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mitchejw
 Rep: 109 

Re: A personal matter I could use advice with...

mitchejw wrote:

I hope the people at GNRevo don't mind...but I'm going to use this forum as place to do something cathartic for myself. I'm asking for your support, advice and thoughts regarding the matter as it has consumed much of the last few years of my life. I'm really struggling right now because the matter is about to head to trial. It will culminate in a very tumultuous week for me in which not only do I have to get up on the stand and tell my story, my wife will also have to get sucked into this...and I feel horrible about it.

About 3.5 years ago, I entered into a business relationship with a woman whom I had a professional relationship with for over a half decade. Foolishly....and without the advice of an attorney, I stupidly gave her half my business. It's really hard for me to admit that now...but that's what I did. In exchange for promises of future business growth, I gave this woman half of my business. Just over a year later, I was kicked out of the business the a series of dramatic events that left me with literally nothing. So...just to recap...I owned a flourishing business, I gave half of it away...and the other half was stolen from me. I did that...and the shame I feel for not protecting myself and my family is something I think about every day. I learned a very hard, costly lesson.

How did she do this you might ask?

1) She altered the operating agreement and made herself the managing member. Through discovery we have evidence of her doing so.

2) She took my name off the company bank account

3) Through discovery, we have evidence of her slandering my in e-mail to clients and employees...consistently questioning my competency.

4) Improperly conveyed a portion of company ownership to her husband.

5) Created a new LLC, took all the clients and assets and put all of the clients into the that LLC. Essentially dumping out the entire LLC which we owned together into an LLC she exclusively owned.

6) During discovery and subpoenaed information obtained from the banks and health insurance companies...it was discovered that the year we were in business our company grossed approximately $2.5 million dollars. Much of that is still unaccounted for...

7) In the years following, their company continued to grow. A company I created, built from the ground up was not under her (and her husband's) complete control. In 4 years, the company grossed close to $14 million.

And so much more...

These people have lied to me, slandered me, bullied me and threatened me since I became the plantiff in a law suit against them. They have filed 2 complaints to the board of ethics of my field.

Today in court, they are now attempting to counter sue me for millions. We're going to trial in January and I'm comforted to know that everyone around me see these acts as nothing but actions of desperate people.

Not a day goes by that I don't think about this betrayal. The ingratitude...the complete and utter lack of respect for me and anything I contributed. The slander. The relationships with people I would see on a daily basis. I stood up on one of my co-worker's weddings...haven't spoken to him in going on 3 years.

My whole life was torn to shreds in one short years of a business partnership. I still struggle with the feelings of betrayal, the repetitive going back through memories of interactions and saying "what if I had just done that one thing differently." Words cannot express the grief I encountered for over a year after all of this happened. I was miserable. I had nothing to do...not job...no company...I drank way too much for about 4 months immediately after.

I struggle to move on completely because I have had to constantly relive these events every month with a regularly scheduled court dates over the past few years. Now...just finally now, we're getting to the trial.

Any thoughts you guys could share if you've ever been through a situation similar to this...I would greatly appreciate it. One question I would specifically ask is that these two people have been attempting to communicate with me without lawyers more and more as we get closer to trial. Would it at all be in my interest to engage with them? I cannot see at this time how it would be...

slcpunk
 Rep: 154 

Re: A personal matter I could use advice with...

slcpunk wrote:

One question I would specifically ask is that these two people have been attempting to communicate with me without lawyers more and more as we get closer to trial. Would it at all be in my interest to engage with them?

No.

What do they want? They may be getting nervous and want to settle?

Do everything through your attorney. Period.

My .02

mitchejw
 Rep: 109 

Re: A personal matter I could use advice with...

mitchejw wrote:
slcpunk wrote:

One question I would specifically ask is that these two people have been attempting to communicate with me without lawyers more and more as we get closer to trial. Would it at all be in my interest to engage with them?

No.

What do they want? They may be getting nervous and want to settle?

Do everything through your attorney. Period.

My .02

I don’t know for certain...my guess is they are trying to obtain information...I think they’re very interested in knowing how much I know now.

Everything is under the guise of cooperation with them.

misterID
 Rep: 454 

Re: A personal matter I could use advice with...

misterID wrote:

Man, sorry to hear all that. Lawsuits are awful and all encompassing.

My father owned the biggest travel agency in central Florida in the 1980s. He did it from the ground up. He started his business in the attic of an Elvis Presley museum and ended up with nearly the entire 6th floor of the orange bank building overlooking universal studios. He was a multi millionaire. He eventually got into a trademark dispute with Disney. He found a loophole to use their stuff in his advertising, but it had to be done and worded in a certain way. Disney sued him, his offices were expertly broken into and files stolen... Strangely. My mother pressured my dad into hiring her sister and husband. He gave her a low level "managerial" position for his magazine that used said Disney advertisement. He had a specific outline to follow before using anything with Disney. He reiterated it, taught it, instilled it. Of course, she did everything he said not to, rewrote his outline and published it.

My father was in the midst of a copyright lawsuit with Disney and countersuit. My father had the victory... Until Disney presented with shit my aunt fucked up. He ended up settling with them. Eisner was so impressed he offered my dad a job at Disney. Universal wanted to hire him. But my dad sunk into a depression and lost everything.

He eventually built himself back up in the golfing industry in the 90s when it really boomed. He never really recovered, but he did make it back and reinvented himself.

It sounds like you've got them by the balls. It's a hard lesson, but a life lesson. Don't let it get to you. Fuck em in the ass and let them sweat it, which they are no doubt doing.

I've seen my parents go through these lawsuits and my advice, don't let it become an obsession.

Neemo
 Rep: 480 

Re: A personal matter I could use advice with...

Neemo wrote:

I work in architecture...so my experiebces would be different than yours...but anyway I've been involved in situations regarding lawsuits ... but never in the middle of one  ... more on the outside looking in ... but thats sucks u are in this situation

As my advice I would agree with SLC ... have no contact with the other party, keep it with your attorney ... tell your attorney about being approached by them

Presumably u trust your lawyer ... let them do their job ... and I'm hoping u come out on the good end smile

Unless of course u want to settle ... but these people have fucked u before ... don't fall into another trap

mitchejw
 Rep: 109 

Re: A personal matter I could use advice with...

mitchejw wrote:

Thanks guys...I appreciate the input...I guess the hardest part for me is that I’ll never really understand why this happened.

How can someone shake your hand and then decide so quickly that they’re going to fuck you.

The more I Move forward with this the more ruthless they get...

I’ve never personally encountered such ruthless aggression.

buzzsaw
 Rep: 426 

Re: A personal matter I could use advice with...

buzzsaw wrote:

The one thing that has been established is that you cannot trust this person (or these people).  You can debate other aspects (what you could have/should have done differently), but there's no circumstance under which trusting them worked out for you.  Stay as far away as possible.  Don't even try to outsmart them by getting something from them while giving nothing.

If they are reaching out to you, they are getting nervous.  That's a good thing.  Let them keep getting nervous.

I know we've had our differences, but I wouldn't wish what happened to you on anybody.  It's unfortunate, but the lesson that is learned over and over in life is that you can't trust ANYBODY.  Not friends, not family, not anybody.

PaSnow
 Rep: 197 

Re: A personal matter I could use advice with...

PaSnow wrote:

I've never been in a lawsuit. I do do video work & have shot my share of deposition videos & testimony. Majority of which are civil & not criminal.

My feedback, while minor, is do as others say & don't speak to them much at all (if ever). Especially do not discuss the case or business. Something mentioned very minor could be of great help to them. Case in point, a state trooper was deposed re; a car accident & crime scene photos he took. While on a break he spoke to me a bit about my video camera, mentioning his DSLR takes video too. Well, later on the attorney asked him 'Did you take any video of the crime scene?' He mentioned no & the  attorney asked why not. It wasn't a deal breaking moment in the case, as they take about 200 photos & theres little video would have proved, but it just goes to show you the most innocent thing can become of use. Also, lawyers when discovering will just brainstorm, and pop off questions off the top of their head, sometimes its interesting to watch. Anyway if you were to bitch & say you're lawyers been lazy, or you weren't aware of a certain document, or mention something they might be able to use it.

One more thing, alot of cases settle out of court. Trials are expensive and judges actually push attorneys to try to come to agreement on the backend. About 1/3 of my depositions cancel because it settled, which is why I like weddings better lol they rarely cancel. Anyway so I don't know if they're nervous & maybe their lawyer is advising them to settle. Maybe you mentioned it but what are you suing for, is it financial compensation or are you looking to get the business back plus past earnings, and how is the business now, still going pretty strong. Could be that their lawyers feels they did alot of illegal handling & possibly forgery, and feels they're not going to win. Otherwise tho they're just contacting you for insight into how you feel its going on your end, and trying to steal signs so to speak. If the company went under & they spent it all then its probably not all that worth pursuing, but it doesn't sound like thats the case.

mitchejw
 Rep: 109 

Re: A personal matter I could use advice with...

mitchejw wrote:
buzzsaw wrote:

The one thing that has been established is that you cannot trust this person (or these people).  You can debate other aspects (what you could have/should have done differently), but there's no circumstance under which trusting them worked out for you.  Stay as far away as possible.  Don't even try to outsmart them by getting something from them while giving nothing.

If they are reaching out to you, they are getting nervous.  That's a good thing.  Let them keep getting nervous.

I know we've had our differences, but I wouldn't wish what happened to you on anybody.  It's unfortunate, but the lesson that is learned over and over in life is that you can't trust ANYBODY.  Not friends, not family, not anybody.

thanks Buzz...I appreciate you chiming in...it does mean a lot.

You're absolutely right...trusting them was the start of all my problems. A part of me just wants this to be over with but I know it would be hard to live with if I didn't pursue it to the fullest.

It's not even about the money anymore because...well...I did eventually dust myself off and get back on the horse. Everything is going to be fine in terms of my future. I just can't live with the idea that people could get away with such heinous behavior. I've really had a hard time with growing out of the naivety that people like this exist. I guess I kind of had this "aw shucks that could never happen to me" attitude. Then it did...and I was completely shocked.

I could never do something like that to someone else because I couldn't live with myself. I could not live the rest of my life knowing I had done such harm to someone else. That's what keeps me on the straight and narrow.

But it wasn't enough to steal my business and the 4 plus years I had put into building it. They then had to try and destroy my career by frivolously filing false claims about me to the board of my field. It's just like....when was enough going to be enough?

The husband just showed up at my bachelor party last July just to fuck with me. He's hacked into my e-mail accounts and deleted the contents. They've called my web designer and other people I have relationships with pretending to act on my behalf. They weren't just out to steal and commit fraud....they wanted to end me.

PaSnow
 Rep: 197 

Re: A personal matter I could use advice with...

PaSnow wrote:

and on a personal note, I once cosigned a loan for a girl years ago. I was younger & dumb for doing it. Geeez I regret it. Wasn't exactly life changing money but it was pretty substantial and after a year or two she bailed on it & we were no longer really in touch. I called & emailed a few times but got sick of the excuses & ended up paying it myself. Fucking mistake

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