What is this about?

Found this website tonight.  It's appears to be made by R&R Auction's Bobby Livingston, and it would appear that he has made this without his lawyers knowledge..

New Website made by R&R Auctions...

 

Attachements to go with things: Attachments

 

R&R Auction wins decisive victory in 2 ½ year old lawsuit filed By serial litigator and would-be competitor Michael Johnson

Lawyers for Michael Johnson, the wealthy son of an oil industry tycoon effectively admitted defeat today in Santa Barbara County Superior Court after Judge Donna Geck issued a tentative ruling denying Johnson’s motion for a class action in a suit filed in October 2012 in which Johnson alleged that $84,000 worth of autographed items he’d purchased through R&R were later found to be inauthentic.

In what R&R’s attorney’s predict will be a fatal blow to Johnson’s suit, now on its second set of lawyers, Judge Geck issued a six-page tentative ruling Wednesday denying class action status to the case “Because of the findings that the class is not ascertainable, the class is not numerous and individual issues predominate over common issues.”

Johnson’s action was the first suit filed in the 35 year history of the highly respected New Hampshire based auction house which serves as a broker for autographed memorabilia.
But R&R has had to spend tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees fighting for its reputation in the action brought by serial litigator Johnson, who has filed nine (9) different civil suits in the last 25 years; seven (7) including this one [1] in the past three:


He’s filed one suit against his own sister and brother-in-law, [2] two against autograph memorabilia companies [3] and one against the very web designer who created a site for him in which Johnson himself sought to compete with R&R. [4] The hyper-litigious Johnson even sued the lawyer who initially filed the suit against R&R in 2012. [5]
Since October 2012 has sought to wage the litigation against the house as a class action, seeking to recover on behalf of all of R&R’s 393 California clients from 2008-12, but as noted in the Judge’s tentative ruling Johnson failed to identify a single one to join his case.
In an industry where autographs are often authenticated and later disputed, less than three per cent (2.8%) R&R’s 393 California clients (during the class years 2008-2012) ever took advantage of R&R’s ironclad 100% refund for signed guitars, album covers and drum heads they had purchased through the house; a policy Johnson himself refused to utilize.
Worse, in what the State Bar of California might view as extortion, Johnson and his latest attorneys Christman, Kelley & Clarke PC, began making a series of settlement demands on R&R between February 6th and 24th threatening (effectively) to go to the media including The Boston Globe, ESPN and The New York Daily News if R&R didn’t settle.

Their escalating series of demands had drop-dead dates for settlement numbers starting at $1.25 million and skyrocketing to $5,000,000 if R&R didn’t acquiesce by March 9th, four days before a Santa Barbara Judge rules on their legally baseless class action motion.

Further, in a fraud-on-the court rarely seen in California litigation, on Friday, March 6th Kelley filed a 119 page Declaration in support of his class motion in which he entered the hearsay statement of a former R&R employee who accused the house of fraud in 2008 only after she was discovered to have embezzled $450,000 from the company.
While noting that this woman (Karen Burris) had committed suicide, Kelley hid from the court, the dead woman’s motive in attempting to attack R&R’s stellar reputation.

Then, in that same pleading, Kelley attached a New York Daily News article dated March 5th     on William Boehm, an IT specialist whom R&R had merely hired to maintain their online auction software, noting that he had pled guilty to Chicago Federal fraud charges in   conjunction with Mastro Auctions, a notorious house with zero connection to R&R.

Kelley then attached sixty-four (64) pages from the Mastro federal suit including the federal indictment, seeking to confuse the court. In a stunning exercise of guilt-by-association his reasoning seemed to be: Boehm was guilty in one criminal prosecution. He was hired as a freelance IT specialist by R&R, thus they too must be guilty. That material on Boehm in Kelley’s March 5th pleadings amounted to more than half of his submission to the court.

VIOLATING THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

But in that 119 page declaration filed March 5th, Dugan Kelley made good on the demand cited in his email to Keith Attlesey February 24th in which he predicted that the new $2,750,000.00 settlement “number” would expire on February 27th.

“I have recently come into information,” he wrote, “bearing on criminal activity as well.”

Threatening “criminal… charges to obtain an advantage in a civil dispute,” is a direct violation of Rule 5-100 of The Rules of Professional Conduct which govern the behavior of lawyers in the state of California.

Moreover, issuing a settlement demand, with the promise of not going to the media as Dugan Kelley did in his email to Keith Attlesey on February 6th could be seen as extortion. Under California Penal Code Section 519 the crime of extortion is defined as, “the obtaining of property from another… induced by a wrongful use of force or fear.” Under the Penal Code one element in the definition of “fear” is “accus(ing) the individual threatened… of a crime.”

Thus, in his “guilt-by-association,” “smoke and mirrors” declaration filed March 6th, Dugan Kelley, an officer of the court was making good on his threat to Keith Attlesey in that February 24th email suggesting that he had “information bearing on criminal activity.”

“It was of little matter to Dugan Kelley that his “information” didn’t supply a scintilla of evidence that R&R had engaged in criminal behavior, beyond the hearsay, inadmissible declaration of Karen Burris,” says R&R Executive Vice President Bobby Livingston.

“Mrs. Burris had written tens of thousands of dollars of R&R checks to herself, her husband William and his company; even going so far as to wire a total of $34,691.38 of R&R funds to Cushing Academy, her son’s private school.”

On March 5th, 2008, after discovering the full depth and breadth of Mrs. Burris’s embezzlement, R&R Auction filed suit against her, her husband William and his company Gases and Technology Magazine, for conversion, fraud and unjust enrichment.

Twelve days later, the Amherst, NH P.D. sought a warrant to search Burris-related files at Citizen’s Bank where Karen had written many of the bad checks.

It wasn’t until eight (8) days after the filing of their initial lawsuit for fraud that Karen Burris gave the twelve (12) page notarized statement accusing R&R of fraud. It was this hearsay statement, given at a time when law enforcement authorities were closing in on Mrs. Burris and her husband, that Dugan Kelley, Michael Johnson’s lawyer, included in his March 6th pleading – never hinting to Judge Geck that Karen Burris, who later shot herself to death on April 2nd 2008 had an animus toward R&R and a motive to lie.

But again, in what appears to be a clear effort to deceive the court, Kelley didn’t mention that R&R had reached a settlement with William Burris in October 2008 in which he agreed to pay back some of the $111,000.00 that he himself was accused of stealing from R&R. That deal, in which R&R showed leniency, allowed Mr. Burris to avoid jail time.

Mr. Burris himself faced those criminal charges after the Amherst, New Hampshire police department obtained a search warrant to obtain records from Burris and his wife just under a month after her suicide.

BUT FOR HIS ABILITY TO BANKROLL THESE SERIAL LAWSUITS

MICHAEL JOHNSON WOULD QUALIFY AS A VEXATIOUS LITIGANT

California Code of Civil Procedure Section 391.7 seeks to prevent the kind of serial litigation practiced by Michael Johnson. Typically, the law applies to pro per litigants who represent themselves. But since Johnson, who retired at the age of 43, is the wealthy son of an oil industry executive, he has the means to continue hiring members of the bar to promote his specious legal claims. The statute defines a Vexatious Litigant as one who:

“In the immediately preceding seven-year period has commenced, prosecuted, or maintained in propria persona at least five litigations…
In the last 25 years by his own admission under oath, Johnson has been the principal litigant in nine (9) civil actions He’s won two [6] of them at trial and settled three [7] others for a combined total of nearly $2.1 million ($2,090,000.00).

The other four (4) cases are pending: R&R, America Safety Services, Inc. (ASSI) (assignee), McCarthy & Kroes and Munson. In fact Johnson has twice been a party to lawsuits against his own family company.

JOHNSON’s FAILURE TO PROVE MANY OF THE ITEMS HE CLAIMS
HE BOUGHT FROM R&R AUCTIONS WERE “INAUTHENTIC”

Throughout the litigation Johnson never furnished proof of a single item that could be identified as having been bought from R&R and later definitively proven to be inauthentic.

A case in point is the album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” signed by Eric Clapton, which Johnson bought from R&R in 2007 after it was authenticated by Roger Epperson and R&R owner Robert Eaton and later according to Johnson “did not pass… authentication” when he later submitted it to PSA/DNA in 2011

“The problem,” says Livingston, “ that no where on PSA/DNA’s certificate on the album cover dated 4/29/11 is there any proof that this item found to be inauthentic was THE SAME ALBUM COVER R&R acknowledges Johnson bought from them four years earlier.

“This entire litigation with Michael Johnson was a set up. First of all, he didn’t complain to us until May, 2011 demanding over $ 100,000 more than five years after he’d purchased his first item that he’s now disputing on October 20, 2005. At that point he had already retained Chris Kroes, of McCarthy & Kroes, the law firm he’s now suing. So clearly he wasn’t interested in a refund. His intent was to litigate.

“So just as he sued two other memorabilia companies, demanding settlements he was trying to use the civil legal system to extort money from us – and after he fired McCarthy & Kroes, the extortion has now grown to exponential new levels with his current firm Christman, Kelley and Clark, whose last settlement demand was $5 million dollars – that’s for a claim that initially totaled about $84,000.

“Michael Johnson is the only client in the history of R&R Auction who has demanded a refund and refused to return the items so that we can honor our money-back guarantee.

“This is a baseless case which is why Johnson and his lawyers are threatening to try it in the media. Also, Johnson maintains a website rrauctionlawsuit.com in which they’ve posted our video depositions online and threatened many other respected members of the memorabilia community to depose, drawing them into this action which has now dragged on for nearly three years. It’s another example of litigation by extortion.

“This lawsuit versus R&R Auctions is a clear abuse of the judicial process: a wealthy collector of celebrity signatures, who sought to set up his own memorabilia company is now – years after he purchased upwards of $84,000.00 in memorabilia from us and we offered a full refund – seeking to extort millions of dollars from R&R in return for not attacking our reputation in the media with a series of false and defamatory allegations.”

For any questions or to follow-up please contact Robert Livingston:

Cell: 239-285-8534 email: bobby.livingston@rrauction.com

[1] Johnson vs. R&R Auction Company LLC, (Santa Barbara County Sup. Court Case No. 1397046);

[2] Johnson vs. Moseley, et. al. (Kern County Sup. Court. Case No. S-1500-CV-274173);

[3] Johnson vs. American Memorabilia; Johnson vs. Rock & Hollywood Gallery;

[4] Johnson vs. Munson (Santa Barbara Sup. Court Case No. 1413816);

[5] Johnson et. al vs. McCarthy & Kroes;

[6] Johnson vs. State of California (wrongful death) 1990 in which he won a verdict of $1.7 million; American Memorabilia, 2009, in which he won a verdict of $75,000.00

[7] Coldwell Banker, 1994, in which he settled for $20,000.00; American Safety Services Inc. 2007, settled for $255,000; and Rock & Hollywood Gallery, 2007, settled for $40,000.00.

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Replies

  • These idiots don't even know how to take down their own website...  WOW!

  • That's a good question. I don't believe this got a thumbs up to post for the lawyers, but who knows... stranger things have gone on.

    Don Bacardi, the REAL Don Bacardi

  • What is the end game with posting this stuff?

    Mr. Johnson posts factual court documents and video depositons and they counter with this?

    REALLY?

This reply was deleted.