LITIGATION HOLD This letter advises AxaMonitor and Fan Film Factor that their records may be subject to discovery in litigation between Robert Meyer Burnett and Alec Peters. Source/Dorros Law

APRIL 27, 2019 | 5 MIN READ

Litigation Hold Served on AxaMonitor, Fan Film Factor

A litigation hold has been served by Robert Meyer Burnett’s attorney, Torin Dorros, in an email sent to AxaMonitor editor Carlos Pedraza and Fan Film Factor blogger and Axanar surrogate Jonathan Lane. The notice is common in civil lawsuits and signals the former Axanar director is getting closer to countersuing Alec Peters.

Retain All Axanar Information

The letter notifies AxaMonitor and Lane to retain “all documents, materials, [electronically stored information], information, and things related to the Georgia Action [Peters v. Burnett], any Burnett-Axanar litigation, Axanar, and/or Burnett.”

Shot Across the Bow

The letter is the second shot across the bow to Peters and his associate, Lane, that Burnett may take legal action against Peters. We reported on March 4 a similar letter was sent by Dorros to Peters’ attorney, who has never responded.

Looking for Information

Facts, statements and/or allegations are what Dorros is looking for that have been referenced in AxaMonitor and Fan Film Factor, particularly regarding Peters’ suit and any possible claims Burnett may have against Peters.


« State and federal laws provide legal protection against efforts to reveal the identity of confidential sources and from having to disclose unpublished information collected in the course of news-gathering. » — AxaMonitor editor Carlos Pedraza

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Litigation Hold PDF, 125KB
This five-page letter from Robert Meyer Burnett’s lawyer instructs AxaMonitor’s and Fan Film Factor’s writers to maintain records that may be discoverable should Burnett countersue Alec Peters. It also hints at what sort of topics might be covered by such a suit.

AxaMonitor Not Subject

As a news site covering the lawsuit, AxaMonitor is not subject to such a hold, Pedraza says.

“State and federal laws provide legal protection against efforts to reveal the identity of confidential sources and from having to disclose unpublished information collected in the course of news-gathering,” he says. “Everything I publish is in the public interest. Anything I don’t is work product legally protected in the interest of continued unfettered news reporting. I can’t cover this lawsuit and protect my sources if I become involved in it.”

Robert Meyer Burnett

Defamation

Dorros definitely wants information regarding Peters’ “conduct and statements toward Mr. Burnett,” which Dorros has twice decried as defamatory.

Not Targets

Dorros assures AxaMonitor and Fan Film Factor they are not intended as targets of litigation themselves but may hold information Dorros seeks to ensure is not “lost, altered, deleted, or destroyed.” Doing so could subject Pedraza and Lane to civil and criminal penalties.

A Caveat About Lane

Though not currently a target, Lane’s relationship with Peters may come under scrutiny by Dorros:

« We do recognize however that there is some question as to the relationship, or extent of the relationship, between Mr. Lane and/or Fan Film Factor and Axanar. » — Attorney Torin Dorros

Attorney Torin Dorros

Leaked Information

Dorros’ letter notes that his correspondence with Peters’ attorney “have unfortunately been publicly disclosed. We can assure that we are looking into this issue, however the disclosure … was not by Dorros Law or Burnett.”

AxaMonitor obtained the documents from confidential sources.

Topics of Interest

What kind of information might Dorros be seeking should Burnett countersue Peters? The litigation hold specifies a broad list of topics that could come into play should Burnett countersue Peters, including:

  • Peters’ current suit against. Burnett, and their personal and business relationship.
  • Financing and production of Axanar; Axanar Productions’ employment practices; Axanar’s and Peters’ business operations, finances, taxes and corporate structure; financing of Axanar and its donors; commercialization of Axanar; fundraising on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or other platforms.
  • Peters’ business relationship with others in the entertainment and props industries.
  • The CBS/Paramount lawsuit.
  • Pedraza’s and Lane’s own relationship with Alec Peters, and other conduct or prior correspondences between the parties and/or their counsel.

'A Non-Story'

Lane gave AxaMonitor a statement (excerpted below), in which he states, “I’ve been advised to stay out of this matter and say nothing publicly, and so I have been. You’ll find that this lawsuit between Alec and Rob has been a non-story on Fan Film Factor. and will remain so.”

Jonathan Lane's Full Statement
Jonathan Lane

I’ve been advised to stay out of this matter and say nothing publicly, and so I have been. You’ll find that this lawsuit between Alec and Rob has been a non-story on Fan Film Factor. and will remain so. I choose to focus instead on the positive news and developments in our fan film community, including Axanar.

More »
Later on this week, I’ll be doing a feature about the local Gwinett County high schoolers who have been given the amazing and unique opportunity to shoot their short student films on the Ares Studio bridge set. I assume that Axamonitor won’t be covering that story [Editor’s note: We did, in AxaMonitor Daily], so I encourage your readers to check out the interview with Video Pathway Lead Teacher Pasha Souvorin on Fan Film Factor.

As for the litigation hold, there seems to be no reason for me not to retain all correspondences I’ve had with both Alec and Rob…as I seldom delete anything anyway (I’m a digital pack rat). As for how I will respond to Mr. Dorros, I did not notice any request in the correspondence for a response or even a confirmation of receipt. It was simply a standard notice used regularly in lawsuits when the parties involved and identified third parties might have documents or communications relevant to specific legal proceedings.

Keeping Information

Lane adds, “As for the litigation hold, there seems to be no reason for me not to retain all correspondences I’ve had with both Alec and Rob…as I seldom delete anything anyway.” He also notes such letters to third parties are common practice in such litigation.

Why it Matters

Despite Burnett having been served in California weeks ago, Peters has not yet filed the required proof of service with the Georgia court, effectively stalling his suit.

Frustration: Burnett appears to be frustrated by the financial drain even pending litigation imposes on him, and appears inclined to retaliate. As the above list of topics demonstrates, his long and wide-ranging relationship with Peters could expose hidden information about Axanar to the light of day.

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