RMS Titanic Inc Hearing In Norfolk Court

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Tracey McIntire

Guest
Hello everyone!

I haven't posted in a very long time but I thought you all might be interested in the hearing that I attended today in Norfolk Court. RMS Titanic Inc. presented Judge Clarke with their intention to create a non-profit foundation in order to solicit donations from the public and apply for grants. If it is able to get the funds, the Titanic Foundation would also purchase the artifacts from RMSTI, along with the archives of information on the wreck. The Judge has a problem with this, however, as Arnie Geller is listed as head of both RMSTI and the Titanic Foundation. The Judge is unwilling at this time to grant permission for the artifacts to be sold until more specifics about the Foundation are presented. RMSTI plans another expedition to the wreck in Summer 2002.

--Tracey McIntire
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
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Tracey:
Thanks for the Virginia courtroom update. Sounds like the judge is a wee bit suspicious. Was Bill Willard there, too?

Really good to see your name again. I have a great picture of you being swept off your feet by a mad Irishman last March 17th. Drop me your mailing address privately, and I'll send it along. mikeherbold@hotmail.com
 
Jul 10, 2005
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Tracey,

Thank you for the information. I think Mr. Geller had better get another head for his foundation if he wants his plan to fly. I think I will leave my comment at that.

Also, I am wondering what effect on RMSTI's next expedition will have on the recovery aspect in light of the Cameron expedition and their recent discoveries of what is actually in Titanic???

Beverly
 

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
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Mike Herbold! Where have you been?

I didn't go to the hearing because of the RB7 lawsuit. If I saw Geller face to face, I'd be tossed out of the courtroom for laughing.

I've been busy gathering lots of evidence and documentation from the Oceaneering suit to the newspaper reports from St. John's about Barton being left at the dock.

My documentation and I stand at the ready. This situation will only become more interesting each time Geller reports to the court and files documents with the SEC.

Email me off board and I'll tell you some really good information.

Whatever happened with our chess game???

BW
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Okay, I'm missing something here. Who is Dick Barton? (E-mail me privately if the answer is something nobody wants to put out in public.)I gather there is something smelly going on with his being "left on the dock"

As to the suspicious nature of Judge Clarke, may he remain ever such and untrusting!

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
May 8, 2001
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>Mike Herbold! Where have you been?< You know Mr Willard, I was asking the very same question at the Queen Mary meeting. Luckily for me, he was just fashionably late! (Just ribbin' ya there Mike! :-} )
Colleen
 

Bill Willard

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Mar 24, 2001
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Dik Barton is now the VP at RMSTI. He earned a unique reputation on the 2000 Expedition. After Michael Harris was fired, Barton took over, and in words of people on the Expedition he was "Gestapo-like" in his treatment of the expedition team.

RMSTI is in a bit of trouble. The French will not work with them, and now, neither will the Russians. Rule out the MIRS and NAUTILE. Oceaneering has filed a suit for almost $1 million over a breach-of-contract type case from the 2000 Expedition. It will be heard in Texas in January. Who is left? Very few.

So, RMSTI sent in a deposit for Dik Barton to go on a tourist dive sponsored by Mike McDowell. (Remember the wedding on the bow?) Barton was going to go down and recover several pieces of coal. Then, it would be presented to the Court as "maintaining a presence at the wreck site" as well as doing a personal recognizance of the site itself. However, people involved refused to allow Barton on board. Barton flew to St. John's to board the ship and was refused access to the Keldysh. The Russians were still upset at him for his behavior at the end of the Expedition. His deposit was returned. And, I suppose, he made arrangements to fly back to Atlanta.

BW
 

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
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Hello everyone,

This is an old thread that is now reopened. I need to inform all of you of the events that will transpire on Monday, February 25.

Arnie Geller, CEO for RMSTI has filed an appeal with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. His appeal challenges the jurisdiction of the Norfolk Court, and Judges J. Calvitt Clarke and Rebecca Beach Smith over the artifacts. What this means in the long run, should Geller's argument be accepted by the court, is that the Norfolk orders barring sales of the artifacts will be reversed. RMSTI would have the right to sell artifacts to whomever they choose, at a price the choose. It may also rescind the order that restricts recovery from the interior areas of the bow.

A UVA law professor was asked to file an amicus brief on behalf of the Court. This professor looked at the case as a neutral party, and strongly backed the decisions and rulings of Judge Clarke. He also goes on to commend the Judge for his exemplary decisions that benefitted the Titanic, and her interests to keep her historical integrity, as well as opportunities for the salvage company (RMSTI) to have some means to recoup their investments without having to sell the artifacts.

A third amicus brief was approved yesterday. One of our posters on ET, David Shuttle, petitioned the court to accept an amicus brief on his behalf. His brief discusses his ties to several of the artifacts, particularly the Shuttle letters found in the Howard Irwin materials and on display in the exhibitions. He discusses also the watch of Thomas Brown that was returned to Edith Brown Haisman, which, after Mrs. Haisman's passing, was returned to RMSTI for exhibition purposes.

Dave argues that those family possessions (and he did get a letter from Dot Kendle in support of his position) were promised never to be sold. He also argues that coal was sold with the claim it would be the only items ever to be sold from Titanic. He requests that the Appellate court allow the Norfolk Court (Judges Clarke and Smith) to maintain their "overseer" (my words) status of the care and condition of the artifacts.

The case is the second of three cases to be heard Monday. Marc Davis of the Virginia-Pilot will be present and should have an article about the case that evening. As in most appeal cases, the court probably won't make a decision for several days. I would think we'll know something within two weeks.

Keep your fingers crossed, and hope the right thing gets done.

Bill
 
May 8, 2001
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Bill.
Thank you for filling in the details. I hope that all goes well and that you will let all of us know what happens after Monday, if you are at liberty to talk. I hold out hope that with the names "Smith" & "Clark" they do the right things for Titanic.
Colleen
 
Jul 10, 2005
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Hello Bill,

Is there anything that the general Titanica public can do to voice the opposition of the artifacts being sold?
Is there a way that we can support Mr. Shuttle and the historical integerty of Titanic and the memories of those who were lost?

Thank you so much Bill for keeping us informed.

Beverly
 

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
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Hi Beverly,

At this time, there's not much to do before Monday's hearing. I'm sure sending Dave an email of support would be a nice touch. There is an email list of updates that discuss RMSTI's situation, if you want to follow closely. It has stated details of all the briefs, as well as situational reports of the company's dealings.

The advantage of being on the list is that if we need things quickly, such as signatures for a petition, or for people to spread the word, it's much quicker.

Other than that, keep hoping, and like Michael Standart up there, keep your fingers crossed. But uncross them to type!

Bill
 
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David Haisman

Guest
Hello Bill,
Thanks for your Information. I shall look forward to any further developements. Like many others, I'm opposed to the sale of any artifacts, personal or otherwise although I just knew it would come to this eventually. My grandfathers watch was promised to one of his sons from his first marriage and according to what mother always told us, has TWS Brown inscribed on the back. She can always remember the 'expert' way he would swing it around on its chain before dropping into his waistecoat pocket. This item, along with others should permenantly remain on public display for historical reasons and not 'shunted' around for personal gain.
Yours Sincerely,
David Haisman
 

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
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Hello David,

Good to hear from you! I hope things are well in England for you.

I couldn't agree with your sentiments any more. Your grandfather's watch should be a powerful symbol of the personal side of Titanic's story. It tells of the history, just as you mentioned the way he used to swing it around, and it tells of the present, that it was recovered and returned to your mother. And it will tell the future of both your grandfather, and your mother, one of the grand ladies of Titanic.

Thanks for sharing the watch story. By the way, I loved your book!

Thanks,

Bill
 

Mark Taylor

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Mar 18, 2005
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Salvors, descendants fight over selling Titanic artifacts
25 Feb 02, The Virginian Pilot
http://www.pilotonline.com/news/nw0226titan.html

Yesterday oral arguments were heard in the appeal by RMS Titanic, Inc. regarding the decision by Judge Clarke banning the sale of artifacts without court approval. RMS Titanic had argued in its brief that the decision was not based on sound law. And perhaps they hoped yesterday would be fairly easy. They walked in arguing that its promises we never ironclad and just business plans, and that the Norfolk court had no power to prevent artifact sale. According to the Pilot the appeals judges were not impressed. ``These artifacts never belonged to you,'' Judge Paul V. Niemeyer told the salvage company's lawyer, Mark S. Davis. ``They belonged to other people. Your position is that of a trustee.'' Further the judges criticized company officials for promising one thing and then changing positions. And in a telling statement as to where the appeals court will rule on the issue, Judge Niemeyer told RMS Titanic that it must present an acceptable artifacts plan to the Norfolk judges. `You're not denied your reward, and shouldn't be,'' he told Davis. ``R.M.S. Titanic should be rewarded, and handsomely. The question is how to do it.''
 
May 8, 2001
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GREAT INTERVIEW DAVE SHUTTLE, and a sigh of relief at the courts decision. Thank you to all involved in this battle!
Colleen