Civil Contempt. Initial thoughts. By James Michael Faier, M.P.P., M.B.A., J.D. (USPTO Regn. Number 56,731)
In the federal courts, Civil Contempt is governed by 18 U.SC. 401(3) that provides “A court of the United States shall have the power to punish by fine or imprisonment, at its discretion, such contempt of its authority, and none other, as … disobedience of resistance to its lawful writ, process, order, rule, decree or command.”
I spent the day looking at contempt law. I was most surprised that I could not find a case that stood for the proposition that a party to an injunction who has evidence of dishonestly of the other side can automatically have a discovery schedule from its court to flesh the facts. I suspect that once informed of the evidence then the Court directs the moving party to take discovery. For a remedy the caselaw focuses on both actual damages and punitive damages that punish the party for its actions.
I have seen how a court can be lead astray in damages. I saw a court apply a royalty to the sales of all of a company’s products even when the trademark was not identified with the entire line of products and there was no concrete data of the relation of the mark to the sales prices of the products. And one must remember that every product has a cost of goods sold. For some products most of the price is the cost of goods sold. To apply the royalty in gross to all income is to inflate the value of the trademark particular on an implicitly expensive product.
By the way, I am glad to have listened to several talks of Dr. Martin Luther King. We are blessed to have such a man among our countrymen, I am confident that Dr. King would think we like in the best of times and worst of times. I cannot understand how Mr. Trump garnered more votes in the 2020 election than in 2016. As the former VP of ways and means of my synagogue, I am a guy who believes that things cost money. Whether it is a roof for the synagogue or a B1 bomber or a piece of Covid PPE, there is a cost to each and we make a mistake not finding money from our pockets for what we want. Remember that debt in the best of times is expensive in the worst of times is confiscatory. ###JMF