Williamson et al v. Recovery Limited Partnership et al
ORDER granting 1096 Motion to Compel. Signed by Magistrate Judge Terence P. Kemp on 4/3/2017. (agm)(This document has been sent by regular mail to the party(ies) listed in the NEF that did not receive electronic notification.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
Michael Williamson, et al.,
Recovery Limited Partnership,
Case No. 2:06-cv-292
JUDGE ALGENON L. MARBLEY
Magistrate Judge Kemp
This order is a follow-up to a subject addressed in the
Court’s Opinion and Order of October 25, 2016 (Doc. 1088).
that Opinion and Order, the Court ruled on, among other motions,
a motion to enforce a subpoena which was issued by the Dispatch
Printing Company on October 26, 2015 (Doc. 985) and served on
Carl H. Linder and Linder Law Group (both of which will be
referred to in this order as “Linder”) in Miami, Florida on
November 2, 2015 (Doc. 995). As the Court described that
The Linder subpoena commanded production of twenty-two
categories of documents. Grouped broadly, they relate
to documents and communications by or about Thomas G.
Thompson[,] Alison Antekeier, and Recovery Limited
Partnership with The CA Archeological Protection Trust,
The Cromwell Trust, Columbus Exploration, LLC, the
Hiassen Trust, the Indemnification Trust, Thomas G.
Thompson, Alison Antekeier (and her various aliases),
CBIZ Accounting, Tax & Advisory of Florida, LLC or its
successor, Carlos Andrade, Carlo Mason, and Global
Consultants and Services Ltd., as well as documents
about Mr. Thompson’s or Ms. Antekeier’s use of a
company known as RoboVault.
Doc. 1088, at 2.
Mr. Linder, citing his attorney-client relationship with Mr.
Thompson, declined to produce both the CA Archeological
Protection Trust agreement and certain other documents relating
to it, including documents which appointed what are described as
the “Protector, Custodian, and Investment Advisor” documents for
The issue presented to the Court in the prior motion
was whether the disclosure of those documents to persons other
than Mr. Linder’s client or clients - namely, the trustee and the
trust advisors - waived the attorney-client privilege.
that this question involved interpretation of Florida law and
that the answer was not obvious, the Court declined to make a
definitive ruling, particularly because other potential grounds
for overcoming the claim of privilege seemed to exist.
One of those alternative grounds is the crime-fraud
exception, which has obvious relevance here in light of the
circumstances of this case.
The trust documents in question
appear to relate to the issue of where certain coins which were
minted from gold bars salvaged from the wreckage of the SS
Central America are now located.
As this Court recently
observed, Mr. Thompson “has been in jail for more than a year for
violating this Court’s order to sit for a debtor’s examination
and assist the litigants in identifying and recovering assets,
including the gold coins, as required by his plea agreement.”
Doc. 1099, at 1-2.
The plea agreement referred to by that order
was entered into in a prosecution for criminal contempt and
required Mr. Thompson to assist the parties in this case to
identify and recover assets including those coins.
2:15-cr-81 (S.D. Ohio).
See Case No.
That leaves little room for doubt that
Mr. Thompson has been involved in criminal behavior, and strongly
supports the notion that the conduct leading to the filing of
this case and Mr. Thompson’s handling of assets, including the
coins, was intended to defraud the investors in the salvage
On March 3, 2017, the Dispatch renewed its motion to enforce
It represents in that motion (the public version
of which is Doc. 1096) that Recovery Limited Partnership, one of
Mr. Thompson’s entities in which the Dispatch was an investor,
became contractually entitled to the coins in question, which
were minted from gold recovered from the shipwreck, no later than
However, it does not appear that the partnership
ever obtained possession of those coins, or, if it did, it seems
that Mr. Thompson unlawfully transferred the coins from the
partnership to his own possession and then secreted them.
motion is currently unopposed.
The Dispatch correctly notes that Florida law recognizes a
crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege.
Court has reviewed the statutory and case citations on pages 1213 of the Dispatch’s memorandum and agrees that they accurately
depict Florida law.
Further, those cases establish that in
Florida, as in most jurisdictions, a party challenging the
assertion of the attorney-client privilege through the crimefraud exception must show only a reasonable basis for the claim
of fraud, after which it becomes the other party’s burden to show
that the facts are otherwise.
See, e.g., Safety Today v. Roy,
2013 WL 5597065, *6 (S.D. Ohio Oct. 11, 2013), citing, inter
alia, In re Antitrust Grand Jury, 805 F.2d 155, 166 (6th Cir.
The Dispatch has made that showing here.
The fact that
no one - including Mr. Thompson, who is still a party to this
case - has filed a response means that the Court is entitled to
take the facts asserted in the Dispatch’s motion as true.
those facts, it is reasonable to conclude that the trust
documents in question were intended, at least by Mr. Thompson, to
assist him in committing fraud.
That being so, any claim of
privilege is void, and the Dispatch is entitled to copies of the
For all of these reasons, the Court grants the renewed
motion to compel (Doc. 1096).
Carl H. Linder and Linder Law
Group shall produce any documents responsive to the subpoena
which were withheld on grounds of attorney-client privilege
within fourteen days of the date of this order.
Motion for Reconsideration
Any party may, within fourteen days after this Order is
filed, file and serve on the opposing party a motion for
reconsideration by a District Judge.
28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(A),
Rule 72(a), Fed. R. Civ. P.; Eastern Division Order No. 14-01,
The motion must specifically designate the
order or part in question and the basis for any objection.
Responses to objections are due fourteen days after objections
are filed and replies by the objecting party are due seven days
The District Judge, upon consideration of the
motion, shall set aside any part of this Order found to be
clearly erroneous or contrary to law.
This order is in full force and effect even if a motion for
reconsideration has been filed unless it is stayed by either the
Magistrate Judge or District Judge.
S.D. Ohio L.R. 72.3.
/s/ Terence P. Kemp
United States Magistrate Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?