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March 29, 2008

Court Approves Lionel's Bankruptcy Plan and Settlement with MTH by Erol Gurcan

In what should be one of their last court appearances, lawyers for MTH, Lionel and Sanda Kan (Lionel’s principal manufacturer of trains) appeared in a New York Bankruptcy Court on March 27th.

At the end of the hearing, Judge Burton Lifland approved Lionel’s confirmation plan for reorganization. The court also approved Lionel’s settlement with MTH.

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January 11, 2008

Bankruptcy Court Grants Lionel 7th Extension: MTH Motion to Extend TRO Granted by Erol Gurcan

There was some model train litigation involving Lionel and MTH in two different courts on 1/10/08.

Firstly, in the New York City Bankruptcy Court, Lionel’s motion for a 7th extension of the exclusive period in which to file its reorganization plan, was granted by Judge Lifland. MTH’s lawyer, Alec Ostrow did not oppose the motion. The court’s order gives Lionel the exclusive right until March 31 file its plan with the court. Others including MTH may file alternative plans after that up and until May 30.

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January 10, 2008

MTH Attempts To Collect $$$ From Korea Brass by Erol Gurcan

In my last legal article, (written at the request of the Coil Couplers web site), I stated that in MTH’s fraudulent transfer of assets lawsuit against Korea Brass aka Hagye Trading/Model Korea Trading (MKT), the court on November 20, 2007 issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) and entered an order directing all monies paid by Lionel to Korea Brass were to be deposited into a court approved interest bearing escrow account. The practical effect of this was, Lionel, which is not a party in MTH’s lawsuit against Korea Brass, will not be able to take delivery of trains that it paid for and which were manufactured by KB, since the money is going into a court escrow account rather than directly to KB. Ultimately, we hobbyists will not be able to purchase the trains which are affected in these legal proceedings, at least for now.

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December 17, 2007

Legal Explanation of Latest Coil Couplers Posts

Hrt1 Over the last two days, there have been a few posts on the Coil Couplers of America website stating that MTH has cut off Lionel’s supply of locomotives, including some of the new Legacy models, from its supplier Model Korea Trading Company (aka MKT, the company named in the Coil Couplers post of the last two days) due to the court ordered stoppage of payments by Lionel.

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October 27, 2007

Current Status Of MTH, Lionel Lawsuits Settlement By Erol Gurcan

My goal is to keep this report short and sweet (a novel concept for a lawyer). Here is the current status of the MTH Lionel settlement as of this morning.

MTH's and Lionel's lawyers were back in bankruptcy court on October 25th. Lionel CEO Jerry Calabrese and Mrs. Martin Davis were present. MTH's Mike Wolf was not. It was not necessary for him to be. I also attended the proceedings.

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October 15, 2007

Lionel And MTH Making Progress In Trade Secrets Case By Erol Gurcan

It's been about 2 months since I have written anything substantive about the Lionel MTH Trade secrets case or about the status of Lionel's bankruptcy. That's because there was little going on in the proceedings during this period of time. As you may recall, on August 13, MTH filed an appeal concerning Judge Lifland's August 2 rulings in favor of Lionel. On August 2, Judge Lifland ruled that any future trial (the Bankruptcy Code 502(c) damages estimation hearing) in the trade secrets case would be held before him, instead of in the Federal District Court in Detroit Michigan, and granted a fifth extension of time to Lionel to file an exclusive bankruptcy plan with the court. MTH had opposed Lionel's motion for exclusivity and proposed three alternative plans which were rebuffed by Judge Lifland.

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October 01, 2007

Model Train Author Paul V. Ambrose Sues Train Collectors Association by Erol Gurcan

Model train author Paul V. Ambrose has sued the national Train Collector's Association (TCA) and also its Eastern Division, the entity that hosts the yearly York meets in April and October. Although there was a lot of discussion about the lawsuit, little was said about the basis and details of it.

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July 14, 2007

MTH Lionel Update: Parties In Settlement Talks by Erol Gurcan

Attorneys for both MTH and Lionel were back in a New York Bankruptcy Court on July 10th. Both MTH's Mike Wolf and Lionel's Jerry Calabrese were present. I was present for part of the day.

On the docket were several items, including Lionel's motions seeking court approval to pay its lawyers and accountants etc. the fees earned between January 1, 2007 to April 30, 2007. These motions were unopposed. Judge Lifland approved all of them and entered an order to that effect.

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July 10, 2007

MTH Proposes Alternative Reorganization Plans To Bankruptcy Court by Erol Gurcan

In my last article, I summarized that Lionel and MTH were in court on June 27th, with Lionel’s attorneys were attempting to convince Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland that he should try the trade secrets and separate $17.5 million dollar patent infringement case to expedite their exit from bankruptcy. MTH’s attorneys had cross-moved to send the trade secrets case back for trial to the Federal District Court in Michigan, the court where a jury awarded them $40.7 million dollars in June 2004.

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June 28, 2007

Bankruptcy Court Judge Begins Hearing Motions on Future Trial Venue by Erol Gurcan

Lionel and MTH’s attorneys were back in a New York bankruptcy court on June 27th before Judge Burton Lifland. Interestingly, the courtroom was crowded since a lot was potentially riding on the hearing. Lionel’s CEO and President Jerry Calabrese, and Chief Financial Officer Scott Turkington were present in court. They were scheduled to testify and later did. More about that later. Mrs. Martin Davis was present as well. MTH’s Mike Wolf was not.

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