Those moments came during video depositions when he could hear the voice of his partner Jeffrey Conciatori. Before Carlinksy stepped in to try the case, Conciatori was Caruso’s lead counsel. But last July, on the day the trial was originally scheduled to begin, Conciatori suffered a stroke and collapsed in Brooklyn federal district court. According to Carlinsky, it was particularly bittersweet to hear Conciatori’s voice in videotaped depositions at the bench trial because Conciatori temporarily lost his speech as a result of the stroke.
Carlinsky and the Quinn Emanuel team of Deborah Brown, Ben Gildin, and Jolie Apicella did right by their felled partner. Last Friday, Brooklyn federal district court judge Leonard Wexler ruled that Caruso is entitled to judgment on all of Americana Manhasset’s claims. He also granted one of Caruso’s counterclaims, canceling an Americana Manhasset trademark.
“It was a particular sweet victory given the circumstances of what happened to my partner,” said Carlinsky. On Saturday, he told us, he delivered Judge Wexler’s opinion to Conciatori, who is still recovering from the stroke.
The Americana Manhasset, a very pricey outdoor mall, had challenged Caruso’s use of “Americana” at its Glendale, Calif., residential and shopping area, The Americana at Brand. Americana Manhasset asserted seven claims against Caruso, including trademark infringement, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment. But Judge Wexler didn’t find sufficient evidence of consumer confusion between the two marks.
John Rawls III of Bracewell & Giuliani, an attorney for Americana Manhasset, told us that he believed there were “serious errors” in the opinion. He also said that he and his client were still studying it and had not made a decision about a possible appeal.
This story originally appeared in The Am Law Litigation Daily, a Corporate Counsel sibling publication.