Berkley-Vacation-Resorts

Ken B. Privett, PLC v Berkley Vacation Resorts

Case Number: 4:20-cv-00069

Last Updated: December 3, 2020

Status

Pending Ruling on Attorney’s motion to amend complaint to allege anti-trust claims.

Location

USDC, Oklahoma Northern District

Presiding Judge

Hon. Judge John F Heil, III

Date Filed

02/19/2020

Highlights

Timeshare cancellation attorney sued developers for declaratory relief related to developers’ threat to file multiple lawsuits filed against him for “interference” based on his representation of unhappy timeshare owners.

Related: Mitchell Sussman, Esq. v Soleil, USDC, District of Nevada, Case No. 2:18-cv-02218.

Case Posture

Claims:

Timeshare attorney Ken Privett seeks a declaratory judgment adjudicating claims threatened against him by Berkley and Lando (collectively Berkley) for tortious interference of Berkley’s timeshare contracts and issuance of an injunction regarding pending Berkley’s Florida state cases filed against him personally on the basis of his demand letter on behalf of his clients regarding their desire to cancel their Berkley timeshare contracts.

Posture:

The case is not yet at issue. Berkley’s motion to dismiss [8] is pending a ruling; moreover, KBP has filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint.

Summary:

In the lawsuit, Attorney Ken B. Privett, represented by attorney Gregory Meier of Meier and Associates, states that Berkley claims of tortious interference with Berkley’s timeshare contracts are invalid, because Privett was merely acting in a representative capacity as an attorney to timeshare purchasers in due course of legal representation. Attorney Privett alleges that although Berkley does not have a basis for its claims, it has threatened to file 105 cases against Plaintiff for the same cause of action.

According to the complaint, in December 2019, Berkley filed three separate complaints against Attorney Privett alleging that he interfered with existing contracts between the Berkley and three timeshare purchasers (clients of Attorney Privett). Berkley asserts as a basis for this allegation a demand letter that Attorney Privett sent on behalf of his clients to Berkley. In January 2020, Attorney Privett received an email from Berkley’s attorney containing a ”Master List” of Attorney Privett’s clients and demanded a monetary settlement payment from Attorney Privett and information about his referral sources; in exchange Berkley offered assurance that it would not sue Attorney Privett. Should Attorney Privett refuse to agree, Berkley threatened to file 150 separate, individual lawsuits against him for tortious interference with Berkley’s timeshare contracts.

Attorney Privett asks the Court for adjudication of the Defendants’ claims of the Plaintiff’s interference of contract against the timeshare purchasers listed on the Master List; a temporary restraining order and injunction against the Defendants from proceeding with current Florida state proceedings filed against Attorney Privett; and a declaration that Attorney Privett’s representation of the interests of the individuals on Berkley’s Master List was neither malicious nor dishonest.

In its motion to dismiss the complaint, the developer argues that 1) the court lacks personal jurisdiction over the defendants, who allege they neither transact business in Oklahoma nor purposely direct activities at the state other than a single email from the Berkely’s counsel to Attorney Privett; and 2) the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction based on the Anti-Injunction Act; and the Colorado River doctrine, both of which limit the ability of federal courts to enjoin parallel state court actions.

Selected Events:

On 4/21/20, Attorney Privett moved to amend his complaint to include to allegations that Berkley violated the Clayton Act’s prohibition against imposing “a regimen of exclusive dealing whereby its timeshare customers cannot seek outside legal representation in its customers’ dealings” with Berkley. [18-1]

Parties

Plaintiffs:

KEN B. PRIVETT, PLC

Plaintiffs’ counsel:

Meier Allred & Stava

Defendant:

BERKLEY VACATION RESORTS, INC., LANDO RESORTS CORPORATION

Defendants’ counsel:

Greenspoon Marder, PA; local counsel Baum Glass Jayne Carwile & Peters PLLC

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