Tony Berkman, the owner of Blogcatalog, who has a love of hitting people, myself included, with cease and desist letters and threats of lawsuits has now been hit with a lawsuit by lifestyle coach Tony Robbins (pictured left) over software ownership. Berkman has finally found out what it’s like to be slapped with a lawsuit.
The original article on this blog, Blog Owners Silencing Writers with Threats of Lawsuits details the many times Tony Berkman and his business partner Angie Alaniz have used these threats to bully writers into silence and to frighten others into giving up any claims on software created in partnership with Berkman, as happened to Selina Eckersall. It seems this time Berkman may have met his match.
I first reported on the Robbins deal that cost Berkman $200,000 back in November but now things have taken a step further. A report in the San Antonio Express-News by Patrick Danner states that Robbins’ firm sued first and then Berkman hit back with a breach of contract lawsuit of his own. The full report can be read here: S.A. firm squares off with Tony Robbins.
The news report states that Berkman's suit claims, “Angry when he (Robbins) could not bully his way into getting what he wanted, he unlawfully misappropriated and obtained possession of the goods and services owned and developed.” Anyone who has read the blog posting below on Berkman or indeed anyone who has been unlucky enough to have business dealings with the man and dared to air an opposing opinion against him will be under no doubt of the ironic nature of the above claim in the lawsuit, especially where bullying is concerned.
Berkman had previously claimed that he lost £200,000 of investors' money during this deal, and by all accounts it was Berkman’s insistence on trying to avoid contracts that lost him the deal. During one email with Tony Robbins, Berkman wrote, “Hey Tony isn't it more important that we agree in principal on this. If it were up to me we wouldn't even have a contract. We'd just shake. So instead of getting the attorneys enmeshed in more stuff can we nail down a summary of the specs with an understanding of the ultimate outcome?” When Berkman was presented with the contract he replied to Robbins that, “he wouldn't let his kids sign the contract.” Although Berkman states in one email when discussing the software creation, “we spent $200,000 plus 1,000s of hours, he didn’t spend nearly as much and the contract is horrible” Robbins claims that Berkman’s company NBA demanded $900,000 from Robbins’ firm for the rights to the software application created by NBA.
According to the news report, “Robbins' firm loaned $20,000 to offset development costs, and NBA raised additional monies from investors.”
Berkman previously stated that, “I will do my best to close the deal and make sure it’s the best deal that has ever been done by anyone with Tony Robbins,” adding that, “though underlying that is the fact that the longer this goes on I get to turn Blogcatalog around." Berkman had also stated, when the deal wasn't panning out the way he had planned, "I don't care very much anymore except to get more investor money so that I can continue to pay my employees."
When the "best deal that has ever been done by anyone with Tony Robbins" didn't come to fruition, it looks like court action was the next step.