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The ongoing legal proceedings against Gearbox Software president and CEO Randy Pitchford have continued to escalate, with him now being accused of contempt.
Gamespot reports that Wade Callender (former executive counsel for Gearbox) filed a motion on August 27th in Dallas County district court, requesting sanctions and contempt against Gearbox. The motion also alleged “discovery abuse”, and a failure to produce court-ordered documents.
Contempt of court essentially means being “disobedient or disrespectful” towards court proceedings. This can mean being outright disrespectful, or willfully failing to obey a court order.
Discovery is the pre-trial procedures where each party (via civil procedure) can obtain evidence from the other or any party (including via questioning, requests for documents, requests for admissions, and depositions).
Some critics of law state that discovery can be abused by the wealthier side, demanding a multitude of documents (with little or no relevance), requesting protective orders to prevent deposition of key witnesses, and other measures intended to hinder the other party or increase what they are spending on the trial (forcing a financial war of attrition).
Gamespot also quoted (but did not link to) the motion, wherein it claims documents are being hidden by Pitchford and his lawyers:
“Callender believes he can prove that GBX (Gearbox), and their lawyers, continue to violate this Court’s order and hide documents. Enough is enough and GBX needs to be held in contempt and sanctioned for this behavior.”
The filing also allegedly makes comments regarding a USB stick containing corporate documents and disturbing pornography left at a Medieval Times Restaurant, as well as comments allegedly made by Pitchford.
“In response to ‘Is the USB stick falling out or has the internet moved on now?’, Pitchford replied ‘Internet is fine. All they care about is if my next video game is good or not.’ It comes as no surprise that GBX did not want to disclose this very telling document.”
On August 26th (prior to the filing), Dallas County Fifth Court of Appeals denied Gearbox Software’s request for relief. A relief is what a party is awarded in a lawsuit (usually by the other side giving money, property, goods, or agreement to perform or not perform certain actions).
Gearbox claimed that “trial court abused its discretion by overruling numerous objections to requests for production of documents and compelling production of certain documents.” However, the appellate court disagreed, stating Gearbox had “not shown they are entitled to the relief requested.”
We will keep you posted as we learn more.