9:59am PT by Eriq Gardner
David Bergstein Appeals Denial of 'Conspiracy' Evidence in Ongoing Legal Battle (Exclusive)
Embattled film financier David Bergstein is going to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals over a judge's refusal to overturn a bankruptcy case. Bergstein brought new evidence that purports to show that his former attorney, who switched sides, destroyed evidence in the case, provided privileged documents to assist Aramid Entertainment Fund in forcing his companies into bankruptcy, and is participating in a conspiracy against him.
Last month, Bergstein filed a new motion that describes how after two years of hard-fought discovery battles in the litigation over his bankrupt film companies, he had uncovered evidence proving his arguments why terminating sanctions were warranted.
Bergstein had previously told a judge why the case should be overturned based on the fact that Susan Tregub, his former lawyer, switched sides to work with the law firm of Levene, Neale, Bender, Yoo & Brill, which represented Aramid Entertainment Fund and more than two dozen other creditors. Bergstein had argued that the law firm had used confidential information to prepare an involuntary bankruptcy petition, but a district court judge denied him.
The new attempt by Bergstein detailed communications between some of the parties in question to support his contentions.
For example, Bergstein said he now had e-mails between Tregub, Screen Capitol International principal David Molner, and Aramid's lead counsel, David Neale, between December 2009 and February 2010 in which Tregub prepared and attached charts of creditors, broken down by entity.
Bergstein also said he had Tregub e-mails with her assistant as well as communications between Tregub and one of the debtors' attorneys over potential creditors that Aramid later claimed were "false."
Bergstein accuses Aramid of knowing what was happening, and says that Tregub participated in an effort to destroy evidence:
"Tregub removed boxes of physical files and key documents from the Debtors' offices, including key litigation files and virtually all corporate organization documents, and to this day has on her computer massive amounts of information and documents regarding Bergstein and the Debtors, despite her protestations to the contrary.
Bergstein says that Tregub was "routinely forwarding" documents to Aramid and points to computer forensic analysis conducted on the computers of some of his former employees that "strongly suggests the copying and/or deletion of files just before those employees left."
The film financier says the employees were working closely with Tregub as she was "conspiring" against him.
Bergstein is in the midst of a separate lawsuit against Tregub and in that case, Bergstein says the judge authorized last August the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Office to enter Tregub's home and take possession of numerous documents, "the mere description of which took seventeen pages." These are claimed to be the same documents that the lawyer had allegedly attempted to hide.
But Bergstein's latest attempt to destroy the case against him by showing Aramid's purported fraud didn't go anywhere. He filed his motion on March 9. One week later, the bankruptcy judge denied it, finding "no good cause" to grant the motion.
On Tuesday, he appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit.