Alec Peters isn’t happy AxaMonitor’s been cc’d on correspondence to his lawyer. Image/Axanar YouTube channel

APRIL 30, 2019 | 7 MIN READ

Attorney's 'Out of the Box' Effort to Settle Outrages Peters

With his lawsuit stalled, and his lawyer refusing to respondto correspondence from a defense lawyer, Axanar producer Alec Peters flew into a rage April 29, 2019, when Robert Meyer Burnett’s attorney took an unusual tack to push for a settlement in the case.

CC’ing AxaMonitor

California attorney Torin Dorros wrote Peters’ Georgia lawyer H. Michael Deaver a third time seeking settlement negotiations. This time, however, he’s officially included AxaMonitor and Fan Film Factor blogger/Axanar surrogate Jonathan Lane as addressees:

I recognize copying some of the other parties copied on this email is unusual, however … given Mr. Peters has seemingly decided to include or pull in these other parties into the settlement process, if such will assist in moving the ‘settlement ball’ forward all the better.1)

Download the Emails
You can read the emails at the heart of the latest legal dispute:
• From attorney Torin Dorros, including emails from Mike Bawden and Alec Peters as exhibits). Download 437KB PDF.
• From Mike Bawden
• From Jonathan Lane

A Flurry of Emails

Dorros’ letter set off a flurry of emails between the parties involved. Dorros said this was his third effort to resolve the legal dispute; his letter was prompted by an April 27 email from Peters to his disaffected former PR director, Mike Bawden, raising “serious concerns” about the “poorly drafted settlement” proposal Peters sent to former Axanar director Burnett with the supposed imprimatur of Bawden.


« One more email that [AxaMonitor editor] Carlos is copied on and all settlement talks are off. » — Alec Peters email to attorney Torin Dorros

Jonathan Lane

Fan Film Factor Go-between

FFF blogger Lane played some role that led to the angry email in which Peters claimed his settlement offer resulted from Bawden’s intercession: “I gave you [Bawden] the settlement offer you asked for. Exactly. You either failed to read it, or you are lying to Jonathan.”2)

Bawden Disputes Peters’ Account

In another email on April 29, Bawden critciicized “Alec’s intentional (and persistent) misrepresentation of his settlement offer to Rob as something that he and I negotiated is very misleading. As I have said on dozens of occasions to both Alec and Jonathan Lane … I made it crystal clear that I could not represent or negotiate on Rob’s behalf.”3)

Lane: Staying Out of it (Sort of)

Despite his attorney wife’s advice to leave well enough alone, Lane instead interceded on Peters’ behalf by responding to Dorros’ letter and trying to facilitate an agreement about how Burnett might hand over Axanar's digital assets Peters says he’s owed. Lane said:

To this end, I’ve also been in contact with Mr. Bawden, who like me, had been ‘caught in the middle’ of this conflict without being able to keep it from exploding into a full-on lawsuit.4)

Involving AxaMonitor

Dorros trying to involve AxaMonitor in this effort, however, did nothing but outrage Peters, who insisted continuing to do so would only further hurt Burnett’s defense.

Mike Bawden

'My Stalker’

Peters criticized Bawden and Burnett for “involving my stalker [AxaMonitor] on their email thread,” calling it “unethical [and] unprofessional,” opening both up to legal liability:

This is just one more amateur attempt to defame me. … There will be no settlement if this is part of your legal strategy. Carlos … now has posts constantly. The damages to my reputation need to be compensated.5)

The Disputed Assets

In his April 27 email to Bawden, Peters outlined his dispute with Burnett over missing hard drives Peters said he never got:

Rob never gave us any digital assets he handled, including BTS [Behind the Scenes footage], the Vulcan Scene, Origins interview, etc. He specifically held back anything he shot or edited. The only assets we ever got were raw footage of Prelude and ‘Heroes.’ Rob has lied to you over and over about this. I have been telling you this for a *year* and you have been ignoring me. There is absolutely no reason I would be asking for these assets if I had them. This makes no sense.6)
Robert Meyer Burnett

Counterclaims

In his email to Bawden Peters also addressed Burnett’s apparent moves toward countersuing him:

All your bullshit counter claims are absurd. I have three lawyers looking at this case and they all say the same thing: we are going to crush Rob as I have all the facts and proof for every claim behind me. Rob’s YouTube videos alone are a huge defamation claim. And when the judge sees what the settlement offer you rejected is, it will not go well for Rob.7)

Given the settlement offer’s basic legal faults and unenforceable provisions identified both by Dorros and AxaMonitor’s own Georgia legal consultant, a Georgia judge may disagree with Peters’ bluster.

Peters also seemed to relish the possibility of examining each party’s emails when his case (if he ever moves it forward) goes into discovery: “I can’t wait to get all [Rob’s] emails to you and Carlos and whoever.”8)

Attorney Torin Dorros

Jurisdictional Dispute

Peters finally addressed the concern over whether Georgia was the appropriate venue for his action, given that Burnett is a California resident, all the disputed events occurred in California, co-plaintiff Axanar Productions is a California corporation not registered to do business in Georgia:

I couldn’t care less if the case gets moved to CA [California]. My attorney in [Los Angeles] is an asshole, compared to the nice guy my [Georgia] lawyer is.9)

Raising the Stakes

As a result of what Peters called “involving [AxaMonitor editor] Carlos Pedraza in these negotiations,” Peters now insists he will accept “nothing short of the return of all Axanar Productions equipment,” which he earlier had been willing to concede. He said:

One more email that [AxaMonitor editor] Carlos is copied on and all settlement talks are off.10)

Of course, Peters neglected to mention that negotiation hadn’t even begun since his lawyer has resisted several efforts by Burnett’s attorney to communicate:

I am writing this correspondence to you as a last means of getting the parties to resolution prior to other actions that will be necessitated simply as a result of the inability for the parties to effectively communicate to allow for any meaningful settlement prospects.11)

Bottom Line

Despite Peters’ repeated claim that he will undoubtedly win his case against Burnett, his failure to file the required basic paperwork in court appeared only to stall his litigation.

How is the truth defamatory? Despite his claim that AxaMonitor publishing his emails constitutes defamation, that can only be true if the emails are phony and we published them knowing so.

Peters says he isn’t defaming Burnett: “I have zero concern about calling Rob a thief. It is a fact. Can’t wait for that to start showing up in the Google results for people searching for info on Rob. I am sick of this bullshit, and sick of you [Bawden] enabling Rob. His info dump to Carlos shows what a child he is.”12)

Why won’t his lawyer respond? Despite repeated attempts to negotiate, Peters’ attorney continues to avoid replying to defense counsel’s correspondence.

What’s Peters’ real priority? If what he really wants are the digital assets he says he needs to produce the Axanar short films, why is Peters doing everything he can to impede his own legal action?

Personal animosity toward Burnett appears to be fueling Peters’ actions. In his email Peters said:

I have an iron clad case. … I am happy to spend whatever to teach Rob a lesson. All you non-lawyers have your collective heads up your butts if you think Rob has any chance in court.“

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Keywords

1) , 11)
Torin Dorros email to H. Michael Dever, “Re: Alec Peters and Axanar Productions, Inc. v. Robert Meyer Burnett,” 4/29/19.
2) , 5) , 10)
Alec Peters email to Torin Dorros, H. Michael Dever, Robert Meyer Burnett, Mike Bawden, 4/29/19.
3)
Mike Bawden email to Torin Dorros, et al., 4/29/19.
4)
Jonathan Lane email to Torin Dorros, 4/29/19.
6) , 7) , 8) , 9) , 12)
Alec Peters email to Mike Bawden, 4/27/19.
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