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United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
November 6, 2003, Argued ; June 25, 2004, Decided
Docket No. 03-7015
[*299] CARDAMONE, Circuit Judge:
Because this appeal involves the rights to films and plays, it is appropriate and helpful to begin by listing the cast of characters. Plaintiff Briarpatch Limited, L.P. (Briarpatch) is a limited partnership; [**2] [*300] plaintiff Gerard F. Rubin is the sole limited and winding up partner of Briarpatch. Defendant Geisler Roberdeau, Inc. is a dissolved New York corporation owned and controlled by Robert Geisler and John Roberdeau. Defendant Phoenix Pictures, Inc. (Phoenix) is a producer of motion pictures; defendant Morris Medavoy (not "Michael" as is incorrectly listed in the caption) is the founder and chairman of Phoenix. Defendant Terrence Malick (not "Terence" as is incorrectly listed in the caption) is a writer and director of films including "The Thin Red Line."
As this case illustrates, chicanery is no stranger to some of those engaged in the film industry. This litigation centers on Rubin's contention that Geisler and Roberdeau conned him and Briarpatch out of proceeds from "The Thin Red Line" and various other motion picture and theater productions. Rubin claims they did this in concert with Phoenix, Medavoy, and Malick, and that they used Geisler Roberdeau, Inc. as a conduit for their ill-gotten gains.
Briarpatch, the limited partnership, was formed in 1994 to develop, produce, present, and exploit various entertainment related projects. While Rubin was the sole limited partner, [**3] there were five general partners that, under the partnership agreement, had "complete, exclusive and unqualified control of all aspects of the business of the partnership," and the "unrestricted right to sell or assign, and to pledge, mortgage or otherwise hypothecate, any [of the partnership's projects], either in whole or in part, without obtaining the consent of Rubin." All five general partners were corporations owned and controlled by Robert Geisler and John Roberdeau, meaning that those two individuals had complete control over Briarpatch's business. All the general partner corporations are presently dissolved and Rubin, as noted, is now the designated winding up partner for Briarpatch. Defendant Geisler Roberdeau, Inc. is also owned and controlled by Geisler and Roberdeau, but it is not connected to Briarpatch.
Rubin claims to have contributed more than $ 6 million of his own funds towards Briarpatch's entertainment projects, with the expectation that he would reap the rewards (in the form of partnership distributions) if the projects were successful. One of the projects was to culminate in a motion picture called "The Thin Red Line," based on an existing novel by James [**4] Jones. The partnership used Rubin's money to acquire the motion picture rights to "The Thin Red Line," and to pay defendant Malick to turn the novel into a screenplay.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
373 F.3d 296 *; 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 12847 **
BRIARPATCH LIMITED, L.P., GERARD F. RUBIN, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. PHOENIX PICTURES, INC., MICHAEL MEDAVOY, Defendants-Appellees, GEISLER ROBERDEAU, INC., TERENCE MALICK, Defendants.
Subsequent History: US Supreme Court certiorari denied by Briarpatch Ltd., L.P. v. Phoenix Pictures, Inc., 125 S. Ct. 1704, 161 L. Ed. 2d 525, 2005 U.S. LEXIS 2804 (U.S., 2005)
On remand at, Motion granted by, Summary judgment denied by Briarpatch Ltd. L.P. v. Geisler Roberdeau, Inc., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25016 (S.D.N.Y., Oct. 27, 2005)
Prior History: [**1] Plaintiffs Briarpatch Limited, L.P. and its designated winding up partner, Gerard F. Rubin, appeal from a judgment entered December 9, 2002 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Sweet, J.), and three previous orders of that court on which the judgment was based, dismissing their cause of action for conspiracy to breach a fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty, trover, conversion, and unjust enrichment against defendants Geisler Roberdeau, Inc., Phoenix Pictures, Inc., and Morris Medavoy.
Briarpatch Ltd. L.P. v. Geisler Roberdeau, Inc., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20789 (S.D.N.Y., Oct. 25, 2002)Briarpatch, Ltd. L.P. v. Geisler Roberdeau, Inc., 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2300 (S.D.N.Y., Mar. 1, 2000)
Disposition: Affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded.
district court, unjust enrichment, plaintiffs', preempted, cause of action, rights, breach of fiduciary duty, state law claim, motion picture, national bank, state court, preemption, supplemental jurisdiction, partnership, conversion, declaratory judgment, diversity, projects, novel, doctrine of preemption, fraudulent joinder, Copyright Act, qualitatively, citizenship, screenplay, proceeds, hear, copyright infringement, subject matter, well-pleaded
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