While following the hearings of The Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson to be nominated to be an Associate Supreme Court Justice, I got a pleasant surprise.
Judge Jackson highlighted one of the cases she presided over as a U.S. District Judge — Yah Kai World Wide Enterprises, Inc., et al. v Geoffrey Napper. This case involved a dispute around the ownership and control of a business in Capitol Heights, MD.
The Court had bifurcated the case — liability and damages.
The liability phase involved a three-day bench trial in 2015.
At the end of that phase, the Court determined that the defendant, Geoffrey Napper, was liable. For what? Trademark infringement, unfair competition, and conversion. Why? Napper had illegally appropriated and controlled a food-service business. At the time, the business’s name was “Everlasting Life Restaurant & Lounge.”
There was a one-day bench trial on damages in 2017.
The Court awarded the plaintiffs, Prince Immanuel Ben Yehuda and Yah Kai World Wide Enterprises, Inc. (i) the profits that Napper’s infringing conduct generated, (ii) actual damages, and (ii) attorney fees and costs.
The attorney for the plaintiffs had asked us to review the financial documents in the case to provide them a guide for requesting economic damages during the second phase of the case. We did.
In our work, after we submit a report, we move on to the next case and don’t typically know a case’s outcome. After Yah Kai made the news as part of the confirmation hearings, I looked up the “damages decision.” Then, I reviewed our analysis.
I thought the amount the Court awarded the plaintiffs was consistent with the financial records we had reviewed.