So I’ve seen several posts about the Tim Be Told legal issues. I always see the question asked, “why are they being sued?” Well, it seems nobody knows, so it’s quite the mystery. *spoiler alert* I don’t know either. But I did do a little digging for the bored and curious.
First, the Go Fund Me has some information. As of this writing, they’ve raised $21k out of their $40k goal in 5 months or so. This doesn’t include any other ways people may support them (buying their music, etc).
Our investigation starts with the most concrete piece of evidence we have. At the end of their explanation it notes the Civil Case number and says it’s public record. Didn’t take long to hunt the case information down, but it doesn’t say much (details in appendix). The case was filed Oct 13th, 2011 as “Complaint – Catch-All”. More interestingly, see know who filed the case: Jacob A Schur. As a lawyer, he is self represented and suing Tim Be Told Network LLC, and the individual members. This is interesting, because it means he can continue the case for as long as he wants (until a verdict)… since he’s not paying any legal fees to pursue it. Some other research from his twitterand from this musician profiling website notes Jacob as their “Press Contact”, probably around January-April of 2010, possibly longer. Another random piece of info, he’s listed as a maybe on this event in North Carolina, about a 4.5 hour drive from his home region in Washington DC.
Tim be told on their tumblr indicated “someone who alleged to have worked with our band filed a lawsuit against us”.
Unfortunately, nothing really indicates what the lawsuit is about. If you look at Jacob’s twitter from December of 2010 through January 2011 (about a year before the lawsuit was officially filed), he posts several cryptic tweets about “If I could only tell my story…” and “When you #wrong someone, #recognize it, and make it #right.”.
Jacob Schur, lawyer, allegedly connected to Tim Be Told and representing himself, sued Tim Be Told with some complaint, filed officially October 2011. There are several indications that he did something related to public relations related to the band (announcements on behalf of the band, the public contact for the band). This went to trial in May 2012 and I see 10 different courtroom dates, including 4 days of trial hearings.
What kind of lawsuit could it be? Well, some possibilities that could fit a scenario like this and some comments about why it does or does not make sense:
1. Payment dispute – perhaps one party did not pay the other for services rendered or perceived rendered. I find this somewhat unlikely. Surely settling out of court would have been cheaper given indications of a relatively short working relationship. Also, I can’t imagine it taking so long even after going to trial. Pre-trial arbitrations could be endless, but certainly not an actual trial. But, who knows?
2. Wrongful termination/breach of contract – an interesting possibility. If one party was fired due to a perceived breach of contract, conflict of interest, or ideological difference, the fired party could sue for wrongful termination. Perhaps a religious conflict? I can imagine this running a long time but years still seems excessive.
3. Defamation – I’m not certain this qualifies as “Complaint”, but if one party publically said something or wrote something defamatory, it could be grounds for a suit. Since the damages awarded in such suits ranges wildly, settling could be difficult, and both sides may ultimately decide that going to trial is better. Defamation is complicated, especially depending on type of comment. I can imagine this going for a long time.
Honestly, it’s all very mysterious, but this is what happens when inquisitive minds get bored! Anyone have any other research or information?
*UPDATE* Tim Be Told addressed this issue a couple days after my post. Unfortunately it doesn’t have any real information, and certainly less than what is contained here.
How to see the case details:
1) Virginia Court Website 2) Set county to Richmand City Circuit 3) switch to Civil 4) CL11004675-00