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Hawaiian Art Network v. Aloha Plastic Surgery Lawsuit Settled

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Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi):
Well it would appear, that the Aloha Plastic Surgery / Hawaiian Art Network case has been settled. The docket entry is below from pacer.

--- Quote ---EP: Early Settlement Conference held on 11/2/2012. Also present: Plaintiff Vincent K. Tylor and Defendant Michael Anthony Pasquale. Case settled. Terms stated UNDER SEAL. Based upon representations by counsel and affirmations by the parties, the Court finds that the essential terms of a valid and enforceable settlement agreement have been stated. Pursuant to the agreement, the record of this proceeding is hereby sealed except for the Injunction to be entered and signed by Judge Seabright. The deadline to submit the Injunction is 12/3/12. The following dates are hereby vacated: 3/7/13, 10:00am, Settlement Conference, Judge Chang; 5/21/13, 9:00am, Final Pretrial Conference, Judge Chang; 7/2/13, 9:00am, Jury Trial, Judge Seabright. All pending matters are deemed withdrawn based upon this settlement. (In Chambers - no record, 11:00-1:09pm (Settlement Conf); FTR C5 - 1:09-1:16pm (Settlement Conf-SEALED HEARING).) (JUDGE KEVIN S.C. CHANG)(sna, )No COS issued for this docket entry (Entered: 11/02/2012)
--- End quote ---

I find it interesting that the case records have been sealed. I highly doubt that Aloha requested this, as an alleged infringement is hardly anything to be embarrassed or ashamed of. I also find it hard to believe that the judge in this case would recommend sealing such a case, as this just means more paperwork for him / her.. All this makes be think that Glen Carner, Hawaiian Art Network and Vincent K. Tylor requested it be sealed...gee I wonder why..could be they have something they don't want anybody to see. 

Matthew Chan:
Based on limited information from what I could find out, I would say that Dr. Pasquale was pleased with the settlement. Without having details, it is difficult to say definitively what transpired. However, my instincts tells me that the case was sealed more to protect HAN and Vincent Tylor than Aloha Plastic Surgery given the fact that Aloha never had much of an issue with ELI repeatedly reporting on the case. In fact, I believe Aloha considered this fight a badge of honor.

Let's not forget that Aloha unexpectedly filed a countersuit which entangled both HAN and Vincent Tylor into a complaint from the very lawsuit they initiated. It put them into a defensive position strengthening the leverage Aloha had against HAN & Vincent Tylor. It is my suspicion that Aloha was in a better financial position to take on an extended legal battle than HAN (Glen Carner) and Vincent Tylor combined.

It is likely HAN & Vincent Tylor were uncomfortable with the discovery process that Aloha could have initiated.  Some uncomfortable questions would be asked and the answers would be equally uncomfortable to answer.

I have no doubt that the HAN lawsuit was meant to be a scare tactic against Aloha which backfired enormously against HAN and Vincent Tylor resulting in mounting legal fees on both sides.

From what little I know, Aloha was very determined in their fight to uncover HAN's and especially Vincent Tylor's extortionate tactics, seeding of the images, etc.

Sealing the settlement of this case protects HAN & Vincent Tylor more than Aloha as Dr. Pasquale never seemed to care about getting publicity on the case.  The potential loss, setback, and embarrassment for HAN & Vincent Tylor was very high given that the ruling of this case would have negatively rippled throughout the stock photo and photo industry. For Aloha Plastic Surgery, no one would hold it against them for falling victim for accidental and unintentional copyright infringement.

From my understanding, Dr. Pasquale cannot speak about the settlement unless he is compelled to through a future case subpoena.

As I have repeatedly said over the years, if the lawsuit road and the stock photo agency case was so compelling and overwhelming, why would they ever bother to settle?  The answer is because the lawsuit process would be a treacherous one. This has been shown repeatedly through prior cases by Masterfile, Corbis, and Getty.  HAN and Vincent Tylor elected to settle instead of "going all the way".

If their case was solid and their victory was so assured, why would HAN & Vincent Tylor settle at all?  While I cannot prove this, I absolutely believe the counter-suit initiated by Aloha was an unexpected and unhappy development for HAN & Vincent Tylor.

I believe Aloha could have weathered the legal battle financially even if they "lost".  Coupled with the fact the countersuit put HAN & Vincent Tylor in an unexpectedly defensive position.

All in all, I would consider this a victory of sorts for the Aloha.  HAN & Tylor chose to settle than to go "all the way".

What a shame we don't have an open judicial system in this country where every law suit filed results in a document that publicly reveals the precise settlement, regardless of whether or not the case went to trial.

If I were running things (and my blushing bride of multiple decades says, "Mulligan, thank God you are NOT running things!"), you can be damn sure there would be no more confidentiality agreements or sealed records where law suits and settlements were concerned.

The Mulligan "Pull Back the Curtain" Law would be simple: Once you file a law suit, the results (settlement without trial or trial settlement itself) are made part of the public record. Period. End of story.

Think how much lawyer, political, and corporate bullshit would come to an end if we actually had an honest system that revealed the way so many of these self-proclaimed  "justice fighters" twist laws to extract money for themselves as well as for their clients.

I say, "Bring all this evil shit that takes place in the dark out into the light!"

Yours for truth, justice, liberty, and returning to the Founders Concepts of an American Republic,


P.S. Today is election day. Only vote for candidates who support the Mulligan Pull Back the Curtain legislation! What? There are no candidates who would support such a law? Surprise, surprise.

End of Rant

By the way, all the above aside, I hope this was a complete and satisfying victory for Dr. Pasquale and Aloha Plastic Surgery.

Mulligan, when you get yourself on the ballot, I will be camped out at my voting site to be the first to vote for you.

Since, I am from Chicago, I might spend the day there so that I can be sure I am also the last to vote for you.

Remember, "vote early, vote often".

And a little political philosophy of my own.  "If the incumbent candidate has not delighted you with his/her record in the last term, vote them out and give someone else a chance to delight you."

Greg Troy (KeepFighting):
I would love to know what the terms of the settlement were, I will say that my hat is off to Aloha for standing up and fighting rather than just talking it. I hope that their example will lead others to fight if in a similar situation.


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