Church Lawyer Contacts Arnie Lerma

In article to alt.religion.scientology, (alerma) writes:

After chatting with counsel, here is a letter
I received via Fax, my interim reply follows:

    Melvin F Jager				HOFER												GILSON
    (phone deleted)  				& LIONE   

    August 4, 1995                      A Professional Corporation
					Intellectual Property Attorneys
					NBC Tower - Suite 3600
					455 N Cityfront Plaza Drive
					Chicago, Illinois 60611-5599
					Fax 312 321 4299
					Telephone 312 321 4200

   Arnoldo Lerma
   (address deleted)

 Dear Mr Lerma:

 I represent Religious Technology center ("RTC"), 
 the owner of the confidential advanced
 Technology of the religion of Scientology, and 
 the holder of the exclusive rights under the
 copyrights and trade secrets rights applicable 
 to the Advanced Technology materials. Among
 these copyrighted and trade secret materials 
 are the Advanced Technology materials of
 various levels known as "Operating Thetan" or 
 "OT" Sections and designated with a number.

 I have been infomed tbat you have posted 8O 
 pages of these confidential copyrighted,
 unpublished works, from, the advanced 
 Tecbnology materials known as OT I-VII onto the
 Internet without the authorization of my client, 
 which, of course, would not have given such
 authorization had it been requested. Your 
 action violates my client's legal rights in that it
 is the unauthorized making of electronic 
 copies of the copyrighted material and the
 unauthorized disclosure of trade secrets material.

 The actions constitute violations of applicable 
 copyright and trade secret laws entitling my
 client to damages and an injunction. You have 
 signed agreements recognizing the
 confidentiality of the OT raaterials, You 
 are also on notice that they are regarded as trade
 secrets. We have diligently acted to protect 
 this information from unauthorized distribution.
 The only way these materials could ever 
 have left the church is through outright theft or
 misappropriation. As a former parishioner, 
 you are well aware of this fact.
 It is essental that you take immediate and
 effective action to remove all unauthorized copies
 from the Internet, and refrain from any 
 repetition of this or simliar acts in the future. This
 includes advising your network service 
 provider to delete postings containing the
 information. You are also to delete these 
 and any other OT materials from your hard drive
 and any floppy disks and to destroy any 
 hard copies you have made.

 Your downloading of the copyright and trade 
 secret material violates laws prohibiting
 copyright infringement and trade secret  
 misappropriation. Your use and disclosure of these
 materials is not fair use. United States courts 
 routinely find that the unpublished nature of
 a work is a factor which weights against a 
 finding of fair use. No court has ever found that
 use of stolen unpublished works is fair. 
 There is also no fair use defense to trade secret
 misappropraition. The OT materials have been found 
 to be trade secrets by the United States District
 Court of the Souther District of California 
 in Bridge Publications, Inc , vs Vien, 827
 F. Supp, 629, 633 (S.D. Cal 1993). No court 
 has ever ruled to the contrary.

 I expect an immediate response from you with 
 a statement of your willingness to comply
 with these demands. If you do not comply 
 immediately, we will have no other course but
 to initiate legal action to compel compliance.

  Very truly yours

  Melvin F. Jager

Lerma's Interim Reply

Reply sent at 3:20 Saturday

Dear Mr. Melvin F. Jager

   I received your letter by fax, with a time stamp
   of 4:52 on Friday, and I have prepared a response,
   which I will transmit to you shortly after
   being reviewed by legal counsel.

       Your Truly

       Arnaldo Pagliarini Lerma

Comment by John Noring

According to Diane Richardson, Mr. Melvin F. Jager is the "guru" of trade secret law. The employment of him by the Church of Scientology shows that the Church is very concerned by the posting of the public court document which contains all the OT levels as exhibits. I'm sure Mr. Jager is quite expensive. And I would not be surprised if CoS will use him the Dennis Erlich case, as things don't look good for CoS there, either.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in the near future as the Church is teetering on possibly losing trade secret and even copyright claims to the OT materials, notwithstanding Mr. Jager's quotation to the contrary.

In my cursory look at Mr. Jager's letter, I believe he said something that is clearly inaccurate and which may form the crux of his entire argument:

"The only way these materials could ever have left the church is through outright theft or misappropriation. As a former parishioner, you are well aware of this fact."

The submission to the court by Dennis Erlich's attorney, MoFo, gives compelling factual evidence to the contrary. Mr. Jager stands to have egg on his face for making such an inaccurate assertion as he does.

Jon Noring
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Second Reply by Lerma

6 August 1994

Dear Mr. Melvin F Jager,

The affidavit posted was an court document,
Court case 91-6426 HLH (Tx), Central District
of California, and a matter of public record.
As of today I am advised these records remain unsealed.

It is apparant from your letter that 
you have not been given correct
information about my postings to
the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup on the internet.

I dispute these being unpublished works as they are
available in a court house in California, again
as a public record.

You claim the works to be unpublished, 
its obvious they are not.

These works have been distributed 
to certain members of the CofS.

And I had access to some of these 
OT docs when I was in the church.

Your characterization of these as 'stolen documents' is ludicrous,
they are court records, open to the public.

Further I regard this letter and unsolicited
visits by church representatives as harrassment 
and am fully committed to defending my free speech 
rights and civil liberties.

My interest here is bringing out the truth, 
and I cannot understand why 
the Church has any objection to that.

At Saturday's "ambush" interview with church
representatives, I made a tape recording, with their
knowledge and consent. The representative
could not confirm that this document is sealed.

Then again at 7PM on Sunday, the same two
representatives for the church again showed up
at my door unannounced, I decliened to speak to them.
Then one of them called by phone and made a threat to
induce my "cooperation".

You are put on notice that this is the THIRD
time the Church has sent representatives to
disturb me.

Attached is a copy of an article by Richard Leiby, that was
published in the Washinton Post, about my previous
history with your client.

I have sent a copy of your letter, a copy of the tape
of the unsolicited visit, and my copy
of the court documents from 91-6426 HLH (Tx)
to Richard Leiby, reporter at the Washington Post

Very truly yours,

Arnaldo Pagliarini Lerma