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Gearbox Accused of Contempt in New Court Filing

The Hollywood Reporter has an update on the legal battle between Gearbox Software and former Gearbox general counsel Wade Callender (thanks Neutronbeam). Earlier this year it was learned that Callender was suing over contract violations, alleging multiple improprieties from Randy Pitchford, saying the Gearbox co-founder illicitly pocked a $12 million bonus and lost a thumb drive with sensitive company documents as well as underage porn. Gearbox, in turn, sued Callender for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty (this new report says Gearbox's lawsuit came ten days after Callender's suit, as opposed to the Kotaku report from January saying the Gearbox lawsuit came a month before the Callender suit). The Hollywood Reporter story says Callender's legal team is requesting sanctions and accusing Gearbox of contempt for hiding documents:
In February, Callender served Gearbox with a set of eight interrogatories, to which the company in response issued a "one-page document" in March. In April, Callender claimed a deficiency in Gearbox's response and requested the company amend its response. A week later, after a lack of response from Gearbox, Callender filed a motion to compel Gearbox to respond to the deficiency letter. Gearbox then agreed to provide amended interrogatory responses by July 3, though it later asked for a 30-day extension, pushing the deadline to Aug. 2.

When the Aug. 2 deadline arrived, Gearbox "provided their 4th amended responses" and "produced certain documents," one of which was a text correspondence between Pitchford and a "member of the press that he had podcast with" in which the two discuss the USB drive.

"In response to 'Is the USB stick falling out or has the internet moved on now?', Pitchford replied 'Internet is fine. All they care about is if my next video game is good or not.' It comes as no surprise that GBX did not want to disclose this very telling document," the filing claims.

In December, Pitchford discussed the USB drive on an episode of the Piff Pod with host John van der Put, a comedian and fellow magician (Pitchford is a well-known magician and frequently patrons Hollywood's Magic Castle). During the conversation, Pitchford mentioned the USB contained "barely legal pornography."

On Monday, ahead of Callender's official filing on Tuesday, the Dallas County Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Gearbox's request for relief, in which the company claimed the "trial court abused its discretion by overruling numerous objections to requests for production of documents and compelling production of certain documents." The appellate court stated that Gearbox "have not shown they are entitled to the relief requested."

"It is obvious that [Gearbox] intends to continue its clear pattern of discovery abuse for which it has already been sanctioned," Callender's Tuesday filing read.