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By Mike Johnson on 2020-06-15 14:21:00

There will be a pre-trial conference in the Jeff Jarrett and Global Wrestling Entertainment lawsuit against Anthem Wrestling, the parent company of Impact Wrestling this Friday 6/19 in advance of their scheduled trial on 6/30.

As part of the conference, Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr. will have to rule on a number of recent motions, determining whether certain material will be fair game during the jury trial.  Among the things Judge Crenshaw will have to make determinations on are the following:

*Jarrett's side has filed a motion requesting that court prevent Anthem from "from offering evidence, by introduction, reference, documents, declaration, deposition testimony, or live testimony, of any information related to Mr. Jarrett’s conduct while intoxicated resulting from his alcoholism."  In that filing, it was noted that Jarrett was suspended (and later terminated) by Ed Nordholm due to personal issues stemming from his battle with alcoholism and that Jarrett is recovering from that battle.    Jarrett's side noted in a 6/5 filing that they do not wish to prevent mentions of Jarrett's suspension/termination from Impact or "any general, non-specific reference to Mr. Jarrett’s battle with alcoholism" but that anything beyond that during the trial is "is unnecessary and unwarranted" as his alleged conduct and statements are "not relevant; are highly prejudicial; and seek to introduce hearsay outside any exception."  It appear Jarrett's side is arguing that when it comes to the issues at hand - the Jeff Jarrett trademark and the issues surrounding the ownership/use of the GFW Amped! content - his alleged behavior at the time has no bearing on the facts at hand.

*Anthem has filed a motion seeking to exclude an expert report of Glen Perdue.  Purdue is, based on a Google search, the managing member of Kraft Analytics, LLC, which focuses upon valuation, forensic and transaction advisory services in Nashville, TN.   The motion was sealed so there is no further details as to Anthem's reasoning.

*Anthem also filed a motion to exclude "Evidence of Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp.'s Corporate Structure and Financial Condition."  Noting that Anthem Sports was dismissed as a defendant, Anthem Wrestling argued in their motion, "While Anthem Sports is Anthem Wrestling’s parent entity, the two are completely separate business entities that do not share assets. Any evidence of Anthem Sports’ financials could prejudice the jury against Anthem Wrestling by leading them to believe that Anthem Wrestling has assets that it does not have and would not be able to use to pay any potential award to Plaintiffs. Finally, any such evidence would confuse a jury and waste time. The details of the relationship between Anthem Wrestling and its non-party parent and the parent’s financial condition are neither relevant nor helpful to the jury’s analysis of the substantive issues. Complicated financial and structural evidence will serve only to confuse the jury unnecessarily and waste time during trial."

*Anthem also filed a motion asking the court to "Exclude Spreadsheets Not Created in the Normal Course of Business", noting that discovery came across spreadsheet documents created by Ed Nordholm.  In the motion, Anthem argued, "These documents are all copies and/or drafts of a spreadsheet created by Edward Nordholm, who testified the spreadsheet was not kept in the ordinary course of Anthem Wrestling’s business and, because the data in the spreadsheet was likely provided by Plaintiff Jeffrey Jarrett without documentary evidence to support the data, as such, the spreadsheets are inherently untrustworthy. Therefore, the spreadsheets are hearsay and the Court should exclude them from the evidence at trial."

*Anthem also filed a motion asking that "Hearsay Testimony and Documentary Evidence of Consumer Confusion" be excluded from the jury, arguing "certain deposition testimony of Plaintiff Jeffrey Jarrett and social media and website records produced by Plaintiffs within their sixth production (which includes documents with bates numbers GFE-0000674 through GFE-001133) in so far as they contain hearsay regarding consumer confusion."  Anthem is arguing that statements Jarrett made during a deposition about fans asking him if he's left GFW since he exited Impact and fans being confused online about the relationship between GFW and Impact fall under heresay and shouldn't be brought up before the jury.  

*Anthem also requested that the court rule that they are excluding "any Testimony of an Oral Agreement by Plaintiffs' that is Inconsistent with Their Discovery Responses."  The motion noted, "For the first time during summary judgment briefing, Plaintiffs admit that Anthem Wrestling had an implied license to use the Amped Content at issue but states that the license was contingent upon the merger closing. This alleged agreement making the use of the Amped Materials contingent on a successful merger is not in either of the written agreements identified in Plaintiffs’ discovery responses. Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Case Civil Procedure, Plaintiffs should not be allowed to present or rely on new testimonial evidence regarding this alleged agreement because of their failure to identify this evidence during discovery or through supplementary discovery responses. Plaintiffs’ failure is not justified or harmless, and Anthem Wrestling will be greatly disadvantaged if Plaintiffs are allowed to present this new testimonial evidence for the first time at trial."  Basically, they want the court to rule that if Jarrett/GWE said "A" during the discovery process, they cannot now say "B" during the trial.  

The two sides have gone back and forth with responses to the motions, including some that were sealed.  It will be up to the Judge to decide what is fair game or not before the jury over the course of the trial.

The two sides also filed a joint proposed pre-trial order on 6/12, listing the issues at hand and what each side will be seeking to prove before a jury.  Interestingly, that document included the following - "The sale and marketing of the Amped Content was not successful and turned less than $10,000 in profit."  It also noted that bad press was a factor leading to Jarrett's exit from the company.

The two sides are also working out jury instructions and how social distancing and safety measures to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 (witnesses wearing masks during testimony, etc.)   Based on statements and filings with the court, Jeff Jarrett, Ed Nordholm, Scott D'Amore and Josh Mathews are all slated to testify over the course of the trial. 

There are expected to be in the area of ten witnesses with the trial lasting at least five business days...unless the two sides opt to come to a settlement before the that.

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