Contact: Ram Avrahami Address: 1001 N. Randolph/#110 Arlington, VA 22201 Telephone:(703) 908-9125 Facsimile:(703) 908-0186
ARLINGTON, NOV. 13, 1995 -- "Ram Avrahami rejected today an attempt by U.S. News & World Report, Inc. to block his motion for misuse of his name without consent. In the original motion, filed on July 21, the Arlington man claimed that USN&WR has benefitted commercially from his name without prior written consent, causing an unrequested mail solicitation to arrive to his home. Trial date was set to November 27, the Monday after Thanksgiving, at 10:30 am.
In what appears to be a circumvention of regular procedures, USN&WR had asked the Arlington General District Court to stay Avrahami's motion (#95-7479), while at the same time filed a counter motion against Avrahami in the Arlington CircuitCourt (#95- 1318). On October 24th, attorneys David G. Fiske and Michael J. Wendorf of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge, one of the largest law firms in the Washington D.C. area, filed the on behalf of USN&WR a Motion for Declaratory Judgement, asking the Circuit Court to rule that "the selling, renting and exchanging of mailing lists containing the Defendant Ram Avrahami's name does not violate Virginia Code 8.01-40", and hence to dismiss the original motion.
In filing a demurrer to the motion, Jonathan C. Dailey, Avrahami's attorney, states that "U.S. News has filed no Answer...and has not cited one case to support its broad allegation". Dailey quotes the Virginia Supreme Court saying that "[allowing the Party to choose its own forum and position upon the trial] goes beyond the purpose and limitations of the declaratory judgements statute". Dailey filed also an Opposition to the Motion for Stay in the General District Court, reminding the Court that USN&WR had the opportunity to remove the case to the Circuit Court, but failed to do so in a timely manner.
Avrahami said that he was not surprised that the magazine was trying to change the terms of his motion, but that he was disappointed about the lack of substantive arguments for it. In particular, the magazine has not brought any argument why it should not comply with the Virginia Statute that requires express written permission before using one's name for the purposes of trade. Avrahami added that he hopes that the magazine avoids delay tactics and would be prepared for a discussion on the merits of the case on the Nov 27 trial day.
Ram Avrahami is represented by the Law Offices of Jonathan C. Dailey in Washington D.C. (telephone 202-496-1290, fax 202-496-9620).