An August hearing could bring an end to the six-year civil case against Insomniac founder Pasquale Rotella and former LA Coliseum executives Pat Lynch and Todd DeStefano after new allegations of courtroom misconduct surfaced.
Rotella’s attorney, Gary Jay Kauffman, will ask the judge overseeing the Coliseum Commission’s civil lawsuit to dismiss the case following new allegations that the Commission’s attorneys violated court orders and mishandled sensitive evidence in the case.
Coliseum attorney Charles Slyngstad says a “litigation privilege” allowed him to allegedly violate a court order and publish details of a highly sensitive piece of evidence handed over by Insomniac during the discovery phase of the case. The confidential contract, marked for “attorney’s eyes only” was a purchase agreement between Live Nation and Insomniac documenting a $2 million settlement fund in the case.
Slyngstad publicly disclosed the confidential information when he filed a new lawsuit against Rotella in May, trying to prevent the EDM promoter from hiding his assets from attorneys in the lawsuit. Kaufman said publishing the information violated the court’s secrecy order and is asking LA Superior Court Judge Dalila Lyons to dismiss the case and sanction Slyngstad for his conduct.
The dismissal hearing is scheduled for Aug. 3 at 8:30 a.m. In a lengthy response, Slyngstad appeared to admit publishing the confidential information, arguing it was within his right to prevent Rotella from transferring his assets to a new company. He said Kaufman’s motion to dismiss was “nothing but a tactical motion.” Slyngstad argued the law allows him to “pursue meritous actions” to stop Rotella from dissolving his company and protect the claims of the Commission “without the fear of liability.”
On Thursday, Kaufman filed a reply motion, calling Slyngstad’s explanation a “signed confession admitting each and every element of contempt.” Kaufman skewered Slyngstad for telling the court there is not a clear definition of the meaning of “attorney’s eyes only” and no “explanation in the order of the meaning of those words.”
Kaufman called the statement “astonishing” and accused Slyngstand of “feign(ing) ignorance to the meaning of three basic English words.”
As for claiming litigation privilege, Kaufman called the move “nonsensical” and said it would “render any court order meaningless.”
“This utter disregard and disrespect of a court order is destructive to the foundations of the judicial system,” Kaufman wrote.
The legal drama comes a little more than a year after criminal charges against Rotella were reduced to misdemeanors with no jail time, after the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit was twice busted for prosecutorial misconduct. Rotella settled, avoided jail, paid a $150,000 fee and was placed on probation while codefendent DeStefano was given a six-month jail sentence that he served on house arrest.
If the judge in the civil matter doesn’t dismiss the case at next week’s hearing, it will go to trial in November.