In Snapchat suit, Reggie Brown's lawyers defend right 'to fight back'
The exiled creator's legal team admits to leaking video testimony but asserts its right to defend its client's reputation.
Lawyers for Snapchat's deposed inventor Reggie Brown justified their release of video testimony in a legal motion filed late Monday with the California Central District Court. Brown's legal team at Lee Tran Laing & Wang asserts that there is no protective order in place and that the footage in question is not confidential in nature.
In February, Brown filed suit against Snapchat (previously known as Picaboo), its co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, and the company's investors for a one-third stake in the application he claims to have dreamed up on his own in early 2011. Despite an apparent settlement attempt in May, the suit has since devolved into an ugly legal quagmire with both sides alleging each other of wrongdoing.
Brown's lawyers, who are currently in the process of attempting to get the case remanded back to state court where it started, are now also contending with themotion filed Friday against their client. Snapchat's legal team, Quinn Emaneul, is seeking the temporary restraining order (TRO) against Brown because the firm believes that he and his team shared confidential deposition videos with the media.
Monday, Brown's lawyers filed their opposition to the TRO. Despite admitting to providing the video clips in question to Business Insider, the firm argues that the defense's motion is meritless for a number reasons, one of them being that there was not a protective order in place protecting the video clips in question.
"While the dissemination of these materials may perturb defendants because they undermine their efforts to slime plaintiff as a shakedown artist in the media, this concern does not satisfy state or federal standards for the issuance of a protective order," Brown's legal team wrote.
Tran Laing & Wang's position is also that the firm only provided testimony that corrects public misconceptions of their client, which were perpetuated by Snapchat, Spiegel, and Murphy in previous media appearances and statements.
"Again, the disclosures merely respond to defendants' media campaign that falsely claimed that they came up with the idea for Picaboo, denied plaintiff Brown's role in the venture and attempted to paint him as a shakedown artist whose lawsuit is a 'frivolous' 'fabrication' containing allegations that he 'made up,'" the opposition motion states. "Snapchat is a major company and tech sensation that has the press banging at its door. Plaintiff is entitled to fight back against them."
However the judge rules on the defense's request for a TRO, the new documents add even more tension to an already volatile case. And though we don't get the particulars, we also learn that Spiegel's taped deposition in April includes testimony on Snapchat's business dealings with would-be acquirers.
"Plaintiff is willing to agree to the 'confidential' designation for Mr. Spiegel's testimony regarding any plan for Snapchat's acquisition," the opposition motion states.
The opposition to the defense's application for TRO is embedded below.