Foundation public announcement regarding
impending trial with Michael Foundation
October 4, 2000
MICHAEL FOUNDATION, INC. V. Urantia FOUNDATION
CASE SET FOR TRIAL IN APRIL 2001
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has issued aScheduling Order in the Michael Foundation, Inc. v. Urantia Foundationlawsuit. The Court has set the case for jury trial in April, 2001. Theparties are permitted until March 1, 2001, to conduct discovery, a pretrialfact-finding process that includes requests for production of documents,written interrogatories, requests for admissions of facts, and depositionsof witnesses. The parties must provide one another with a final list ofwitnesses and exhibits by February 1, 2001. Any Motions for Summary Judgmentmust be filed by March 1, 2001.Michael Foundation has already served Urantia Foundation with requests forproduction of documents, and Urantia Foundation is compiling its response.
Likewise, Urantia Foundation has served Michael Foundation and HarryMcMullan III with requests for production of documents and requests foradmissions of facts.
In order to conclude discovery within the time frame allotted by the Court,Urantia Foundation has also begun scheduling depositions of some of thewitnesses whom Michael Foundation indicates it may rely upon at trialaccording to its preliminary witness list. Each party may depose tenwitnesses during the discovery period which concludes March 1, 2001.A deposition is an out-of-court statement under oath where the attorneys forboth sides are present with the witness and are permitted to ask questions.The entire process is recorded by a court reporter. Depositionsare typically conducted in a conference room at a court reporter's officenear the residence of the witness. A subpoena is served on the witness toadvise them of the date, time and place where their deposition will beheld and may specify that they bring with them documents in their possessionrelated to the case. A deposition or document subpoena is not a lawsuit.
It is simply a tool for parties to obtain discovery lawfully from nonpartiesduring the discovery period in a case.
This case arises from the unlicensed publication by Harry McMullan III'sMichael Foundation of most of Part IV of The Urantia Book under the titleJesus -- A New Revelation. Michael Foundation filed suit requestingthe Court to declare the copyright in The Urantia Book invalid or,alternatively, to rule that their publication does not infringe thecopyright. Urantia Foundation is requesting the Court to enter judgment infavor of Urantia Foundation against Harry McMullan III and MichaelFoundation for willful violations of copyright law; the anti-cybersquattingconsumer protection act (for registering Internet domain names that violateUrantia Foundation's trademark rights); and the unfair and deceptive tradepractices act. Urantia Foundation is requesting an injunction barring Mr.McMullan and Michael Foundation from further violation of the copyrightand trademarks as well as monetary damages prescribed by law, punitivedamages, and the attorneys' fees and costs incurred in connection with thiscase.
As the case progresses, we will issue periodic updates. In the meantime,questions may be directed to the head office in Chicago at +1 773 525 3319.
Mindy WilliamsUrantia Foundation533 W. Diversey ParkwayChicago, IL 60614