The Legal Drama Continues
TSSZ has learned Ken Penders’s motion to either transfer Archie Comics’s lawsuit to California or have it dismiss outright has been denied. We have been covering the ongoing case, in which Archie is seeing a declaratory judgment of rights regarding work Penders produced while employed at the company, for months.
A five page order, filed on Tuesday and made a part of public record shortly after, said Penders, acting as defendant in the case, did not “make a ‘clear and convincing showing’ of “exceptional facts” warranting transfer,” wrote U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman in his decision. Berman also concluded the original agreement between Penders and Archie, the contract in question that is central to the case, constitutes prima facie “showing of jurisdiction”–in effect keeping the case in New York State, close to Archie headquarters. A central part of Penders’s defense is his assertion those agreements are not authentic.
While the ruling adds more of a burden to Penders, no key ruling has been made on the validity of his contract. Nearly all signs point to this turning into a full blown jury trial, an arduous process that could take many months or more. We will continue to keep you informed of key developments in the Archie/Penders lawsuit.