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[bc-gnso] FW: GoDaddy.com Loses Motion to Recuse 'The Academy's Judge'

  • To: "bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx" <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [bc-gnso] FW: GoDaddy.com Loses Motion to Recuse 'The Academy's Judge'
  • From: Phil Corwin <psc@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2014 17:35:22 +0000

FYI-very high profile cybersquatting case against Go Daddy...

Subject: GoDaddy.com Loses Motion to Recuse 'The Academy's Judge'


GoDaddy.com Loses Motion to Recuse 'The Academy's Judge'
Amanda Bronstad, The National Law Journal
February 04, 2014, 05:03 PM    |
[1988 Academy Awards red carpet]1988 Academy Awards red carpet Photo: Alan 
Light via Wikimedia Commons
Domain-name registrar GoDaddy.com Inc. has lost an effort to force the recusal 
of a federal judge based on alleged bias toward the Academy of Motion Picture 
Arts and Sciences, whose own attorney it said referred to her as "the Academy's 
In 2010, the Academy, which hosts the Oscars awards show, sued GoDaddy.com for 
cybersquatting. The suit alleges that GoDaddy.com offers a program by which its 
customers can "park" a Web page-in this case, allegedly under infringing domain 
names-for the sole purpose of collecting ad revenue derived when users click 
onto the sites.
Among the more than 100 domain names at issue are oscarlist.com and 
academyawardsinc.com. The case is scheduled to go to trial later this year.
Although the case originally was assigned to U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer 
in Los Angeles, the Academy successfully moved to transfer the litigation to 
U.S. District Judge Audrey Collins, who is overseeing related cases over its 
During a hearing Monday, Fischer rejected GoDaddy's motion to recuse Collins, 
saying she would issue a written ruling soon. "The Court finds that the motion 
is untimely, frivolous, and that defense has provided no evidence that a 
reasonable person could conclude that there is any bias by Judge Collins," 
Fischer concluded, according to a minute order of the proceedings.
"Her ruling began by characterizing the motion as both untimely and frivolous 
and concluded by noting that GoDaddy had blatantly misrepresented the facts," 
said David Quinto, a partner at Los Angeles-based Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & 
Sullivan and the Academy's longtime trademark attorney.
The organization's counsel of record, Stuart Singer, a partner in Boies, 
Schiller & Flexner's Fort Lauderdale office, said he was "gratified by Judge 
Fischer's decision."
GoDaddy.com did not respond to a request for comment, and its attorney, Aaron 
McKown of Wrenn Bender in Irvine, Calif., did not return a call for comment.
Among other things, GoDaddy.com's attorneys claimed in a Dec. 31 motion that 
the Academy has attempted "to game the system" by steering all its cases before 
Collins, who has overseen 25 of its disputes within the past 15 years. In this 
case, they noted that Collins had ruled for the Academy on a number of motions, 
including for dismissal and summary judgment. Collins has allegedly encouraged 
GoDaddy.com to settle the case while suggesting the Academy file a second suit.
The Academy, in turn, has used its leverage with Collins, whose daughter is an 
actress, in settlement negotiations, the motion asserts. During a 2012 meeting 
on potential settlement terms, for example, Quinto allegedly told GoDaddy.com's 
attorneys that they should know Collins is "the Academy's judge."
In court papers, the Academy's attorneys called GoDaddy.com's claims 
"outrageous and sanctionable." In a Jan. 13 opposition filing, they noted that 
GoDaddy.com did not object at the time the case was transferred. They brushed 
aside arguments about Collins' daughter, who is not an Academy member, and 
called accusations about the judge's statements misleading. They also defended 
their own settlement discussions.
Quinto said his reference to Collins as "the Academy judge"-not, he insisted, 
"the Academy's judge" as GoDaddy.com contends-simply meant she "was familiar 
with the academy's intellectual properties."
"GoDaddy's motion struck me as baseless and Judge Collins is a very well 
respected judge," he added. "Let's just say that in my career, I've never seen 
something like this."
Contact Amanda Bronstad at abronstad@xxxxxxx<mailto:abronstad@xxxxxxx>.

Read more: 

Philip S. Corwin, Founding Principal
Virtualaw LLC
1155 F Street, NW
Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20004

Twitter: @VlawDC

"Luck is the residue of design" -- Branch Rickey

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