TEAM vs Quixtar: A win for TEAM?

On Friday, Quixtar had some wins in a Michigan Court in their legal dispute with TEAM, with their Restraining Order against TEAM upheld, and the two ROs TEAM requested against Quixtar dismissed. Since then however, TEAM supporters have been crowing about their "wins" in other courts around the United States. Now, I’m not a laywer, let alone a US lawyer, but the TEAM "wins" aren’t yet wins per se – they are grantings of Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO). In disputes like this, these are typically quite easy to get and are issued to prevent parties doing too much "damage" to each other before a case gets a chance to get to court for a full hearing. Both TEAM and Quixtar had these issued in Michigan last week, and when they went to a full hearing Quixtar was the winner in all three cases. So, nothing for TEAM to get too excited about.

One case though looks a little more interesting – Simmons et.al vs Quixtar in Texas. Frankly I don’t quite understand the whole process that has happened, but it appears TEAM got a TRO against Quixtar, similiar as to what happened in Michigan last week. As I said with the Michigan order, given the circumstances that’s perfectly normal and correct.

However, in the Simmons et.al vs Quixtar case I was forwarded it appears that Quixtar asked for the case to be moved to a Federal Court and some changes made to the order, arguing it was "overly broad". They were apparently granted this request, but the TRO remains in force, though modified. I’ve no idea what the changes are. Until the hearing on August 31, Quixtar is enjoined from –

  1. Interfering with Plaintiffs’ Team business support system;
  2. Sending verbal, written, or electronic communications to business associates and upline or downline business partners of Plaintiffs related to violations of the Rules of Conduct, use of Team materials and attendance at Team meetings and conferences, and threats to suspend or terminate any Quixtar distributor’s business based on Team materials;
  3. Terminating or threatening to terminate the distributorships or businesses of Plaintiffs and other IBOs who use Team materials forwarded by Plaintiffs;
  4. Disparaging the Team approach;
  5. Taking any adverse action against Plaintiffs pending disposition of this Order;
  6. Refusing to pay any bonus to Plaintiffs that may be due in the ordinary course of business;
  7. Interfering with or prohibiting, in any way, the operation of the Team as a business support system for Plaintiffs or taking any action to shut down or interfere with the Team’s business.

This isn’t significantly different from the TRO against Quixtar in Michigan which TEAM ultimately lost when it went to a full hearing. The difference, according to TEAM IBOs, is that this time, rather than the TRO being issued "ex parte", ie without one party being there to defend themselves, Quixtar did give their side of the story, and Judge Bush decided TEAM still had a case. Whether it stands up under a full hearing, we’ll have to wait until Friday at the earliest. Quixtar has definitely had the best of things early in the battle, but TEAM’s not out of this yet.

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