I've said that a lot in my lifetime but for the first time it means exactly that. A judge heard all our testimony at a trial in Iowa to decide if I owed an investor (in an album) a great deal of money because I wasn't as successful as he had hoped I would be. It's hard to believe even for me...I'm the least successful musician I've ever heard of being sued by an Executive Producer. He basically just wanted all of his money back plus 18% and I pained for a year over the idea of that...losing more money than I had used to make Chronicles of Harvey and the My Brother's Keeper video...all at once because the legal system allows anyone to claim anything, anytime...and forces all those accused to defend themselves.
Defending yourself out of state, by the way, is a bit of a challenge. If a lawyer will take your case it seems customary to rape the out of state client for every imaginable fee one can conjure. Fortunately I had nearly no money for a lawyer and I was forced to defend myself so these fees were not something I stood to lose. But I had to do my very best research ever...play lawyer for a year...and cross my fingers. I prepared as well as I could. I responded to all of the clerical judiciary blah blah blah throughout the proceedings. I updated the court clerk and opposition as necessary (except that one deadline I missed...whoops). I read and read and read and phoned every intelligent friend I could as well as a couple lawyers. The lawyers I know gave me generic pointers and made sure to let me know that they could not give me real council...politely. I read some more. I still didn't have a clue on the day of court. I'd rehearsed my lines. I'd studied all the evidence and lack thereof. I had all my paperwork in order...First time I needed one of them the entire stack turned into wet leaves covered in Egyptian hieroglyphs. I couldn't make heads or tails of the process, the paperwork or my thoughts. Awww shit. So I gave up on keeping my composure and just answered the questions, stumbled through my own quandaries and asked the judge to be forgiving of my ignorance.
The verdict is in.
After over a year of suffering through this mess a judge has decided that my Executive Producer had no legal claim to the money he was seeking. My wife and I were both named in this frivolous lawsuit and we are both very happy to inform anyone who cares...that justice did prevail. The judge gave an insightful recap and evaluation of the proceedings/claims and found in our favor. As a result, our accuser had to pay our court costs as well. We lost some time and a trip to Iowa we didn't really want to take but Hell...we won. Thank God. Thank Iowa. Thank the Universe. Thanks friends and neighbors. We didn't lose.
Note to self. Do everything alone. People suck.
I think I'll make another record.