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Justice Through Commercial Liens

Hollywood Heavy Hitters Hit With 500 Million Dollar Liens

by KATHLEEN WELLS

Not everything that is faced, can be changed, but nothing can be changed, until it is faced.

-James Baldwin

In February 2014, liens were filed and recorded against the world’s largest talent agency, William Morris Endeavor and their law firm, Loeb & Loeb LLP, along with plaintiff’s law firms, Dentons LLP, and Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson and Gary.

In 2001, Attorney Willie E. Gary, of the law firm, Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson and Gary, located in Stuart, Florida, was hired by 30-year veteran concert promoter, Leonard Rowe, then-president of the Black Promoters Association, to represent him and other black concert promoters in a landmark anti-trust and civil rights lawsuit, against William Morris and other defendants. This battle has been waged by Mr. Rowe for 15 years in his effort to right the wrongs that exist in the concert promotion industry. I wrote about this case previously and you can read the details of this case and see actual pleadings here.

During litigation of Rowe Entertainment v. The William Morris Agency, Mr. Rowe paid out of his own pocket, $200,000.00, to retrieve email evidence which later revealed the egregious nature in which executives at William Morris and Creative Artists Agency referred to black people as “niggers,” “spooks,” “coons” and “monkeys,” among other names. Not only was this email evidence concealed from Mr. Rowe by the defendants and their law firms, but by his own attorneys, as well.

During discovery, Mr. Rowe states that his own attorney, Mr. Willie E. Gary, conspired with co-counsel Martin R. Gold of Dentons LLP and the opposing side, to conceal this key evidence from him and the court. Mr. Rowe further states that Mr. Gary was entrusted not only by his client, but by the entire black music industry, as well as black people across this nation, to make sure that justice would be properly served in this case. Absent Mr. Gary’s betrayal and duplicitous conduct, Mr. Rowe feels that his case would not have been dismissed by defendant’s summary judgment motion. Mr. Gary did what very few attorneys would ever think about doing to their own race — he betrayed not only his own client, but his own race of people, in order to enrich himself, states Rowe.

Here is a bit of the data underlying Rowe’s lawsuit: In the 114 year history of The William Morris Agency, no black concert promoter has ever been allowed to engage in a contract with a white entertainer or artist for a live concert performance. Yet, white concert promoters are able to engage in contracts with artists, of all races, be they black or white. The law plainly states that no person, can be denied the right to engage in a contract, based on their race.

Also, black concert promoters have always been required to pay a fifty (50) percent deposit upfront, for the artist that they where allowed to promote for a concert, which consisted of only black artist. Yet, conversely, white promoters have always only paid zero (0) to ten (10) percent as a deposit to promote any and all artists of their choice, be they white or black. Rowe literally submitted over 2,000 contracts to the court, demonstrating, the inequities and disparities. These examples I cite of the double standards against black concert promoters are in no way exhaustive.

This type of inequity and injustice must not and should not be allowed to prevail in any industry in America today.

As a result of the legal action, brought by the DGA, predicated upon violation of U.S. civil-rights laws to challenge gender discrimination against women directors in Hollywood, a remarkable surge resulted in the number of women TV directors, as well as the creation of numerous DGA-Studio Agreements promoting diversity hiring being put into place.

So the question that is raised here is: do the civil rights laws, no longer apply to blacks in America and only apply to women, and white women at that? Clearly, this is the position of Judge Robert P. Patterson who sits on the bench in the Southern District of New York and who dismissed Leonard Rowe’s case at the summary judgment level, ignoring all of the evidence proffered. Mr. Rowe literally submitted 10 boxes of evidence which in addition to the over 2,000 contacts, contained emails and testimonies (affidavits and declarations) by white concert promoters conceding the discriminatory and inequitable practices against black concert promoters within the concert promotion industry. Rowe also presented disposition testimony to the court, of several white promoters who stated under oath at their dispositions that, “what we have in the concert promotion industry is a good ole’ boy’s club.”

What could account for this miscarriage of justice? What could account for Judge Robert P. Patterson dismissing Leonard Rowe’s lawsuit ignoring all of this evidence, his oath of office, as well as the Constitution of the United States? Is this judge competent enough to be sitting on the bench, overseeing cases of this magnitude and importance? The standard is that a summary judgment motion is granted, where there is not a scintilla of evidence presented to support the opposing party’s claim. The law also firmly states that when a defendant moves for a summary judgment motion to have the case dismissed, it should be rarely granted, particularly in discrimination cases, because evidence is so often buried in testimony.

Given that Mr. Rowe’s lawsuit was wrongly dismissed due to fraud and corruption, the only other vehicle available to Mr. Rowe was to seek justice through the commercial lien process.

These commercial liens were filed and recorded based upon the violation of the oaths taken by the respective attorneys — violation of their ethical duties of professional responsibility, which is a violation of trust — and for engaging in fraud and conspiracy against Mr. Rowe’s and co-plaintiff’s interest. Also, each 500 million dollar lien reflects the violation of Mr. Rowe’s civil rights, and the theft, asportation and concealment of Leonard Rowe’s personal property — which is the emails.

This behavior, by attorney Willie E. Gary in conjunction with Martin R. Gold of Dentons, LLP and opposing counsel amounts to the illegal and felonies act of tapering with evidence in a federal proceeding and constitutes a fraud perpetrated upon the court — a most serious charge, which bars any statute to run limiting Rowe’s ability to have his case reopened.

The commercial lien process allows those that are the target of the liens to refute each claim, by submitting their own affidavit in rebuttal, before the liens are recorded. So, before anyone feels sorry for these lien debtors, know that each, had 4 opportunities, to rebut the claims asserted by Leonard Rowe in their own affidavit, yet, each offered no rebuttal.

Now, keep in mind, that an affidavit, which is distinguished from a declaration, is a sworn and notarized statement as to truth of the matters asserted. And, can only be rebutted, by the individual, to whom it is directed with their own affidavit. All statements contained within an affidavit, must be sworn to be the truth, notarized by a notary and if it is proved not to be trustworthy, the affiant may be subjected to criminal penalties. Just as importantly, lawyers, which are officers of the court, stand to lose their law license, if found to have perjured themselves in their sworn affidavit. This could be the reason why, the parties, in this matter, have not offered a rebuttal.

Further, to have the liens removed the parties must appear before the trier of fact, i.e., a jury, which Mr. Rowe has repeatedly and consistently requested. A judge has no jurisdiction in the process of having commercial liens removed. The liens can only be removed by the individual who placed the liens or by a jury of twelve.

The commercial liens placed against these companies and law firms, were in the amount of five hundred million dollars each.

In Mr. Rowe’s lawsuit against William Morris and other defendants, Rowe sought damages in the amount of seven hundred and fifty million dollars for violation of anti-trust and the civil rights act of the United States. Mr. Rowe contends that if a jury had been allowed to view the evidence, they would have awarded this amount, if not more.

This decision by Judge Robert P. Patterson will historically and categorically place him firmly with the likes of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who stated in the Dred Scott decision, “the Negro has no rights which the white man is bound to respect.” This decision by Justice Taney denied a black slave, Dred Scott, and his family their freedom.

I would like to say to this entire nation that if there was ever a time for all black people, as well as people who believe in righteousness and justice for all, to stand together, it is now. This is not only an injustice to Leonard Rowe, but an injustice to all people, everywhere.

Kathleen Wells is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall) and the host, The Kathleen Wells Show heard on KCAA (AM1050) (http://www.kcaaradio.com/wednesday.html)