Settlement Letter written to Bob Dylan by Robert Church Esq.
Orin Snyder, Esq.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
200 Park Ave., 47th Floor
New York, NY 10166-0193
Steven D. Johnson, Esq.
1700 Two Logan Square
18th & Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Re: Damiano v. Dylan & Sony
Case No. 95 CV 4795
Dear Mr. Snyder and Mr. Johnson:
I am representing James Damiano on matters concerning his confidentiality order. David Foley remains local counsel. I commend both of you for the approach you took regarding the last Motion for Contempt. While you could have asked for more sanctions previously, you and your clients instead, waived all contempt sanctions in hopes to bring Mr. Damiano into a state of compliance with the confidential order. I think it worked.
I notice Mr. Damiano, despite your gracious approach, still accuses Mr. Snyder of committing “fraud” on the court in his web postings. I’ve expressed my distaste to Mr. Damiano for these postings, but I cannot control my clients’ behavior. The simple truth is that Mr. Damiano has yet to hear any explanation from Bob Dylan as to his intent and objectives for arranging backstage meetings with Damiano, including July 1, 1988 at Jones Beach, just a few short months before Dylan recorded Dignity.
The Jones Beach concert, the Waterloo Village concert, the Radio City concert and the Ovens Auditorium concerts are all a matter of court record in the case. The concerts were significant. James Damiano delivered his songs to Bob Dylan at these concerts. The only acknowledgement from Dylan was that the songs turned up on Bob Dylan's album.
It is also undisputed through the record of this court that an eleven year professional association existed between Mr. Damiano and Dylan affiliates through John Hammond Sr. Mikie Harris, Tony Tiller, Mitch Berman aka Elliot Mintz, Tom Masters, Frank Rand, Don Inner, Tony Martell, Jeff Rosen, and other people in Dylan's entourage. Out of courtesy to you and your client we have not included any of the testimony that supports these statements.
I’ve asked Mr. Damiano how Mr. Snyder committed fraud on the court. He replies that Orin signed his signature to briefs stating he was “delusional” in court papers. He is most offended by the fact that the source of his copyright claims, i.e. the above mentioned facts were never addressed or denied by Bob Dylan himself. There was no affidavit by Mr. Dylan to the court and certainly no appearance.
The simple truth is that Mr. Damiano has yet to hear any explanation from Bob Dylan as to his intent and objectives for arranging backstage meetings with Damiano. Should Damiano had known then the outcome of the eleven years that he worked with CBS and Dylan affiliates he would have pursued a ifferent career. Something more profitable.
I believe Damiano’s claims regarding the concerts more than ever today. Bob Dylan made that obscure statement about Buddy Holly at the Grammy Award Ceremony in 1998. I cannot believe anything inspired him more than Damiano’s lawsuit to speak about the time Buddy looked at him from the stage. Damiano was ridiculed in your court papers for alleging Dylan did the very same thing to him.
My purpose in writing is to propose a settlement of Mr. Damiano’s ongoing copyright claim against Dignity and literary rights of publishing everything he legally can about this case. Mr. Damiano asked me to propose a settlement figure.
The incidents which occurred pertaining to this law suit concerning confidentiality are a bad representation of Mr. Damiano's character.
There are still people in this world who abide by their given word come hell or high water. I know Jim to be one on them. He is a man of his word.
I do understand his behavior and how he felt when he did his posting campaign and I can say to you now that it was out of unfairness and a desire to correct the unfairness in his story. The James Damiano Bob Dylan Story.
I will not represent Mr. Damiano in a copyright infringement claim involving Dignity. I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to afford the costs or time. I also cannot assist Mr. Damiano in seeking a court modification of the confidentiality order to allow him to publish the eyewitness testimony of Brad Wright and Pam Damiano. I have accepted employment in the past month which requires me to withdraw from the case before any further representation is required.
Why should Dylan pay Damiano anything? I suggest he do it for the same reason CBS records invested in Dylan’s first recording. They took a risk, and it paid dividends. If Mr. Dylan treats Damiano with respect, by paying him for the songs he requested in 1988, Damiano will be grateful. The Internet campaign will end. Mr. Dylan’s reputation will improve. Most of all, Dylan can find peace of mind about this case.
I don’t believe you’ve enjoyed going to court asking for contempt sanctions, and I don’t believe you’re happy that Mr. Damiano is complying with the confidentiality order. I believe you want him to stop claiming Mr. Dylan used his material dishonestly and publishing this theme indefinitely.
Bob Dylan is in the news again. The Associated Press released reports about a poem Dylan penned when he was 16. Some believe he plagiarized a song by Hank Snow. Frankly, I don’t care. Other people do, however. The press has picked up the Damiano claims, and it is eating away at their respect for Mr. Dylan.
We can all join sides to memorialize Dylan as a positive force for good in American history. I’ll suggest a price (for lack of a better word). Mr. Damiano’s literary silence regarding his case along with a release of his copyright claim will cost $450,000. Please let me know if the offer is accepted or rejected.
If Mr. Dylan doesn’t believe he should pay Mr. Damiano any financial settlement for his offenses, may I ask that he at least explain to Jim what his backstage meetings were really about. Heaven knows I have tried to help Damiano make peace with himself about this case. I'm sure it's hard for Jim.
It has also come to my attention that Nick Kuntz has written a letter to Mr. Damiano stating that his deposition material was misconstrued by the defense.
I will be filing a Motion to Withdraw for Mr. Foley and myself if this letter does not produce a settlement. Mr. Damiano will seek a modification of the confidentiality order upon our exit, unless the Judge orders otherwise.
I have one other matter. Mr. Damiano informs me that Steven Kramer had several boxes of songs delivered to Parcher & Hayes during the discovery phase of his case against Dylan. Mr. Kramer never made copies of the documents, since I am presuming he felt pressed to comply with an overdue discovery request. Mr. Damiano informs me that he has never had all the original songs returned to his possession, even though the case is over. If you don’t mind, please explain what you can recall about Mr. Damiano’s song production. Do you still have songs unaccounted for? Can they be returned?
I reiterate out of courtesy to you and your client we have not included any of the testimony, or documents, that supports these statements.
There are many other facts I can mention like the Mikie Harris letter which I believe say's it all.
Sincerely Robert Church
Posted by James Damiano.