Links to the briefing
Why is this case important?
As stated at the beginning of argument:
I begin by suggesting you have before you a stark choice. Either you will overturn this Declaratory Judgment in its entirety, or, you will upset a significant body of what until now was well-settled law. This case is unprecedented in several respects.
1. It is the first case in which songwriter attribution is found to be a federal issue.
2. It is the first case in which a Declaratory Judgment action with significant factual disputes and a jury trial demand was found to be equitable in nature.
3. It is the first case in which the District Court analogized songwriter attribution to an action to quiet title.
4. But even accepting that novel analogy, it is the first case in which an action to quiet title - with significant factual disputes and a jury trial demand - was found to be equitable in nature.
5. Assuming proper federal jurisdiction, it is the first time a federal court declined supplemental jurisdiction when the state law claims clearly arise from the same nucleus of operative facts, and the factual findings of this case will have Res Judicata effect on the state case.
6. It is the first time a handwriting expert has ever been excluded based on the failure of the expert to authenticate the handwriting samples provided.
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On the 9th Circuit's YouTube page, they announce this as "Alexander Baker appeals the district court's judgment after a bench trial in an action under the Copyright Act." That's false and it kind of matters. My ex-wife's claim was under the Declaratory Judgment Act, not the Copyright Act. No copyright was at issue in the case, and that is the problem with jurisdiction.