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Pro Se Plaintiff vs. Wyclef and Jerry
Highest Court Second Circuit
Year Ended 2010
Plaintiffs Songwriter(s)
Defendants Columbia Records
Duplessis, Jerry
Jean, Wyclef
Music Publisher(s)
Sony Music
Sony/ATV Music
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description An unknown songwriter, acting "pro se," sued Wyclef Jean (of Fugees fame) and superstar songwriter/producer Jerry Duplessis, alleging the duo copied her copyrighted song in theirs, though the courts' opinions do not explain which songs were involved. Regardless, it appears Plaintiffs' actions were quite unfounded, and the trial was a bit of a circus. The Second Circuit found no error in the trial court's judgment, including, inter alia, the correctness in denying Plaintiff the opportunity to "sing at trial the unique melodic lyrical chorus" she claimed was common between the songs, and the correctness of allowing Dr. Lawrence Ferrara, a commonly utilized expert musicologist, to testify at trial. After the holding was upheld, the Eastern District of New York granted attorneys fees to Defendants, finding that "Plaintiff's position was both factually and legally unreasonable," and that Plaintiff actually misled the court. To both compensate Defendants and deter parties like Plaintiff, the court granted $63,095.60 in fees. - LSW

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure Evidence Admissibility
Copyrights Infringement Copying & Distribution/Dissemination

Opinions Pyatt v. Jean
2010 WL 3322501
E.D. New York , August 17, 2010 ( No. 04-CV-3098 (TCP)(AKT) )

Pyatt v. Jean
359 Fed.Appx. 182
Second Circuit , December 23, 2009 ( No. 08-5043-cv )

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Related Searches Parties
Columbia Records ( Defendant )
Duplessis, Jerry ( Defendant )
Jean, Wyclef ( Defendant )
Music Publisher(s) ( Defendant )
Songwriter(s) ( Plaintiff )
Sony Music ( Defendant )
Sony/ATV Music ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Civil Procedure / Evidence / Admissibility
Civil Procedure / Evidence / Discovery
Copyrights / Infringement / Copying & Distribution/Dissemination

Second Circuit (highest court)
E.D. New York

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