Former Righthaven CEO Secretly Hires Lawyers For The Company He No Longer Has Anything To Do With
from the that's-not-right dept
As far as the court-appointed receiver, Lara Pearson, knew, Gibson and his wife Raisha "Drizzle" Gibson (who had been "COO" of Righthaven) no longer had anything to do with the company.
And then... she discovered that Gibson had somehow secured another law firm to supposedly represent "Righthaven" in its appeal of the Hoehn case (the first of the big losses that resulted in attorneys' fees being owed). That firm apparently tried to file some documents in the appeal six months late. This was quite a surprise, and Pearson reacted, as she should, by sending notices to both Gibsons, to the law firm that they employed and to the court explaining why this was ridiculous. In the letters, you can tell that Pearson is quite reasonably angry with the Gibsons, whom she reminds no longer have control over the firm, and makes it explicit to them that they were fired back in December. On top of that, she explains her intent to take legal action against the Gibsons for legal malpractice:
Your actions have caused, and continue to cause ongoing harm to Righthaven and its finances. To put an end to this damage and prevent future harm, I hereby remove any and all authority for you to act on behalf of the company, and formally place you on notice that the company will be taking legal action against you for your ultra vires acts as well as for claims of legal malpractice, which led the company to its current state.The letter to the law firm that Gibson retained is equally direct:
.... Recently, it has come to my attention that you engaged the services of Miller Barondess LLP in Righthaven v. Hoehn.... I was neither informed of nor did I authorized this action, nor did I authorize any expenditure. Engaging yet another law firm and pursuing an appeal that both the Ninth Circuit and the District of Nevada have declined to find has a substantial likelihood of success is not in Righthaven's best interest...
Presently, Righthaven must satisfy more than $350,000 in judgments entered against it.... For you or anyone else acting on behalf of Righthaven to incur new fees or engage in any activity other than mitigating these liability is directly contrary to the company's best interests.
[....] To be clear, you are fully terminated from any position with Righthaven LLC. You are prohibited from taking further action on its behalf, and may not hold yourself out as an officer, employee, or representative of the company. Any further actions you purport to take on Righthaven's behalf shall be met with requests for injunctive relief and personal sanctions...
Mr. Gibson does not and has not had authority to enter new contracts and incur new expenses for the company, which presently must satisfy more than $350,000 in judgments entered against it.Finally, in the filing with the court, Pearson notes that this action indicates that Gibson has been hiding certain Righthave funds/assets:
I was unaware that Mr. Gibson had retained your firm until Mr. Hoehn's counsel inquired about this development and whether I had approved it. Mr. Gibson has no authority to act on behalf of Righthaven -- and even if he did, the act of pursuing this appeal would add further costs onto Righthaven's already substantial debts -- which I would not have approved... I demand that you cease all billing activity immdiately. I also demand that you provide me with a full accounting of all funds in trust for Righthaven.... All future actions taken with respect to Righthaven require my approval, as I am the only person with the authority to make decisions on Righthaven's behalf unless and until my receivership is terminated.
Instead of satisfying Righthaven's substantial judgments, Gibson has elected to allocate Righthaven funds that have been concealed from me to pursue appeals over rights that Righthaven no longer owns, and has done so in a manner that further imperils what is left of Righthaven's assets with additional attorneys' fees awards and sanctions.