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Chinese Business Deal Triggered Sealed Filings Judge Furman Dismisses But Avenatti Sealed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 4 – Two men agreed to share consulting fees earned by jointly assisting non-Chinese companies entering the Chinese market.

 But Eberhard Kornotzki sued Tariq Jawad for not sharing the fees with him. 

   In the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York litigation before Judge Jesse M. Furman, both parties sought to seal from the public and press documents they are filing. Judge Furman on May 20 granted the requests to redact, temporarily he wrote, until he decides the underlying motion they are related to.

   But the presumptively public nature of filing in Federal court, including in civil cases, is not limited to the documents being unsealed after the motion or case is decided. Inner City Press only this week has moved forward with getting unsealed even subpoena information in a criminal case concerning North Korea sanctions.

Should a China business case be so different? On May 22 Judge Furman held a telephone conference with the parties, and still the documents were not released.

  Now on September 4, to Judge Furman's credit, this: "ORDER OF DISMISSAL... It is ORDERED that the above-entitled action be and is hereby DISMISSED and discontinued without costs, and without prejudice to the right to reopen the action within sixty days of the date of this Order if the settlement is not consummated. To be clear, any application to reopen must be filed by the aforementioned deadline; any application to reopen filed thereafter may be denied solely on that basis. Further, requests to extend the deadline to reopen are unlikely to be granted. If the parties wish for the Court to retain jurisdiction for the purposes of enforcing any settlement agreement, they must submit the settlement agreement to the Court by the deadline to reopen to be "so ordered" by the Court. Per Paragraph 4(B) of the Court's Individual Rules and Practices for Civil Cases, unless the Court orders otherwise, the Court will not retain jurisdiction to enforce a settlement agreement unless it is made part of the public record. Any pending motions are moot. All conferences are canceled. The Clerk of Court is directed to close the case. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 9/3/20)."

 But what then on the still sealed filings of Michael Avenatti, dismissed in a footnote by his publicly funded lawyer? Watch this site.

The case is Kornotzki v. Jawad, 19-cv-6689 (Furman).


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