|Jim Doti Chapman University, James Emmi, Catherine Emmi|
I heard about this story earlier today when I was researching how people donate to universities. This LA Times article sums it up. Jim Doti representing Chapman University started asking wealthy James and Catherine Emmi for donations. Over the years Jim Doti asked for more and more. Finally the Emmis said no. Jim Doti knowing that James Emmi was 98 and not quite all there then took advantage of his diminishing condition and had him sign an irrevocable bequest agreement to give $12,000,000. The Emmis are suing to get back their first installment donation and $3,000,000 in damages. What Jim Doti did as per this lawsuit is disgusting. Jim Doti wined and dined the couple, gave them awards, lots of positive press, invited them to events, put the husband on a board...all to butter them up to fleece the couple. Jim Doti took advantage of a generous, wealthy old man. Sickening.
Below is just the text of the body of the lawsuit. I omitted the causes of action as they were repetitive. You just need to read the general allegations. Complaint 30-2015-00769986 Judge Linda Marks. Here is the file as pdf.
James G. Bohm (SBN 132430)
Annie Ventocilla Won, Esq. (SBN 249719)
BOHM WILDISH LLP
Park Tower, Suite 700
695 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, California 92626
Telephone: (714) 384-6500
Facsimile: (714) 384-6501
Attorneys for Plaintiffs,
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF ORANGE – CENTRAL DISTRICT
JAMES EMMI, an individual; and
CATHERINE EMMI, an individual,
CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY, a California
nonprofit corporation; and DOES 1 through 100,
COMPLAINT OF PLAINTIFFS JAMES
EMMI AND CATHERINE EMMI FOR:
(1) BREACH OF WRITTEN
(2) BREACH OF ORAL CONTRACT;
(3) BREACH OF THE IMPLIED
COVENANT OF GOOD FAITH AND
(4) FRAUD & DECEIT– INTENTIONAL
(5) FRAUD & DECEIT– FALSE
(6) UNJUST ENRICHMENT;
(7) UNLAWFUL AND UNFAIR
BUSINESS PRACTICES [Bus. & Prof.
Code § 17200];
(8) DECLARATORY RELIEF;
(10) INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF
(11) VIOLATION OF PROBATE CODE
(12) VIOLATION OF CAL. WEL. & INST.
CODE §§151610.70; AND
(13) INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE
(14) VIOLATION OF CAL. FAMILY
[DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL]-2-
NOW COME Plaintiffs, JAMES EMMI (“JAMES”), an individual, and CATHERINE EMMI
(“CATHERINE”) (collectively, the “Plaintiffs” or the “EMMIS”), an individual, who allege as
follows for their complaint against Defendant, CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY (“CHAPMAN”), a
California nonprofit corporation, and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive:
1. Plaintiffs JAMES and CATHERINE EMMI reside in the City of Corona Del Mar,
County of Orange, State of California. Plaintiffs JAMES and CATHERINE have been parties to a
marital contract at all relevant times herein.
2. At all relevant times herein, CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY was a nonprofit corporation
doing business in the State of California with its principal place of business located in the County of
Orange, State of California. CHAPMAN is a private university offering undergraduate and graduate
education for students.
3. At all relevant times herein, James Doti was, and is, the President of CHAPMAN.
4. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that at all times mentioned in
this Complaint, James Doti was authorized to make decisions and perform acts on behalf of
CHAPMAN as its President.
5. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that at all times mentioned in
this Complaint, James Doti was an agent of CHAPMAN as its President.
6. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that all times mentioned herein,
Defendant CHAPMAN, along with its agents and representatives, had knowledge of the marital
contract between JAMES and CATHERINE EMMI.
7. The true names and capacities, whether individual, corporate, associate,
representative, partnership, or otherwise, of Defendants named herein as DOES 1 through 100,
inclusive, are unknown to Plaintiff who therefore sues said Defendants by such fictitious names.
Plaintiffs will amend this complaint to show their true names and capacities when the same have
8. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thereon allege, that each of the fictitiously
named DOE Defendants performed, participated in, and/or abetted the acts alleged herein, and is -3-
responsible in some manner for the occurrences herein alleged, and that Plaintiffs’ damages herein
alleged were legally caused by those Defendants, among others.
9. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thereon allege, that at all times mentioned
herein, the Defendants, including DOES 1 through 100, and each of them, were agents, servants,
employees, or affiliates of other Defendants and in doing the things alleged herein were acting in the
course and scope of the authority of such agency, service, employment, affiliation, or with the
permission, knowledge, approval and consent of the other Defendants in that each and every act of
each said Defendant was ratified by the others. Plaintiff are informed and believe, and thereon
allege, that each of the DOE Defendants is responsible in some manner for the occurrences herein
alleged, and that Plaintiffs’ damages as herein alleged were legally caused by those Defendants,
10. Venue is proper in this Court because the Defendants has its principal place of
business and/or resides in the County of Orange. This case involves damages in excess of the
minimum jurisdiction of this court, and hence this is an unlimited jurisdiction case.
11. In and around 2008, CHAPMAN solicited individuals, companies and donors for
gifts and pledges to the “Science Building Campaign”. The campaign was launched to raise funds
for the construction of CHAPMAN’s new Center for Science and Technology.
COMMON FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
12. Plaintiff is informed and believes and herein alleges that in and around 2008,
CHAPMAN was also involved in raising funds for other science- related projects, including a health
sciences campus that it was planning to construct off-campus in Irvine, California.
13. At all times relevant herein, the EMMIS have been involved in donating monetary
gifts to educational institutions, like University of California, Irvine and Cal Tech, for scholarships
and facilities to further science education. As an engineer, Plaintiff JAMES EMMI, has had a
lifelong commitment to furthering science and technology in the engineering field because it was
this profession and skill set that made his own financial success possible.
14. On or about January 17, 2008, JAMES made a $50,000.00 cash gift to CHAPMAN
for the Science Building Campaign. -4-
15. Following JAMES’ $50,000 donation to the science campaign, Plaintiffs are
informed and believe and herein allege that CHAPMAN, through President James Doti (hereinafter,
“President Doti”), began inviting the EMMIS to concerts and events at CHAPMAN with the
intention of soliciting additional donations for the university and the science campaign. In addition,
Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that President Doti also invited the EMMIs to
numerous lunches and dinners with the same intention of soliciting further monetary gifts to the
16. In July 2009, CHAPMAN’s Director of Principal Gifts sent Plaintiff JAMES a letter
notifying him that the CHAPMAN trustee real estate committee had “re-scaled the science complex
plans to a more reasonable $70 million project from the original projection of $120+ million.” In the
letter, CHAPMAN proposed a $500,000 estate pledge to JAMES, along with three possible types of
consideration JAMES could receive in return for his gift, i.e. the naming of a physical space,
permanent recognition of equipment at the building science building, or endowing a scholarship
program at CHAPMAN (“Pledge Proposal #1).
17. On or about April 6, 2012, JAMES entered a Bequest Agreement with CHAPMAN,
which provided that he would contribute an additional $450,000 to the already donated $50,000 cash
gift, to the Science Building Campaign. The total donation to the campaign per the Bequest
Agreement was $500,000.
18. JAMES met his obligations under the Bequest Agreement and contributed the
promised $500,000 to the Science Building Campaign.
19. Following that second substantial donation, in and around March 5, 2012,
CHAPMAN recruited JAMES to Chapman’s Schmid College of Science and Technology
Leadership Cabinet. Plaintiffs are informed and believe that CHAPMAN intentionally recruited
JAMES to join the leadership cabinet as a means of soliciting JAMES for more monetary
contributions, gifts, and pledges to CHAPMAN.
20. Nine months later, in and around November 2012, CHAPMAN notified the EMMIS
that the EMMIS were receiving the CHAPMAN Citizens of the Year Award. The award was
presented at CHAPMAN’s annual American Celebration event. That year, the EMMIS were -5-
featured on the cover of the event’s fliers and in numerous publications, including the Orange
County Register, several Chapman publications and the Daily Pilot, among other newspapers and
media outlets. Moreover, the EMMIS were honored on stage at the prestigious American
Celebration event, which was attended by hundreds of Orange County’s elite.
21. After four years of CHAPMAN’s constant solicitation efforts, which had garnered
them at least half a million dollars in gifts, CHAPMAN yet again approached the EMMIS with a
proposal to donate, at a minimum, $5 million to the Center for Science and Technology campaign.
22. In and around November 2012, CHAPMAN provided the EMMIS with a written
proposal requesting an investment of either $5 million or $10 million dollars, to be paid over a tenyear
period, to the School of Computational Sciences and Engineering (“Pledge Proposal #2”). This
proposal sought $4.5 million more than Pledge Proposal #1.
23. Pledge Proposal #2 offered naming recognition on either the entire School of
Computational Sciences and Engineering (in return for the $10 million investment), or on the Hall
of Technology (in return for the $5 million investment). In addition to naming privileges, the
proposal included a detailed description of the “full-scale media effort” that would result from such
donations, which would include announcements in publications such as the Orange County Register,
the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Chronicle of Higher Education, Chronicle of
Philanthropy, The Orange County Business Journal, and Chapman University publications. Further,
the proposal promised the EMMI family would be recognized in extensive broadcast news media
coverage and press conferences, newspapers and periodicals, appropriate recognition at the new
science facility and at receptions, special evidence and dinners to honor the donors.
24. On November 27, 2012, JAMES sent CHAPMAN a letter rejecting
25. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that Defendant CHAPMAN had
knowledge of Plaintiff JAMES’s concerns regarding his future health and the impact of a $5 million
or $10 million commitment on his financial state in late 2012.
#2, citing his age of 96, his questionable future health and the substantial financial considerations
the proposed pledge required (i.e. either $5 million or $10 million donation over ten years).
26. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that, in 2012, Defendant -6-
CHAPMAN knew that JAMES was concerned about a ten year commitment to donate either $5
million or $10 million dollars because his health was “questionable” and the financial consideration
was “quite heavy”.
27. Despite Plaintiff’s express rejection of Pledge Proposal #2, Defendant CHAPMAN
continued to hound the EMMIS for donations to their Center for Science and Technology campaign.
In early 2013, CHAPMAN’s President Doti continued to contact the EMMIS pressing for a massive
multi-million dollar donation to the School of Computational Sciences and Engineering, describing
the donation as an “investment”, a contract, and that the gift would result in naming recognition.
28. In and around 2013, CHAPMAN also sought gifts from CATHERINE EMMI as
29. On April 18, 2013, CHAPMAN’s Vice President, Sheryl Bourgeois, sent
CATHERINE EMMI a letter confirming yet another contribution of $1000 to CHAPMAN’s
30. Following CATHERINE’s April donation, CHAPMAN wrote to the EMMIS seeking
donations in excess of $15,000 for the purchase of tables at the university’s American Celebration
event. Thereafter, the EMMIS generously contributed $100,000 to CHAPMAN’s 32nd
31. As if the $600,000+ the EMMIS donated to CHAPMAN was not enough,
CHAPMAN continued to prey on the EMMIS for millions of dollars despite JAMES’s emphatic
rejection of a donation beyond $500,000.
Celebration. These donations were platinum sponsorship level contributions, which purchased two
tables in the front row for the event.
32. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that between 2012 and 2013,
Plaintiff James was 97 years old and more susceptible to undue influence and persuasion.
33. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that CHAPMAN, in particular,
President Doti, had knowledge of JAMES’s confusion regarding the details of CHAPMAN’s pledge
proposals, including the amount of the pledge, the timeframe for payment, the financial impact such
a pledge would have on JAMES and CATHERINE, and the timeframe for the construction of the
34. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that CHAPMAN preyed on
Plaintiff JAMES for large donations, against his wishes, because they knew that JAMES was more
susceptible to inducement and confusion.
35. In and around 2013, CHAPMAN presented the EMMIS with a third proposal
requesting a financial investment of a whopping $12 million to be paid over a ten-year period, in
exchange for the same naming rights as those offered in Pledge Proposal #2– i.e. The James and
Catherine Emmi Hall of Technology and Engineering (“Pledge Proposal #3”). Pledge Proposal #3
also included the promise of a full-scale media effort to publicize the donation and included concept
art for the proposed Emmi Hall.
36. Defendant’s Pledge Proposal #3 offered the EMMIS the naming of the Hall of
Technology and Engineering in exchange for donating $12 million, rather than the naming of the
entire Center for Science and Technology – a recognition valued at $10 million in Pledge Proposal
#2. Likewise, Pledge Proposal #2 offered the EMMIS the naming of the Hall of Technology and
Engineering in exchange for a donation of only $5 million, rather than $12 million.
37. Plaintiffs did not accept Pledge Proposal #3.
38. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that Defendant CHAPMAN
valued the naming of the Hall of Technology and Engineering at $5 million, rather than $12 million.
In reality, the value was for far less than $5 million.
39. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that CHAPMAN’s Pledge
Proposal #3 offered a pledge contract with insufficient consideration because the naming of the Hall
was only valued by CHAPMAN at $5 million, rather than $12 million. In reality, the naming of the
Hall was worth far less.
40. Thereafter, CHAPMAN continued to push the EMMIS for the $12 million gift
stating the EMMIS “deserved to leave a legacy”. CHAPMAN’s tactics for persuading the EMMIS
included “wining and dining” them, inviting them to special events at CHAPMAN, sending them
personal cards and notes and even going as far as referring to the EMMIS as “family”. President
Doti intentionally showered the EMMIS with compliments and even went as far as requesting a
photograph of JAMES to place in his office because JAMES was “like a brother to him”. Defendant -8-
CHAPMAN’s conduct towards the EMMIS convinced the EMMIS that they could trust
CHAPMAN’s promises and representations.
41. Defendant CHAPMAN’s conduct towards the EMMIS also caused the EMMIS to
rely on the promises and representations of CHAPMAN as true and correct.
42. Defendant CHAPMAN’s aggressive pursuit of Plaintiffs finally wore down 98 year
old JAMES in September 2013.
43. In and around September 2013, less than a year after JAMES had rejected Pledge
Proposal #2, CHAPMAN’s President Doti visited the EMMIS at their home for tea to again plead
for a $12 million gift to CHAPMAN’s Center for Science and Technology. During that visit,
President Doti represented that: (1) the $12 million donation would be divided into four equal
payments due at the end of each year starting in 2013; (2) JAMES’s donated monies would be used
44. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that Defendant CHAPMAN,
after noting signs of deterioration and vulnerability in JAMES, preyed on Plaintiff JAMES for a
for the construction of a single technology and engineering building, on the CHAPMAN
campus in Orange, California, to be named after the EMMIS; and (3) that JAMES’s building would
be constructed within that four year period ending in December 2016, to ensure the likelihood that
JAMES would live to see his legacy at the university.
45. At all times herein, Plaintiff JAMES expressed his intention that any money he
donated to CHAPMAN for the construction of the Emmi Hall for Technology and Engineering
would be made under the condition that his building would be constructed while he was alive.
46. Lured by CHAPMAN’s promises and representations and vulnerable to persuasion
and inducement because of his old age, JAMES, against his will, agreed to donate $12 million to
CHAPMAN. At no time, however, did CHAPMAN set forth that this donation would be
irrevocable. Similarly, at no time did Plaintiff JAMES agree to make this donation irrevocable.
47. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that on or about September 5,
2013, CHAPMAN prepared an Irrevocable Pledge Agreement to the Center for Science and
Technology (the “Irrevocable Pledge”) that was purportedly entered into between JAMES and -9-
CHAPMAN, committing JAMES to an irrevocable pledge of $12 million to be paid no later than
December 31, 2016.
48. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that Defendant CHAPMAN
valued the naming of the Hall of Technology and Engineering at $5 million, rather than $12 million.
Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that CHAPMAN’s Irrevocable Pledge lacked
consideration because it sought a donation of $12 million in exchange for the naming of a Hall that
was only valued by CHAPMAN at $5 million, and in reality was worth far less, rather than $12
49. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that the money purportedly
pledged to CHAPMAN, by JAMES, was community property.
50. Plaintiffs have no recollection of ever signing the Irrevocable Pledge, either as a
donor or as a witness.
51. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that they were not given the
opportunity to have their attorneys review the Irrevocable Pledge.
52. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that Plaintiff JAMES did not
understand the terms of the Irrevocable Pledge at the time of the purported signing because of his
old age and confusion regarding the terms of the pledge he discussed with President Doti.
53. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that Defendant CHAPMAN did
not explain the terms of the Irrevocable Pledge fully or accurately to Plaintiff before JAMES
purportedly signed it. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that in fact, Defendant
CHAPMAN misrepresented the terms of the Irrevocable Pledge to JAMES.
54. Plaintiff CATHERINE did not read, accept or consent to the terms of the Irrevocable
55. Plaintiff CATHERINE did not accept or consent to the terms of any contract, either
written or oral, between Plaintiff JAMES and CHAPMAN for the donation of $12 million to the
56. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that the Irrevocable Pledge is
not an enforceable contract because there was no meeting of the minds between Plaintiff JAMES -10-
and Defendant CHAPMAN.
57. Neither Plaintiff JAMES nor CATHERINE agreed to the terms of the Irrevocable
58. Plaintiff CATHERINE EMMI never consented to the transfer of any community
property funds to Defendant CHAPMAN through the Irrevocable Pledge or any other agreement or
contract between JAMES and Defendant.
59. Plaintiff JAMES did not intend to bind himself or his estate to a $12 million donation
to CHAPMAN without the possibility of being released from that commitment.
60. Plaintiff is informed and believes and herein alleges that Plaintiff JAMES would not
have agreed to donate more than two times the amount of Pledge Proposal #2, in exchange for
naming rights valued at $5 million, and no guarantee of a media effort, without consulting his
counsel first and without the consent of his wife, CATHERINE.
61. On or about September 20, 2013, JAMES authorized The Northern Trust Company
to transfer $1,875,579.06 in securities to CHAPMAN as a gift for the School of Computational
Sciences and Engineering without the written consent of CATHERINE.
62. Thereafter, on or about October 17, 2013, JAMES authorized Northern Trust
Company to transfer an additional $1,124,420.94 to CHAPMAN as a cash gift for the School of
Computational Sciences and Engineering without the written consent of CATHERINE.
63. As of October 2013, JAMES donated $3 million to the School of Computational
Sciences and Engineering, not including his previous hundreds of thousands of dollars of donations
for other CHAPMAN- related events and campaigns.
64. On October 30, 2013, CHAPMAN sent the EMMIS a letter confirming the transfer
of the EMMIS’ $3 million transfer from Northern Trust.
65. Despite the extraordinary gift of $12 million and the promise of a “full-scale media
effort” recognizing JAMES’s supreme generosity, CHAPMAN completely trivialized JAMES’s
significant donation in the face of the public. For example, CHAPMAN officials failed to recognize
JAMES either on stage or in the program at the 2013 American Celebration event. Instead,
CHAPMAN focused all of its energies on recognizing a $15 million donor to the CHAPMAN health -11-
sciences project. Further, the few instances in which CHAPMAN did recognize JAMES’s donation,
CHAPMAN failed to even acknowledge the correct amount of JAMES’s pledge. For instance, at the
“Christmas at the Ritz” event, CHAPMAN announced that JAMES had donated “in excess of $10
million”, rather than announcing the $12 million pledge. Moreover, the Orange County Register,
Daily Pilot and Chapman publications, all referenced JAMES’s gift as being “in excess of $10
million”, instead of the actual amount of the pledge. This complete failure to highlight JAMES’s
pledge minimizes the importance of the donation to the university, disregards CHAPMAN’s
obligations to conduct a full-scale media effort of JAMES’s contribution, and places into question
the actual amount of JAMES’s pledge.
66. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that CHAPMAN’s publication
of JAMES’s pledge as being “in excess of $10 million” acknowledges that JAMES’s commitment to
CHAPMAN was not irrevocably set at $12 million. Instead, JAMES’s pledge amount was subject to
change and release.
67. In early 2014, approximately one year after JAMES’s donation of the first $3 million
to CHAPMAN, JAMES asked President Doti about the status of construction on the Emmi Hall of
Technology and Engineering, for which his donations were contributed. In response, President Doti
vaguely responded that he had “other ideas”, that CHAPMAN had “made plans for a larger
building,” and that he had “other ideas…it’s a long story.” Thereafter, every time JAMES inquired
about the construction of Emmi Hall, he was met with excuses for why the building was not being
68. At all time relevant herein, CHAPMAN represented that JAMES was the lead
investor and donor in the Center of Science and Technology project.
69. In May 2014, CHAPMAN surprised the EMMIS with yet another pledge proposal.
Pledge Proposal #4 sought to increase JAMES’s funding level to $20 million, in exchange for the
purported naming of the Center for Science and Technology and recognition of their gift as the lead
gift of the campaign, “undoubtedly garnering additional headlines and media attention.” Plaintiff
JAMES immediately rejected Pledge Proposal #4.
70. Prior to May 2014, CHAPMAN had already represented to JAMES that he was the -12-
lead investor in the Center for Science and Technology project.
71. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that Defendant CHAPMAN
misrepresented that JAMES was the top donor at CHAPMAN at all times relevant herein.
72. In May 2014, CHAPMAN provided JAMES with a Center for Science and
Technology Progress Report. The progress report estimated the cost of the construction for the
center at nearly $130 million and outlined that roughly $34 million had been pledged or contributed
to the project, leaving $100 million needed to fully fund the construction costs. Moreover, the report
provided that CHAPMAN was funding $80 million for the construction leaving $20 million needed
“for the project to commence”. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that prior to
May 2014, JAMES was told by CHAPMAN that the Emmi Hall of Technology and Engineering
would be completed by December 2016.
73. In September 2014, CHAPMAN sent another progress report, this time including
renderings of the proposed Center for Science and Technology project and a proposed budget and
timeline showing a longer design phase than originally anticipated on the project. This September
progress report showed continued delay in the construction of the Emmi Hall of Technology and
74. On September 26, 2014, CHAPMAN sent JAMES a letter notifying him that the Real
Estate Committee had approved the Center for Science and Technology building project and that the
next step in the process was to complete blue prints for the project.
75. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that the Center for Science and
Technology campaign began in at least 2012, when JAMES made his first $500,000 donation.
Thereafter, in 2013, JAMES agreed to donate $12 million to the campaign in reliance on the
promise that the construction of the Emmi Hall would be completed in four years. One year later,
however, in 2014, not even one blueprint had been prepared for the Emmi Hall.
76. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that CHAPMAN at all relevant
times herein never intended to construct and complete the Emmi Hall by December 2016 as
represented to JAMES EMMI in and around 2013.
77. To date, CHAPMAN has not provided a date for when construction will begin on the -13-
Center for Science and Technology, much less the Emmi Hall of Technology and Engineering.
78. CHAPMAN’s non-stop pressure to make sizeable donations to CHAPMAN,
CHAPMAN’s complete lack of progress in constructing Emmi Hall as promised, and the
abandonment of media coverage efforts by CHAPMAN recognizing JAMES’s massive $12 million
pledge, all breached the agreement between the EMMIS and CHAPMAN.
79. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that without any blue prints or
ground breaking on the Emmi Hall construction, it was not possible for CHAPMAN to comply with
its obligation and promise to JAMES that his building would be completed by December 2016.
80. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that on or about October 14,
2014, a CHAPMAN agent had a conversation with the EMMIS’ estate planning attorney, Michael
Lawler, regarding JAMES’s pledge. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that Mr.
Lawler, without the consent or instruction of JAMES, made representations to CHAPMAN that
JAMES was not withdrawing his pledge to the Center for Science and Technology, but instead was
seeking additional time to pay the remaining pledge amount of $9 million.
81. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that Michael Lawler
misrepresented to JAMES that he would act as his counsel to support his efforts to be released from
the $12 million pledge to CHAPMAN.
82. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that Michael Lawler, in and
around October 2014, knowingly misrepresented to CHAPMAN that JAMES: (1) intended to satisfy
his $12 million pledge to CHAPMAN; (2) was committed to the gift; and (3) that his sole concern
regarding the gift was the timing of the gift.
83. The EMMIS did not authorize Michael Lawler to make the aforementioned
representations to CHAPMAN.
84. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that the terms set forth in the
purported Irrevocable Pledge between JAMES and CHAPMAN are not a reflection of the terms
entered between the parties. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that CHAPMAN,
on numerous occasions, acknowledged the amount of the pledge by JAMES EMMI was not
irrevocably $12 million dollars, but rather it was an amount that could exceed $10 million. -14-
85. On or about October 15, 2014, JAMES wrote to CHAPMAN requesting a release
from the remaining $9 million left on his pledge. The letter expressed his disappointment with the
lack of progress on the Hall of Technology and Engineering, the delayed project completion date,
the increased projected cost of $130 million for the project, and the immense financial burden the
$12 million pledge was for him.
86. On November 4, 2014, Sheryl Bourgeois at CHAPMAN wrote JAMES
recommending an extended payment schedule for the remainder of the pledge amount, but still
pleading for accelerated payments.
87. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that unknown to them, on
November 5, 2014, Michael Lawler, without the EMMIS consent or authorization, wrote to
CHAPMAN thanking them for agreeing to modify JAMES’s $12 million pledge agreement so that
the $9 million balance due was “spread out over the next nine years.” In addition, the letter also
requested a modification of the payment plan on the pledge so that it would be paid at a rate of
$500,000 per year, with the unpaid balance to be paid when both the EMMIS passed away. The
EMMIS never authorized
88. On November 20, 2014, counsel for CHAPMAN sent the EMMIS a menacing letter
demanding immediate acceptance of CHAPMAN’s offer to extend the pledge payment schedule by
six years to 2022, and threatening litigation if JAMES failed to accept their offer. Further, the letter
also threatened CATHERINE directly, alleging she made derogatory and false statements about
CHAPMAN to third parties.
Michael Lawler to write this correspondence or to make such offers of
89. On or about December 9, 2014, CATHERINE retained her own counsel, Jean Gray
Platt, to respond to CHAPMAN’s November 20th
90. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and herein allege that CHAPMAN and DOE
Defendants conspired to harass, intimidate, pressure, defraud and harm the EMMIS, without the
letter. Attorney Platt demanded identification of
the purported “false and derogatory comments” made by CATHERINE and reiterated JAMES’s
request to be released from the $12 million pledge agreement. Both of these requests were flatly
denied by CHAPMAN’s counsel.-15-
consent, knowledge or authorization from the Plaintiffs.
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- Mary Cummins on Google Blogger Blogspot
- Mary Cummins on YouTube.com videos
- Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates on Classmates
- Mary Cummins Animal Advocates on eHow