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17-1049 - JACKSON et al v. THE LEADER'S INSTITUTE, LLC et al


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17-1049 - JACKSON et al v. THE LEADER'S INSTITUTE, LLC et al
July 18, 2017
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ORDER ON MOTION TO STRIKE REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO DISMISS - The Court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Plaintiffs' 17 Motion to Strike Portions of Defendants' Reply in Support of their Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), or Alternatively, to Transfer Venue. The Court STRIKES Defendants' Reply in Support of their Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), or Alternatively, to Transfer Venue as it relates to (1) the proper pleading standard for Plaintiffs' FLSA and Indiana state law claims and (2) Plaintiffs' allegations regarding Jackson's employee-status with TLI. Dkt. No. 16 at 9-14. The Court DENIES this Motion as to the heightened pleading standard for Plaintiffs' Lanham Act claims in accordance with Rule 9(b). Plaintiffs shall file a surreply addressing Defendants' Rule 9(b) argument for Plaintiffs' Lanham Act claims within ten days from the date of this Order. (See Order.) Signed by Judge Larry J. McKinney on 7/18/2017. (GSO)
March 2, 2018
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ORDER - This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion to Dismiss Defendants' Counterclaims. [Filing No. 35.] Both businesses in this lawsuit provide corporate leadership and teamwork training to other businesses. The parties have been litigating various claims against one another in multiple courts since September 2013. [See Filing No. 24 at 10; Filing No. 23 at 3.] The most recent suit in this Court was brought by Plaintiffs Magnovo Training Group, LLC ("Magnovo") and Robert Jackson (collectively, "Plaintiffs") against Defendants The Leader's Institute, LLC ("TLI") and Doug Staneart (collectively, "Defendants"), alleging that Defendants have illegally used materials produced by Mr. Jackson to promote TLI's business, in violation of the federal Lanham Act and state law. TLI alleges two counterclaims. First, TLI alleges that Mr. Jackson and Magnovo engaged in unfair competition by telling former TLI employees to contact TLI and demand that their materials be removed from TLI's website. [Filing No. 26 at 14-16.] Second, TLI alleges that Mr. Jackson breached his contract with TLI by demanding that content he produced be removed from TLI's materials. [Filing No. 26 at 16-17.] The Court agrees that TLI's unfair competition claim does not arise out a common nucleus of operative fact with Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint and therefore falls outside of the Court's supplemental jurisdiction. Though the Court finds perplexing TLI's failure to attach the purported contract to any of its filings and urges counsel to carefully assess the propriety of prosecuting the claim, the Court nonetheless concludes that TLI has stated a breach of contract claim against Mr. Jackson. Therefore, as explained herein, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Plaintiffs' Motion. The Court GRANTS Plaintiffs' Motion to Dismiss TLI's unfair competition counterclaim for lack of jurisdiction. The Court must DENY Mr. Jackson's Motion to Dismiss TLI's breach of contract counterclaim. For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Plaintiffs' Motion to Dismiss Defendants' Counterclaims, 35. The Court DISMISSES WITHOUT PREJUDICE Defendants' unfair competition counterclaim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. TLI's breach of contract counterclaim remains pending against Mr. Jackson. No partial final judgment will issue at this time. (SEE ORDER). Signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on 3/2/2018. (APD)