corporation, it would stand to reason they can only access Jon's portion of the corporation, or half the assets. And yet again there is this disconnect. Say for example, to keep it simple, Jon's share in the corporation is $100,000 and Kate's share is $100,000. Let's hope they intend to use this money to feed, cloth and provide for the children. Jon is sued and loses, and is forced to pay $100,000. As I've said before, they've just stolen the children's money. TLC taking any more money from EITHER Jon and Kate is stealing directly from the children. And that's why this suit is so incredible.

Anonymous said...

Hi its Debbie again. I sure do find this interesting. I see what your saying but from what I read in the lawsuit they are going after Jon and the corporation . I don't see where it says they are suing ONLY JOn's portion of the cororation. It would seem to me if the corporation is found liable in any way then it would be against the entire corporation, regardless who owns the corporation, be it Jon, Kate or the kids. Either way TLC are snakes in the grass! ~ Administrator said...

The corporation is treated like its own person so yes you do sue the corporation but really technically, even though it's sort of a fiction, Jon and Kate are not being sued when you sue the company....the problem is, it's their money since the company is all about them. So yes I do think they could be specific about only suing for Jon's share of money in the company, if there's even anything left honestly. There may not be any assets left.

Anonymous said...

This is what I don't get--why would Kate support TLC suing the father of her children, especially if the corporation is really all about the family business (the show)? Wouldn't it hurt her ultimately, too? Aren't assests (in PA) acquired during marriage joint property--so any loss in Jon's assets would mean an indirect loss to Kate. If Jon is worth less, the less he has to be divided in a divorce settlement, the less he has to help to support his kids financially, etc. Also, trashing his reputaton (although he's certainly helped things along there), thus making him less/un/employable is going to be detrimental to Kate and the kids in the long run, no?
I can see TLC's motives, but Kate's motives seem to be out of anger and spite. Once TLC drops her and her "career" falters, she's gonna regret her cooperation with TLC in suing the family business. ~ Administrator said...

Rationally, no it doesn't make sense for Kate to support or encourage TLC in suing Jon. (She isn't suing them, but I don't see her stepping up and speaking out against this kind of vindictiveness either).

I've worked with many clients going through a divorce or custody battle. Either working directly on their divorce when I was in that area of the law (in Beverly Hills, so you can imagine the kinds of breakups I saw), or now when I work in a subset of family law and there is a divorce going on at the same time. For many people, divorce takes every rational bone in your body and throws it out the window. I hate to generalize, but I see this a lot more with women. Women tend to get so blinded by their anger and hate for what is happening, and their feeling of being "wronged," they will do anything and everything, rational or not, to try to even the score. These are the kinds of clients calling you three times a day to report what horrible thing their ex did now, from not warming the milk in the bottle to the correct temperature, to showing up 30 seconds late to a visit, to "bribing" the child with a gift of a necklace. Petty stuff to us, but this is their world at that moment.

I never met a parent who didn't love their child, and yet those same parents did things very emotionally damaging to their children, too caught up in all the dramatics to realize it.

I think once Kate takes a deep breath, relaxes, and is able to step away from what is happening, she is going to realize that it was not only a stupid decision to support this lawsuit financially, but also emotionally, and most importantly for her children.

Finances aside, a lawsuit is very emotionally upsetting to children. Sometimes even moreso, because they don't understand what it all means. Even having Kate spending a lot of time on the phone and having them overhear all these conversations with attorneys, is not beneficial to them. And for that reason alone the suits should be dropped to allow them to move on.

Anonymous said...

I 'think', (from very early documents & during the dispute about Jon withdrawing $200,000), the JKIG account is the one in which the 'family' paycheck is deposited and that Kate pays bills with and then distributes to all of the other accounts as she wishes - in other words - it's probably their direct-deposit checking account.

So, if this is true, is TLC going after the entire family paycheck - or does it make no difference what the account is used for and is it no different than what you explained above? THANKS!

Anonymous said...

I just happened to check the Md case search for Gosselin and JKIG is now, also represented by Jon's attorney. So, although we don't know what percentage of JKIG might be in jeopardy, the corporation is now legally represented.

Here is the info:

Address: 860 VIA DE LA PAZ
Attorney(s) for the Defendant
ROCKVILLE MD 20850 ~ Administrator said...

This really has the potential to be infintely complicated. Who owns what, what money belongs to who, who represents who and what, will all have to be clarified before any decisions can be made as to this lawsuit.

I still think TLC will settle and back down at the last minute. They may have even told Kate, don't worry we bully him enough he will back down and none of your money will be in jeopardy. Only that plan is not working so far.

met said...

I agree Admin. This suit was filed so Jon would back down and let the children be filmed again. This just shows how heartless TLC is. IMO those children are ruined permanently. They are new Dion-Quints. There will be no counseling for them. Their mom is too much of a narcissist and their father is just too damn clueless to care.

alana said...

Dear Administrator,

Regarding Jon's "defense" in this lawsuit:

What kind of answer does the court require? That is, in addition to or in place of Jon counter suing TLC? Is Jon a respondent or a defendant?
Can he offer a kind of "insanity" defense or "answer"? For instance, can Jon say that he was so emotionally overwrought by the demise of his marriage that he just "went nuts" and that is why he broke his contract with TLC?

In other words, is this Jon's opportunity to use the "abuse excuse" in order to either end or win this lawsuit? ~ Administrator said...

Hi Alana. Jon is a respondent, and in his countersuit, he is the plaintiff. So he's both! The court isn't really requiring an "answer," Jon is the respondent so he is free to respond or not respond.

No, he probably won't really claim insanity. An Injunction is a very specific area of contract law with specific elements you must prove. Right now Jon's defense is mainly that the contract he signed was an invalid contract. Since the Injunction requires a valid contract, if the judge finds the contract was invalid, there's no injunction.

Most of his reply appears to be centered on the fact that the contract is invalid for a whole host of reasons--he didn't have an attorney, he didn't know what he was signing, the contract was unfair to both the parents and the children, the children were working illegally.

Despite TLC's bullying, my feeling is Jon has quite a strong case for an invalid contract here. The law does not like when people are taken advantage of (for instance there are quite specific rules limiting contracts you can make with minors, or holding someone under duress, or contracting with a feeble sickly old lady and taking advantage of her), and there are lots of laws to protect them when it comes to contracts. ~ Administrator said...

Just to clarify, Jon is saying he was allowed to breach the contract in the first place because the contract itself was invalid. You can't be in violation of a contract if there is no contract at all. For instance if I contract to pay you $100 to paint my house, but for some reason the contract is invalid, and you never paint the house, I can't win when I sue you for not painting my house because the original contract was never valid. You were never obligated to do anything because legally you were not bound. Jon is saying he can do what he wants because he has no obligation to TLC.

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