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Monte Cahn settles lawsuit against Oversee.net

August 21, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, jeff kupietzky, lawsuit, Moniker, monte cahn, Oversee.net, Policy & LawComments Off on Monte Cahn settles lawsuit against Oversee.net

Long legal battle between Moniker founder and Oversee.net is over.

Moniker.com founder Monte Cahn has dismissed his lawsuit against Oversee.net regarding money he said he was owed under a bonus plan.

Cahn joined Oversee.net after Seevast sold Moniker to Oversee.net. Cahn left Oversee at the end of 2010. In May 2011 he filed a lawsuit against the company arguing he was due part of a $13 million bonus plan.

Having read many of the documents and examinations filed with the court, I can say this was a particularly unsettling legal battle for both parties. There was certainly ill-will between Cahn and some of Oversee.net’s former staff.

Yet a lot has changed since the lawsuit was filed. Oversee.net CEO Jeff Kupietzky left the company in August 2011, and Oversee.net sold Moniker earlier this year.

387 documents were filed since the case was initiated. There was already an initial trial on one issue, which the judge ruled in favor of Oversee.net.

Here’s the statement of dismissal:

VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE
Pursuant to a settlement agreement between the parties and Rule 41(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff Monte Cahn and Defendants Oversee.net, Jeffrey Kupietzky, and Lawrence Ng, through their respective undersigned counsel of record, hereby stipulate to the voluntary dismissal of this Action in its entirety against all defendants with prejudice. Each party shall bear its own attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed. I’ve reached out to both sides for comment.


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Monte Cahn invests in and joins DomainHoldings

May 30, 2012domain holdings, Domaining, Domainnamewire, monte cahn, UncategorizedComments Off on Monte Cahn invests in and joins DomainHoldings

Another familiar face turns up at Domain Holdings.

DomainHoldingsMonte Cahn, best known in the domain industry for founding domain registrar Moniker, has invested in Domain Holdings and taken a role with the company.

Cahn has joined Domain Holdings as an Executive in Residence and Advisor to the Board. As Executive in residence, Cahn will work with the company on a day-by-day basis. He will become involved in overall strategy as well as domain brokerage/sales and domain monetization.

Cahn founded domain registrar Moniker and sold the company to Kanoodle (which became Seevast) in 2006. He remained with the company after it was in turn sold to Oversee.net. Cahn left Oversee.net at the end of 2010.

He is also President and Director of RightOfTheDot, LLC, a consulting firm for new top level domain operators. RightOfTheDot is working with DomainHoldings as one of its partners for premium domain sales and monetization for top level domain clients.

Since it was founded in 2010, Domain Holdings has added a number of familiar faces from around the domain industry. Most recently it hired Jim Grace from DomainSponsor.


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Related posts:

  1. Monte Cahn files third ammended complaint against Oversee.net
  2. Monte Cahn Updates Lawsuit Against Oversee.net with New Details
  3. Monte Cahn Calls Oversee’s Motion to Dismiss “Boilerplate”

Judge allows fraud claim in Monte Cahn vs. Oversee.net to move forward, nixes two others

January 6, 2012Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, monte cahn, Oversee.netComments Off on Judge allows fraud claim in Monte Cahn vs. Oversee.net to move forward, nixes two others

Judge tosses two claims, allows fraud claim to move forward.

The judge overseeing Monte Cahn vs. Oversee.net has handed down a mixed bag to both parties in his latest ruling.

The Honorable Stephen V. Wilson dismissed two of Monte Cahn’s claims against his former employer while denying a motion to dismiss a fraud claim and strike a prayer for punitive damages.

Oversee.net argued that Cahn’s fifth claim for fraud by Oversee.net was merely a restatement of an earlier insufficient claim that was dismissed. But the judge ruled that Cahn added enough specificity to the claim to make it a valid claim.

The judge also denied Oversee.net’s motion to strike the Prayer for Punitive Damages based on the fraud claim.

However, Wilson dismissed two claims for conversion with prejudice. The judge had previously dismissed such claims but allowed Cahn to plead them again. These are now off the table.

The judge’s refusal to dismiss the fraud claim and strike punitive damages is a victory for Cahn, and the claim for fraud seemed to be a bigger issue than the conversion claims.

A judge trial for Cahn’s first claim for breach of contract is scheduled for January 17.


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Related posts:

  1. Judge Dismisses Many of Monte Cahn’s Claims Against Oversee.net
  2. Court Grants Oversee.net Motion to Dismiss in Monte Cahn Lawsuit
  3. Oversee.net Blasts Monte Cahn’s Amended Lawsuit

Monte Cahn Calls Oversee’s Motion to Dismiss “Boilerplate”

October 4, 2011Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Moniker, monte cahn, Oversee.netComments Off on Monte Cahn Calls Oversee’s Motion to Dismiss “Boilerplate”

Judge again to decide on motion to dismiss some of Cahn’s claims against his former employer.

Monte Cahn has responded (pdf) to Oversee.net’s Motion to Dismiss certain claims in his case against his former employer.

Cahn’s lawyers write:

“As this is Oversee’s second Motion to Dismiss, Oversee has defaulted to boilerplate, insubstantial objections to Cahn’s claims.”

The judge struck many of Cahn’s claims in Oversee.net’s previous motion to dismiss. Oversee.net says the case is simply a breach of contract case.

There’s not much new in Cahn’s response, as it mostly reiterates what he alleged in the latest amended complaint against Oversee. In addition to breach of contract, Cahn claims that Oversee.net committed fraud when it convinced him to join the company when it acquired Moniker. He also alleges conversion of some of his personal domain names.

For the fraud claim, the lawyers state:

“…he is suing Oversee because Defendants’ fraudulent representation caused Cahn to lose millions of dollars in lost opportunities, including alternative employment and investment opportunities with third parties.”


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Related posts:

  1. Judge Dismisses Many of Monte Cahn’s Claims Against Oversee.net
  2. Oversee.net Blasts Monte Cahn’s Amended Lawsuit
  3. Oversee.net Asks Court to Dismiss Monte Cahn’s Claims

Oversee.net Blasts Monte Cahn’s Amended Lawsuit

September 26, 2011Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Moniker, monte cahn, Oversee.netComments Off on Oversee.net Blasts Monte Cahn’s Amended Lawsuit

Oversee.net continues to say lawsuit with Monte Cahn is merely about contract claims.

Oversee.net has filed a motion to dismiss (pdf) numerous claims in Monte Cahn’s second amended lawsuit.

The motion to dismiss starts out with this telling line:

“Apparently, the third time is not the charm.”

The second amended lawsuit was the third complaint brought by Cahn.

Oversee.net claims Cahn’s latest complaint is “fundamentally flawed”. It asks the court to dismiss claims of fraud or conversion and let the case proceed “as a matter rooted in contract law”.

The motion to dismiss states:

“Although Cahn has now abandoned some of his theories, he still seeks to turn a breach of contract claim into a claim for fraud, and he still seeks to plead conversion claims that fail as a matter of law”.

The company claims that Cahn has tried to revive two of the claims that the court dismissed previously.

“In an effort to conceal the lack of change, Cahn reformats some of his allegations and repeatedly adds to his factual allegations speculative contentions about the defendants’ states of mind…”

Oversee.net also claims that Cahn has added “several rhetorical flourishes about the supposed importance to Oversee of retaining Chan post-merger”.


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Related posts:

  1. Oversee.net Asks Court to Dismiss Monte Cahn’s Claims
  2. Judge Dismisses Many of Monte Cahn’s Claims Against Oversee.net
  3. Monte Cahn Updates Lawsuit Against Oversee.net with New Details

Monte Cahn Updates Lawsuit Against Oversee.net with New Details

September 8, 2011Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Moniker, monte cahn, Oversee.net, SnapNamesComments Off on Monte Cahn Updates Lawsuit Against Oversee.net with New Details

Cahn claims company deliberately shifted Moniker‘s revenue to other Oversee.net entities.

Monte Cahn has filed an amended complaint (pdf) against Oversee.net after a judge tossed out many of his original claims against his former employer.

The amended complaint includes new details regarding how Oversee.net allegedly affected Moniker’s revenues after the acquisition.

First, Cahn explains that the acquisition violated Oversee.net’s advertising agreement with Google because of Moniker’s TrafficClub service. This forced Oversee.net to shut down TrafficClub upon the acquisition.

Second, Cahn claims that Moniker was Oversee.net subsidiary SnapName’s second best performing registrar at the time or the acquisition. Moniker received 70% or 80% of revenue Snapnames made selling domains from Moniker, or about $700,000 annually, according to the complaint.

But when Network Solutions ended its agreement with SnapNames, Cahn says Oversee.net used the Moniker revenue share payments to obscure the revenue impact:

In order to disguise and prevent the Oversee Board and others from recognizing the disastrous effect of the departure of Network Solutions, after the merger, Oversee improperly diverted Moniker’s registrar revenue to SnapNames, thereby artificially deflating Moniker’s EBITDA.

Cahn still claims Fraud in addition to breach of contract claims.


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Related posts:

  1. Monte Cahn: Acquisition of Moniker Violated Google Contract
  2. Monte Cahn Adds Allegations to Complaint Against Oversee.net
  3. Oversee.net Asks Court to Dismiss Monte Cahn’s Claims

Judge Dismisses Many of Monte Cahn’s Claims Against Oversee.net

August 26, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, monte cahn, Oversee.net, Policy & LawComments Off on Judge Dismisses Many of Monte Cahn’s Claims Against Oversee.net

Judge sides with Oversee.net’s Motion to Dismiss.

Oversee.net got a big win today in a lawsuit filed by former employee Monte Cahn.

The judge granted Oversee.net’s Motion to Dismiss (pdf) five claims ranging from Intentional and Negligent Misrepresentation to Unfair Competition.

Oversee.net has argued that the case is merely a breach of contract case. When it filed the motion to dismiss, its lawyers wrote that the case “is nothing more than an alleged breach of contract case” but that “Unfortunately, in a veritable ‘kitchen sink’ pleading, the Complaint contains a hodgepodge of claims against Oversee and two of its officers…”.

The judge seems to agree, at least with how Cahn plead his case. In his decision he wrote “The essence of Plaintiff’s claims at issue is an attempt to plead a breach of contract claim in tort.”

However, the judge dismissed the claims without prejudice, noting that Cahn can “refile his claim
for intentional misrepresentation/fraudulent inducement, that claim must be pled with particularity
pursuant to Rule 9(b).”


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Related posts:

  1. Oversee.net Asks Court to Dismiss Monte Cahn’s Claims
  2. Monte Cahn Adds Allegations to Complaint Against Oversee.net
  3. Monte Cahn Sues Oversee.net Over $13 Million Incentive Plan [Updated]

Lawyers Fight Over Monte Cahn’s Laptop

July 21, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, monte cahn, Oversee.net, Policy & LawComments Off on Lawyers Fight Over Monte Cahn’s Laptop

Court denies temporary restraining order for Monte Cahn’s laptop.

The latest legal battle in Monte Cahn v. Oversee.net et al is over a laptop.

Lawyers for the defendants want to get their hands on the Moniker founder’s laptop, which they say is Oversee.net company property. They claim the laptop may include confidential emails and other information about both this case and other legal matters.

The defendants filed for a temporary restraining order to get the laptop. But U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson denied the order, saying the defendants failed to explain how the laptop is an “emergency” justifying emergency relief nearly seven months after Cahn left the company and more than a month after the lawsuit began.

Lawyers for the defendants have proposed having a third party escrow the laptop for potential use in the future if there’s a court order. They claim that Cahn’s lawyer “is currently in the process of obtaining the Oversee Laptop from Mr. Cahn so that he can provide it to his hand-selected forensic consultant Intelligent Discovery Solutions (“IDS”) for purposes of creating an image of the hard drive.”


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  2. Monte Cahn Adds Allegations to Complaint Against Oversee.net
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Monte Cahn Adds Allegations to Complaint Against Oversee.net

June 23, 2011Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Moniker, monte cahn, Oversee.netComments Off on Monte Cahn Adds Allegations to Complaint Against Oversee.net

Cahn adds allegations and drops one claim.

Moniker founder Monte Cahn has filed an amended lawsuit against Oversee.net, which purchased Moniker in 2007 from Seevast.

Cahn sued Oversee claiming that he was not properly paid under a $13 million incentive plan. Oversee has asked for most of the case to be dismissed on the grounds that it’s a simple contract dispute.

[Update: Moniker has released the following statement to DNW: "This is a legal matter that is now in the hands of the courts. Oversee has asked the court to dismiss most of the lawsuit’s claims as the suit is nothing more than an alleged breach of contract case."]

The updated complaint (pdf) has some noticeable omissions from the original, including deleting the claim that Oversee agreed to buy Moniker for $35 million as well as Cahn’s pay information.

It also omits the statement “Through his work with Moniker, Cahn became a highly respected figure in the domain industry.”

The complaint focuses on how Kupietzky allegedly promised that Moniker would get adequate marketing and public relations assistance from Oversee and that operations would be integrated “so that there was a seamless integration of software and a uniform way to respond to intellectual property disputes, litigation, audit and survey responses and complaints from customers.” Kupietzky also allegedly promised cross-selling potential between Oversee subsidiaries.

Cahn also claims that Oversee.net founder and CEO at the time Lawrence Ng told him that Moniker was understaffed pre-merger and its employees were overworked, and that Oversee would provide Moniker with more resources.

He claims these never came to fruition:

Defendants formed the intent, and actively concealed and misrepresented the true fact that they intended to fully subjugate Moniker and Cahn, taking for themselves the full benefit of Moniker’s great public reputation and industry value at the time of merger while simultaneously jettisoning and reducing Cahn’s staff, influence and ability to properly manage and lead Moniker.

Other new allegations in the amended suit include:

-Oversee restricted transactions for adult domain names which comprised a “substantial portion” of Moniker’s business before the merger

-Cahn was promised he’d report to Ng as CEO, whom he had a good relationship with. But Ng knew before the merger he’d be stepping down as CEO.

-Ng and Kupietzky purposely delayed implementing infrastructure and technology integration so Moniker couldn’t fully monitor, account for and measure its own performance levels.

-”Oversee stalled and ultimately did not obtain a California escrow license for Moniker so that it could legally perform its auctions in California, the state in which Oversee was based. This adversely affected Moniker’s ability to earn revenue through its live domain auctions.”

Cahn says that these changes led to customer dissatisfaction and customers started moving domains away from Moniker.

Despite Oversee.net’s pending motion to dismiss most of the claims in the case, the amended complaint drops only one: breach of fiduciary duty.


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Related posts:

  1. Oversee.net Asks Court to Dismiss Monte Cahn’s Claims
  2. Monte Cahn Sues Oversee.net Over $13 Million Incentive Plan [Updated]
  3. Monte Cahn Leads Aftermarket Business at Oversee.net

Oversee.net Asks Court to Dismiss Monte Cahn’s Claims

June 1, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, monte cahn, Oversee.net, Policy & LawComments Off on Oversee.net Asks Court to Dismiss Monte Cahn’s Claims

Domain name company responds to lawsuit over incentive plan.

Oversee.net has responded to a lawsuit by former employee Monte Cahn by asking the court to dismiss most of the lawsuit’s claims (pdf).

Cahn sued Oversee.net last month over an incentive plan in which Cahn says he could have earned up to $13 million. Cahn alleges that he is owed money under the plan but was never paid.

Oversee.net claims that the suit “is nothing more than an alleged breach of contract case” but that “Unfortunately, in a veritable ‘kitchen sink’ pleading, the Complaint contains a hodgepodge of claims against Oversee and two of its officers…”

The company says “Plaintiff’s attempt to expand this straightforward contract dispute to a ten cause of action complaint is without basis, improper, and should not be countenanced.”

The purpose of the motion to dismiss is to ask the court to throw out many of the claims. In a motion to dismiss the court has to basically assume that the allegations are true but that the legal pleadings don’t hold water. However, Oversee.net did note that it believes Cahn’s assertion that the Management Incentive Plan was based on him meeting certain goals was incorrect; it was actually based on certain business units meeting their targets.


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Related posts:

  1. Oversee.net Asks Court to Dismiss SnapNames Lawsuit
  2. Monte Cahn Sues Oversee.net Over $13 Million Incentive Plan [Updated]
  3. Monte Cahn Leads Aftermarket Business at Oversee.net