Civil Procedure Keyed to Marcus
Zuk v. Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute of the Medical College of Pennsylvania
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Plaintiff, a psychologist on the Defendant’s faculty, taped two of his therapy sessions. Defendant made them available for rental through its library. Plaintiff also wrote a book, containing transcripts of the therapy sessions. In 1975, Plaintiff registered the book with the United States Copyright Office. Five years later, Plaintiff requested that all copies of the films be returned to him, but Defendant ignored the request. In 1995, Appellant filed suit on Plaintiff’s behalf alleged that Defendant was renting out the films and thereby infringed his copyright. Defendant moved for dismissal under Rule 12(b), and mailed a notice to Appellant of its intention to move for sanctions under Rule 11 on grounds that Appellant filed to conduct an inquiry into the facts and law. The district court granted the Motion to Dismiss and found that the copyright of the book afforded protection to the films. It also found that Defendant’s use thereof was not infringement, and that Plaintiff’s claim was barred by the statute of limitations. The court subsequently entered an order for attorney’s fees and sanctions against Plaintiff and Appellant, who are joint and severally liable to the Defendant for counsel fees in the amount of $15,000. Plaintiff settled his liability with the Defendant in the amount of $6,250, leaving the appellant liable for $8,750. Appellants appealed.
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