Mesa will pay more in ruling
It hires the attorney who successfully sued O.J. Simpson
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Mesa Air Group will have to put up an amount closer to the $98 million that Hawaiian Airlines wants, rather than the $85 million Mesa offered, while its motion for a new trial is pending.
Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris yesterday granted the parent company of interisland carrier go! a limited stay until Monday when the amount of the bond will be determined.
Faris also said Mesa is facing an uphill battle on a new trial because "statistically, a motion for a new trial is less likely to be granted."
Separately, Mesa has hired celebrated Los Angeles lawyer Daniel Petrocelli as its lead attorney. Petrocelli represented the family of Ron Goldman in winning a civil trial against O.J. Simpson.
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A federal Bankruptcy Court judge said yesterday that Mesa Air Group must put up a bond before its motion for a new trial is heard, and that the amount will be closer to the $98 million that Hawaiian Airlines wants rather than the $85 million offered by Mesa.
Judge Robert Faris, who continued the hearing on the bond payment until Monday, also indicated that Mesa, the parent company of interisland carrier go!, is facing an uphill battle in having its motion granted for a new trial.
"Statistically, a motion for a new trial is less likely to be granted," Faris said.
On Oct. 30, Faris ruled that Mesa must pay Hawaiian $80 million in damages, plus interest and attorney fees, after finding that Mesa had used confidential information obtained as a potential investor during Hawaiian's bankruptcy to gain a competitive advantage in entering the Hawaii market. Hawaiian initially had sought $173 million in its lawsuit.
Mesa, gearing up for a fight, has hired celebrated Los Angeles lawyer Daniel Petrocelli as its lead attorney.
Petrocelli gained national recognition when he represented the family of Ron Goldman in winning a civil trial against O.J. Simpson, who earlier in a criminal trial had been acquitted of murdering his wife and Goldman, a young waiter.
He also represented former Enron Corp. Chief Executive Jeffery Skilling, who is serving time in a federal prison while his case is being appealed, and represented the Walt Disney Co. in winning a case that could have cost the entertainment giant over hundreds of millions of dollars in merchandising rights to Winnie the Pooh.
Faris said yesterday he was granting Mesa a limited postponement in posting the bond until Monday to give the parties time to work out the language in the bond and to give him time to study its conditions.
Hawaiian said Mesa should be required to post a $98 million bond on the assumption that Mesa's appeal will take three years to prosecute.
Faris called the three-year time frame "conservative."
Mesa said if its motion for a new trial is denied, it will appeal to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit.
Hawaiian based its request for a $98 million bond on the $80 million damage award, $4.9 million in attorney fees and costs, $10.4 million in interest through Oct. 31, 2010 -- three years from the date of Faris' judgment ruling -- and any additional fees and costs to be incurred by Hawaiian in responding to the motion for a new trial or an appeal.
A hearing on Mesa's motion for a new trial has been rescheduled to Dec. 13.
Petrocelli argued yesterday that Mesa has just under $200 million in cash and marketable securities and that Hawaiian wasn't facing any risk by having the bond put off for up to a month until Faris rules on Mesa's motion for a new trial.
Hawaiian attorney Sidney Levinson, however, argued that Hawaiian shouldn't have to take any risk at all and that the payments might not be recoverable if Mesa files for bankruptcy.
Another Mesa attorney, Evan Jones, said there was no possibility that Mesa would file for bankruptcy.