Photo by Rob Chapman
George Porter, Jr., Russell Batiste and Brian Stoltz got a favorable ruling from a federal court in Louisiana following a lengthy legal battle with their old management company, Highsteppin’ Productions. The ruling, which came last Friday, resolves an almost four-year ordeal for the musicians, who were sued for over half a million dollars when their band, Porter-Batiste-Stoltz chose not to renew their management contract.
After suit, Porter, Batiste and Stoltz were forced to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to protect their assets, and they eventually countersued Highsteppin’ Productions for breach of contract and unfair trade practices. A campaign was also started to raise money for their legal costs, and a benefit concert featuring Anders Osborne, Stanton Moore, Billy Iuso, John Gros and more was held at the Howlin’ Wolf in May of 2011.
NOLA.com reports that Friday’s decision by Judge Magner upheld their claim of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and unfair trade practices, though it denied their claim of copyright infringement.
The production company still has time to appeal the ruling but, if the deadline passes or if the ruling is upheld, Porter, Batiste and Stoltz will not owe Highsteppin’ Productions anything and they will also be awarded court costs and attorney’s fees. The members of the band will also be able to work toward the dismissal of their bankruptcies after settling any other legitimate debts.