George Bellows, Dempsey v. Firpo, 1924
Update (August 16, 2018): Predictably, plaintiff’s counsel in the case described below want to keep the defense lawyers in the ring, or at least to avoid any delay caused by the lawyers’ attempt to thrown in the towel.
Update (August 10, 2018): Things have gone from bad to worse for Defendants, Geckobyte and R. Tiegen Fryberger, in the case described below.
Now their lawyers are seeking permission to withdraw from representing them. Will the lawyers get permission? Time will tell. As devout Minnesota Litigator readers know but others may be surprised to learn, although it is easy to ask for permission to withdraw from representation of a client, it is not so easy to get permission, at least in federal court in Minnesota (see here and here).
We lament this situation (involuntary representation) and we hope that Geckobyte and Fryberger’s lawyers are not collateral damage in this bloodbath, even if they were responsible for the rope-a-dope defensive strategy which seems to have failed.
Update (June 26, 2018): We saw this one coming. (Plaintiffs win on their motion for summary judgment, defendants lose on theirs).
Update (May 16, 2018): From the looks of it, Defendants Geckobyte.com, Inc., and R. Tiegen Fryberger did not enter the ring to win the match in their lawsuit in the U.S. District Court (D. Minn.). They were dragged into the ring. They do not appear to want to fight very much, if at all. On the other hand, they are obviously unwilling to forfeit the match.
As discussed in the original post (below), the Riddle et al. v. Geckobyte, et al., lawsuit is a common scenario in U.S. civil litigation involving small businesses: one business buys another and either they buyer protests that the purchased assets were not “as advertised” or the seller protests that buyer’s payment(s) were not made as promised (and often both). (These problems seem particularly common when the seller is to work for the buyer’s business and seller’s payout is based in significant part on post-sale business performance.)
In this case, Plaintiff is the seller, seeking to be paid for the business he sold to Defendant. Defendant’s defense seems to have been a variant of rope-a-dope, in which a fighter seems to take the opponent’s punches to tire him out, then slips out of passivity when his opponent is exhausted, to pummel the tuckered-out fighter. (See arguments on plaintiff’s summary judgment motion on defendant’s counterclaims here, here, and here).
Rope-a-dope, as the linked article points out, was a dubious and flawed strategy in real boxing. It seems worse in the context of civil litigation.