The lead attorney for Park City Mountain Resort in a lawsuit against a firm under the Talisker Corporation umbrella on Monday sent the judge a written statement acknowledging that a letter critical to the case was not sent on the date it was purported to have been when the litigation commenced.
The letter was what the PCMR side believed to be written confirmation that it extended its leases of Talisker Corporation land. Much of the resort's terrain is on the leased land. The lawsuit centers on a dispute about the lease renewal.
In the lawsuit, filed in March of 2012, the PCMR side claimed that on April 30, 2011 it "gave written confirmation to UPCM and Talisker that the Leases had been extended," referring to United Park City Mines with a commonly used local term, UPCM. United Park City Mines historically owned the land. It later came under the control of Talisker Corporation.
But the Talisker Corporation side disputed the assertion about a written confirmation, saying that the leases expired based on their terms on April 30, 2011. In April of 2012, attorneys for the Talisker Corporation side contended that the letter was not sent until May 2, 2011. The Talisker Corporation filing at that time included an image of a postmark showing the envelope was not sent until May 2.
In the Monday letter to Third District Court Judge Ryan Harris, Alan Sullivan, the attorney who is leading the PCMR case, indicated one of the attorneys for the Talisker Corporation side on Aug. 7 accused him, his law firm, PCMR and others "of having deliberately deceived the Court in relation to the preparation and mailing of the letter dated April 30, 2011 . . . "
The letter from Sullivan says John Lund, one of the attorneys for Talisker Corporation, is seeking additional information to put Lund "in a position to file a timely and appropriate motion with the Court for sanctions and other relief relating to the apparent misconduct as may be warranted."
"Mr. Lund's letter accuses us of deliberately attempting to defraud defendants and the Court," Sullivan's letter to the judge says.
PCMR and the attorneys representing the resort are taking the claim seriously, the letter says. According to the letter, a forensic computer expert was retained to assist in the internal investigation into the 2011 letter.
Early conclusions in the internal investigation, according to the letter, include:
The letter from Sullivan says the timeline is no longer relevant to the case based on an earlier ruling by the judge. He outlined a detailed chronology, though, in response to "the seriousness of Mr. Lund's allegations."
The chronology involves figures like PCMR President and General Manager Jenni Smith and John Cumming, who is the CEO of PCMR's parent, Powdr Corp. The letter says the people who drafted the lawsuit "believed at the time that this allegation was accurate."
"They later learned, however, that the letter was put in the mail not on April 30, 2011, but on May 2, 2011," the letter says.
PCMR was not aware of the May 2, 2011 date until the Talisker Corporation side filed a memorandum in court supporting a motion to dismiss the case nearly a year later, the letter acknowledges.
"Counsel of record for plaintiffs unquestionably made a mistake in alleging that the April 30 letter was sent on that date. We believe that this mistake was the result of miscommunication between the lawyers who prepared the complaint and those people who participated in the events," the letter from Sullivan says. "We sincerely regret having made the mistaken allegation, and we assure the Court that the mistake was not, as Mr. Lund has charged, a deliberate attempt by us to defraud the Court and Talisker."
PCMR chief issues statement about lawsuit
Park City Mountain Resort on Thursday issued a prepared statement from resort President and General Manager Jenni Smith addressing this week's Third District Court filings centered on the date of a crucial 2011 letter about extending the resort leases of Talisker Corporation land. The statement follows:
"Talisker's attempt to make an issue over the date of PCMR's letter confirming an extension of its lease sent more than two years ago creates a distraction from the ongoing litigation. We have acknowledged, and the record clearly states, that the letter was prepared and sent on Monday, May 2, 2011. We have apologized to the court and opposing counsel for the mistake.
We have always sought a fair resolution in our dispute with Talisker. As longstanding residents and supporters of the Park City community, we remain dedicated to open and honest communications in all matters with our team, our neighbors and the community at large. When we make a mistake, we admit it and take immediate corrective action, as we have done in this matter."