Full Tilt Sues Clonie?

High-stakes legal maneuvers

by , Jan 13, 2010 | 2:07 pm

The Full Tilt legal battles are heating up … and this time they are on the offensive, suing Cycalona Gowen in federal court.

Full Tilt (specifically Tiltware, LLC, out of California) is not seeking money from her beyond court costs and attorney fees. But they do want a clear declaration that she does not have the 1 percent ownership interest she alleges.

Click here to read Tiltware’s compaint against Gowen, filed on Friday.

So why would they be doing this? Well according to the Nevada lawyers I’ve spoken to, that’s hard to say …

Essentially, they’re looking for the court to rule against her without having a trial. She goes to court again on February 1, for the third and last time, with the court deciding if her Third-Amended Complaint has merits to proceed. But if Full Tilt wins, and the judge says, yeah, sorry, we can’t waste a jury’s time with this … then maybe they don’t win enough?

Why? Because Clonie’s attorneys are also representing two similar breach-of-contract plaintiffs suing Full Tilt in Nevada state court: Jason Newitt … and one other guy we haven’t heard of before — Hilton Warmback.

So if Tilt’s lawyers can get the federal court to declare definitively that she did not have a 1 percent stake … well then obviously she’ll have never have a case in state court. And the grounds for that dismissal should help them in their cases vs. Newitt and Warmback. If she didn’t have ownership, then obviously they didn’t either … but if she did have ownership, then holy fugk, they probably did, too!

Both Newitt and Warmback supposedly have written contracts for their ownership stakes (.0049 perent and .00143 percent, respectively). But according to the lawsuit against Clonie, no such records have been submitted to the court yet.

Though I don’t know details, Newitt had a state court date on Monday, where the Judge was to consider a motion to dismiss. But to the best of my understanding, that motion got delayed pending some decision related to the Clonie case. Again, not all clear … but we’ll see if we can’t sort through it all in coming weeks.

Newitt, interestingly enough, probably has the strongest case against Full Tilt, imh-not-a-lawyer-o. But it’s the least interesting to Pokerati because, frankly, it’s just a contractual dispute that touches on no “issues” of bots, datamining, or Maxim photo shoots. Part of his case also gets into a personal divorce matter, where he was sued by his ex-wife, a Full Tilt contractor, who may or may not have made claims for her piece of her ex-husband’s (alleged) piece. Damn, that would have to raise a judge’s eyebrow.

Anyhow, blah blah blah … I’ve already said more about all these cases than I intended — because I’m cautious about saying too much since I don’t quite understand the nuances of Nevada legal procedure and wouldn’t want to be like others already declaring Clonie’s case dead.

It’s not. Her federal case may or may not be thrown out for good on February 1. Lawyers tell me it would be highly unusual for a breach-of-contract case to be dismissed at this stage, too … especially considering that at least some semblance of a relationship obviously existed all over the internet.

As suggested by Full Tilt’s most recent legal action … the American-friendly poker company hopes the other cases have to move forward with a declaration from a federal judge that Clonie’s case was thrown out because she definitively and clearly had no ownership shares of the company. But if you think about all the hubbub over pre-trial motions … you can imagine how juicy it might get should any of these causes ever get a full jury hearing.

2 Comments to “Full Tilt Sues Clonie? ”

  1. Brian G.

    I haven’t really looked into it, but my gut instinct is that the federal court will not grant the relief requested in Paragraph B, precluding Gowan from pursuing the state court case. There are numerous abstention doctrines and federal judges are quick to apply them rather than insert themselves into state proceedings. Also, I am wondering why they felt the need to file the dec action when, if their assertions are correct, she will never get her breach of contract claim to a jury. I am sure there are reasons that I have not looked into, but I have to say my eyebrows are raised by this federal court action.

    And yes, I am a lawyer, even though I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  2. Bill Rini

    Hilton was also an employee of Tiltware.