TELTSCHIK v. WILLIAMS & JENSEN, PLLC, Civil Action No. 08-00089 (HHK).

CourtUnited States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
Writing for the CourtHENRY H. KENNEDY, JR.
Citation683 F. Supp.2d 33
PartiesCorwin TELTSCHIK, Plaintiff, v. WILLIAMS & JENSEN, PLLC, et al., Defendants.
Docket NumberCivil Action No. 08-00089 (HHK).
Decision Date12 February 2010
683 F.Supp.2d 33

Corwin TELTSCHIK, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAMS & JENSEN, PLLC, et al., Defendants.

Civil Action No. 08-00089 (HHK).

United States District Court, District of Columbia.

February 12, 2010.


683 F. Supp.2d 37

J. Wyndal Gordon, J. Wyndal Gordon & Associates, P.A., Baltimore, MD, Leonard Thomas Bradt, Reginald E. McKamie, Sr., Houston, TX, for Plaintiff.

David B. Stratton, Jordan Coyne & Savits, LLP, Washington, DC, Charles T. Jeremiah, William S. Helfand, Chamberlain Hrdlicka White Williams & Martin, Houston, TX, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

HENRY H. KENNEDY, JR., District Judge.

Corwin Teltschik, former Treasurer of Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee ("ARMPAC"), brings this action against Williams & Jensen, PLLC, Williams & Jensen, P.C., (collectively "Williams & Jensen"), and current and former Williams & Jensen attorneys, Barbara Wixon Bonfiglio, Meredith Kelley and Robert Martinez. This suit arises from a complaint that was filed with the Federal Election Commission ("FEC") against ARMPAC and Teltschik, as ARMPAC's Treasurer, that resulted in a Conciliation Agreement allegedly without his knowledge or consent.

683 F. Supp.2d 38

Teltschik asserts causes of action for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, libel, misappropriation of name and reputation, tortious interference with contracts, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, and business disparagement.

Before the Court are "Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment" # 39, defendants' "Motion to Strike Teltschik's Unpled Theories" # 53, Teltschik's "Motion to Amend Pleadings" #52, and "Plaintiff's Motion to Strike the Declarations of Barbara Wixon Bonfiglio" #50. Upon consideration of the motions, the oppositions thereto, and the record of this case, the Court concludes that defendants' motion for summary judgment and defendants' motion to strike should be granted in part and denied in part, and that Teltschik's motion to amend his complaint and Teltschik's motion to strike should be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

The material facts of this case, unless it is otherwise indicated, are as follows. In 1995, Teltschik, a Texas-based lawyer, became Treasurer of ARMPAC, a political action committee formed to assist Republican candidates for election to the U.S. House of Representatives with activities such as the solicitation of political contributions. Teltschik did not have any familiarity with federal election laws and regulations. He asserts that he only accepted the position as Treasurer for ARMPAC after being informed that Williams & Jensen, a law firm based in the District of Columbia, would handle all of ARMPAC's financial affairs, prepare and file all necessary paperwork with the FEC, and ensure that ARMPAC complied with all federal election laws.

Before accepting the Treasurer position, Teltschik asked Barbara Wixon Bonfiglio, a lawyer at Williams & Jensen and the Assistant Treasurer of ARMPAC, what his obligations under the law would be once he became Treasurer. According to Teltschik, Bonfiglio informed him that he would not be required to sign any checks or file any reports, as she would prepare and file all the reports with the FEC. Teltschik claims that Bonfiglio assured him that she possessed the competence and experience necessary to fulfill these obligations.

On June 9, 2004, the FEC sent a notice to Teltschik at Williams & Jensen's address stating that it would conduct an audit of ARMPAC. Teltschik claims that he never authorized the FEC to send his mail to Williams & Jensen and that no one at Williams & Jensen ever informed him about the FEC notice.

On March 31, 2005, the FEC sent Teltschik an interim audit report, again to Williams & Jensen's address, informing him of discrepancies in reports filed on behalf of ARMPAC. The FEC required a response to the interim report before May 3, 2005. Again, Teltschik claims that no one at Williams & Jensen informed him that this report was received, that a response was required, or that Williams & Jensen subsequently filed for, and obtained, an extension of the response deadline.

Later that year, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington ("CREW") filed a complaint with the FEC against ARMPAC based upon the results of the FEC's audit report. In response to CREW's complaint, the FEC opened Matter Under Review ("MUR") No. 5675.

On August 17, 2005, the FEC sent another letter to Teltschik at Williams & Jensen's address. The letter indicated that ARMPAC and Teltschik, as Treasurer of ARMPAC, were named as respondents in a complaint filed by CREW and that if Teltschik wished to be represented by

683 F. Supp.2d 39

counsel, he was required to complete a designation of counsel form and return it to the FEC.

On September 6, 2005, Bonfiglio called Teltschik to inform him about the complaint and to request that he fill out the required designation of counsel form. Teltschik asserts that during the course of the conversation, Bonfiglio assured him that the complaint was nothing but a harassment tactic. According to Teltschik, Bonfiglio, however, did not tell him that he was named as a respondent in the complaint. That same day, Bonfiglio sent Teltschik a blank copy of the designation of counsel form and asked him to sign the form and return it to her. Bonfiglio did not send Teltschik a copy of the complaint or the FEC letter addressed to him, however. Teltschik refused to sign the form and told Bonfiglio that "he was refusing because he wanted to be in the loop regarding any further proceedings pertaining to MUR 5675." Pl.'s Statement of Contested Issues ("Pl.'s Stmt.") Ex. 1 ¶ 16. After Teltschik refused to sign, Bonfiglio filled out the form, designating Don F. McGahn II, an attorney with McGahn and Associates, PLLC, as counsel for respondents. Bonfiglio signed the form, in her own name, in the blank space labeled respondent. In a letter dated September 6, 2005, Bonfiglio requested the FEC to grant ARMPAC an extension of time for filing a response to the complaint filed in MUR 5675.

Bonfiglio filed the designation of counsel form with the FEC on September 30, 2005. That same day, the FEC received a response to CREW's complaint, which McGahn submitted and signed as "Counsel for Americans for a Republican Majority." Pl.'s Stmt. Ex. 11 ("ARMPAC Response") at 14. The response, entitled "Response of Americans for a Republican Majority to the Complaint Filed by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington," does not mention Teltschik in any capacity. Id. No other response was filed in MUR 5675.

On June 22, 2006, a Conciliation Agreement in MUR 5675 ("Agreement" or "Conciliation Agreement") was filed with the FEC. The Agreement named Teltschik, in his official capacity, as a respondent. Teltschik alleges that the Conciliation Agreement accused him of criminal conduct and confessed judgment on his behalf without his authorization. Specifically, the Agreement states that "the FEC found reason to believe that Americans for a Republican Majority ... and Corwin Teltschik, in his official capacity as Treasurer, (collectively, `Respondents') violated 2 U.S.C. § 434(b) and 11 C.F.R. §§ 102.5(a), 104.3(d), 104.10, 104.11, 106.5(f) and 106.6." Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J. Ex. E ("Conciliation Agreement") at 1. The Agreement further requires "Respondents" to (1) pay a $115,000 civil penalty; (2) cease and desist from further violations; and (3) amend its reports to comport with the Agreement and file a termination report with the FEC. Meredith Kelley, an attorney at Williams & Jensen who undertook Bonfiglio's duties regarding ARMPAC upon Bonfiglio's departure, signed the agreement in her own name "For Respondents." Conciliation Agreement at 9.1

Teltschik's wife found a copy of the Conciliation Agreement between ARMPAC and the FEC on the Internet, and, on August 6, 2006, sent it to Teltschik. Teltschik alleges that he first learned that he had been named in the FEC's proceeding against ARMPAC when he was informed

683 F. Supp.2d 40

of the proceeding by his wife. Teltschik also alleges that he was unaware that McGahn had been hired to represent ARMPAC and Teltschik, that an answer to the complaint had been filed, or that a Conciliation Agreement was entered into on his behalf. According to Teltschik, every document concerning MUR 5675 was filed without his knowledge and without his consent; he alleges that he did not authorize anyone to respond on his behalf or represent him before the FEC.

On August 15, 2006, Teltschik alleges that he inquired of Williams & Jensen about the Conciliation Agreement that had been filed in MUR 5675 with the FEC. According to Teltschik, Robert Martinez, managing partner at Williams & Jensen, informed him that McGahn had been hired to represent ARMPAC.

Almost a year later, Teltschik filed a complaint against defendants in the Southern District of Texas.2 The case was subsequently transferred to this Court.

II. MOTIONS TO STRIKE

Before the Court addresses defendants' motion for summary judgment, it is appropriate to address defendants' motion to strike various allegations that appear in Teltschik's opposition and Teltschik's motion to strike Bonfiglio's original and supplemental declarations.

A. Defendants' Motion to Strike

Defendants contend that various allegations in Teltschik's opposition to their motion for summary judgment do not appear in his complaint and move to strike them. Defendants argue that discovery in this case is closed and that they have not had an opportunity to conduct discovery on Teltschik's new allegations. Defendants also note that Teltschik never sought leave to amend his complaint to include these new allegations.3 Specifically, defendants move to strike the following allegations:

1. That any defendant could be liable because they did not forward ARMPAC contributions to Teltschik;
2. That any defendant could be liable because they did not give him original
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28 practice notes
  • Paleteria La Michoacana, Inc. v. Productos Lacteos Tocumbo S.A. De C.V., Civil Action No. 11–1623 RC
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • September 25, 2014
    ...and PROLACTO therefore cannot assert the theory anew through a motion for summary judgment. See Teltschik v. Williams & Jensen, PLLC, 683 F.Supp.2d 33, 41 (D.D.C.2010) (“A plaintiff may not assert new allegations at the summary judgment stage if such allegations amount to a ‘fundamental cha......
  • Butler v. Enter. Integration Corp., Civil Action No. 1:19-cv-01074 (CJN)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • May 6, 2020
    ...F. Supp. 2d at 42. Not much has changed since Judge Sullivan made that observation. See, e.g. , Teltschik v. Williams & Jensen, PLLC , 683 F. Supp. 2d 33, 55 (D.D.C. 2010) (dismissing count for failure to state a claim).The cases do establish, however, that Defendants’ sole argument against......
  • Imark Mktg. Serv. Llc v. Geoplast, Civil Action No. 10–347 (CKK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • December 6, 2010
    ...business transaction (hereinafter, “tortious interference with a prospective transaction”). See Teltschik v. Williams & Jensen, PLLC, 683 F.Supp.2d 33, 56 (D.D.C.2010). To assert a tortious interference with a contract claim, a plaintiff must allege: “ ‘(1) the existence of a contract; (2) ......
  • Intelsat USA Sales Corp. v. Juch-Tech, Inc., Civil Action No. 10–2095 (RC).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • March 27, 2013
    ...with contract and tortious interference with prospective advantageous business transaction. See Teltschik v. Williams & Jensen, PLLC, 683 F.Supp.2d 33, 56 (D.D.C.2010). For the reasons explained below, the court will allow Juch–Tech's claims to proceed to discovery.1. Tortious Interference ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
28 cases
  • Paleteria La Michoacana, Inc. v. Productos Lacteos Tocumbo S.A. De C.V., Civil Action No. 11–1623 RC
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • September 25, 2014
    ...and PROLACTO therefore cannot assert the theory anew through a motion for summary judgment. See Teltschik v. Williams & Jensen, PLLC, 683 F.Supp.2d 33, 41 (D.D.C.2010) (“A plaintiff may not assert new allegations at the summary judgment stage if such allegations amount to a ‘fundamental cha......
  • Butler v. Enter. Integration Corp., Civil Action No. 1:19-cv-01074 (CJN)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • May 6, 2020
    ...F. Supp. 2d at 42. Not much has changed since Judge Sullivan made that observation. See, e.g. , Teltschik v. Williams & Jensen, PLLC , 683 F. Supp. 2d 33, 55 (D.D.C. 2010) (dismissing count for failure to state a claim).The cases do establish, however, that Defendants’ sole argument against......
  • Imark Mktg. Serv. Llc v. Geoplast, Civil Action No. 10–347 (CKK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • December 6, 2010
    ...business transaction (hereinafter, “tortious interference with a prospective transaction”). See Teltschik v. Williams & Jensen, PLLC, 683 F.Supp.2d 33, 56 (D.D.C.2010). To assert a tortious interference with a contract claim, a plaintiff must allege: “ ‘(1) the existence of a contract; (2) ......
  • Intelsat USA Sales Corp. v. Juch-Tech, Inc., Civil Action No. 10–2095 (RC).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • March 27, 2013
    ...with contract and tortious interference with prospective advantageous business transaction. See Teltschik v. Williams & Jensen, PLLC, 683 F.Supp.2d 33, 56 (D.D.C.2010). For the reasons explained below, the court will allow Juch–Tech's claims to proceed to discovery.1. Tortious Interference ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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