Hmmmmm…Let’s see…..THREE DEAD PARTNERS, ONE PUT IN JAIL, TERRORIZATION OF A WOMAN, ME, STOCK FRAUD, (for years, past blog) CORRUPTION IN TEXAS COURTS, LATITUDE SOLUTIONS…….
THE LIST GOES ON AND ON……..
John Paul DeJoria’s GREED AND RAMPAGE of the earth….CONTINUES…..
~ Is there anything worse than a billionaire who doesn’t pay his bills?
What he owes his victims is just pennies to him. ~
HE HAS RACKED UP MORE VICTIMS….AND AS USUAL HE SURROUNDS HIMSELF WITH THE LOWEST SCUM ON EARTH….
THEN SAYS “IT WASN’T ME.”
HE RUNS, AND HIDES, LIKE A P***Y…THEN HE AND HIS GANG, SPLIT THE MONEY BAG, LATER…..$$$$$$$$$$
ALL THE WHILE STEALING, ROBBING, RAVISHING THIS EARTH……ONE PURE UGLY, GREEDY, F**CKER………
NO END EXISTS TO THE DEJORIA FAMILY GREED!!! PROVEN!>
~ JP is a bad guy pretending to be a good man. It’s amazing how, just by donating some money to charities,
(solely for tax write offs), it disguises his bad character – so he appears to be a great guy. ~
OHHHH……THE SATANIC PLAYBOOK……LEARNED FROM HIS SODOMY BRO’S, GEORGE BUSH, BILL GATES, AND WARREN BUFFET!
Well…..SADLY! THANK GOODNESS, FOR PUBLIC RECORDS! JOHN PAUL DEJORIA CAN NOT QUIT….AT THE CRUSTY, AGE OF 77…..
LOOKING LIKE, HE IS IN HELL,…..HE CAN NOT STOP….. A BILLION IS NOT ENOUGH!
ANOTHER VICTIM……I AM SO SORRY……
JOHN PAUL DEJORIA IS RUNNING ROKSTARS AND ROKIT?
AND, HIDING OUT BEHIND, JONATHAN KENDRICK, HIS BRITISH, CRIMINAL, PAID, FALL GUY……
JONATHAN KENDRICK, WOULD LICK JOHN PAUL DEJORIA’S, SODOMIZED, ASSHOLE, TO STAY IN HIS $20,000 a month RENTED, PACIFIC PALISADES HOME!
Jonathan Kendrick is NOT EVEN, AMERICAN….HE NEEDS SHIPPED OUT!
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, STANLEY MOSK COURTHOUSE
NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO
COMPEL DEPOSITION OF JOHN PAUL
DEJORIA AND IMPOSE MONETARY
SANCTIONS AGAINST ROK STARS PLC,
ROK DRINKS LTD.; MEMORANDUM OF
POINTS AND AUTHORITIES;
MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES
This is a breach of contract and fraud action wherein, Plaintiff Jeff Moses (“Plaintiff”)
alleges that Defendants ROK Drinks, Ltd. (“ROK Drinks”), ROK Stars PLC (“ROK Stars”), and
Jonathan Kendrick (together, “Defendants”) failed to uphold their promise to pay Plaintiff $250,000
of stock in ROK Stars to acquire an interest in his Graffiti Wine brand.
Through this motion, Plaintiff seeks to compel John Paul DeJoria (“DeJoria”) to appear at
oral deposition. Alongside Defendant Kendrick, DeJoria is a co-founder of Defendant ROK Stars
and ROK Drinks. He is responsible for making management decisions in ROK Stars and directing
its board. DeJoria’s approval was required before ROK Drinks could enter into contracts, such as
the Memorandum of Understanding between Plaintiff and Defendants (“MOU”). DeJoria was also
intimately involved in all aspects of ROK Stars and ROK Drinks’ business, including the Graffiti
Wine brand at the center of the instant dispute.
Neither Defendants nor DeJoria filed a timely objection to Plaintiff’s deposition notice, but
Defendants nevertheless refused to produce DeJoria for his properly noticed deposition arguing that
he is not a “party affiliated witness.” This is simply untrue as there is a wealth of evidence that
DeJoria is a managing agent of both ROK Stars and ROK Drinks. They are thus obligated to
produce him for deposition pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure. C.C.P. § Section 2025.280(a).
Plaintiff also seeks reimbursement for reasonable expenses and costs incurred as well as attorney
time spent as a result of Defendants’ failure to produce DeJoria.
II. RELEVANT BACKGROUND
Plaintiff first noticed the deposition of DeJoria on August 5, 2021, with the deposition set to
take place on September 22, 2021. Declaration of Max Ambrose (“Ambrose Decl.”), ¶ 2, Ex. A.
A. DeJoria’s Managerial Role
DeJoria’s role as a managing agent of ROK Stars and its subsidiary ROK Drinks is clear.
Ambrose Decl. ¶¶ 10-19; Declaration of Jeff Moses (“Moses Decl.”) ¶¶ 2-9. As shown below, the
front page of the ROK Stars website proclaims “ROK Stars was founded by US Billionaire John
Paul DeJoria and UK serial entrepreneur Jonathan Kendrick.” Id. ¶ 10, Ex. G. ROK Drinks, which
has since rebranded as ROKiT Drinks, similarly identifies DeJoria as “Co Founder” on its public
website which dedicates a full page to detailing DeJoria and Kendrick’s background. Id. ¶ 11, Ex.
DeJoria attended meetings with the president of ROK Drinks, Alison Kennedy. Id. ¶ 19, Ex.
O, Deposition Transcript of Alison Kennedy at 27:22-24 (“Tr.”). And Defendant Kendrick took
instructions directly from Mr. DeJoria. Id., Ex. O, Tr. 27:25-28:2. DeJoria was likely funding ROK
Stars and/or ROK Drinks on a monthly basis because of cash flow problems. Id., Ex. P, Tr. 97:10-
17; 98:10-14. Moses Decl. ¶ ¶ 5-7.
Defendants’ internal records and communications confirm that DeJoria takes a significant
role in managing company operations and directing the board of ROK Stars. For example, in
November 2017, Mr. Kendrick sent an email from his ROK Stars email address to a colleague
regarding ABK beer, stating “I spoke with jp [DeJoria] yesterday day. He does not want to
purchase the storage facility at this time for 1.8 and said to me specifically, lets use the cash we
have in the Ag to promote and market ABK.” He continues, “[o]n the land I will see jp [DeJoria]
this Friday to get all clear for the supervisory board to sign.” Ambrose Decl.. ¶ 12, Ex. I. In August
2015, Kendrick sent another email regarding ABK beer to his ROK Stars colleagues stating “[l]ooks
like jp [DeJoria] has pulled some strings” in his aid of import and sale of ABK Beer in Texas. ¶ 13,
DeJoria’s JP’s Nevada Trust also acquired the remaining stake of ABK Beer not already
owned by ROK Stars, which is relevant to the instant action. Id. ¶ 15, Ex. L. ROK Drinks, a
division of ROK Stars marketed both ABK Beer and Graffiti Wine. Id., Ex. L.
Critically, DeJoria’s permission was also necessary for certain ROK Stars’ contract
acceptances and was necessary for the MOU at the center of this dispute. Moses Decl. ¶ 2-3; see
also Ambrose Decl. ¶ 16, Ex. M (October 2017 email from Kendrick to ROK Stars colleagues
regarding a distillery purchase Memorandum of Understanding and stating ““[u]nfortuantely John
paul [DeJoria] is on holiday and cannot commit.”
When Plaintiff first met with Defendant Kendrick in 2015 to discuss ROK Drinks acquiring
the Graffiti Wine Brand, Kendrick told Plaintiff he loved the brand, but would have to get DeJoria’s
approval before any agreement could be reached. Moses Decl. ¶ 2. During Plaintiff’s next meeting
with Kendrick, Kendrick informed Plaintiff that DeJoria had given his approval for the acquisition,
loved the Graffiti Wine Brand, and wanted to purchase it. Id. ¶ 3.
Around the time of ROK Drinks’ acquisition of the Graffiti Wine Brand, Plaintiff met faceto-
face with DeJoria to discuss DeJoria’s direction on the Graffiti Wine Brand. Id. ¶ 4. DeJoria
directed Plaintiff to pursue specific countries in which to produce and distribute Graffiti Wine,
including Spain, Italy, and Mexico. Id. In that meeting, DeJoria also told Plaintiff directly that he
loved the brand and was happy to have purchased it. Id.
When Kendrick and Plaintiff were in discussions regarding producing and marketing
Graffiti Wine in Italy and India, Plaintiff met with DeJoria again to discuss distributions plans of
Graffiti Wine in these countries. Id. ¶ 5. DeJoria’s final approval was required before ROK Drinks
could make any decision on where to distribute Graffiti Wine. Id.
In 2015, Plaintiff negotiated a $250,000 deal for ROK Drinks to purchase the Amador
Distilling Company. Id. ¶ 6. Once the negotiations were nearly finalized, Plaintiff met with
Kendrick in his office and explained the deal. Id. Kendrick informed Plaintiff that he had to get the
money from DeJoria before entering any agreement. Id. In that same meeting, Kendrick called
DeJoria on speaker phone explaining the $250,000 deal and requesting the money from DeJoria.
DeJoria ultimately agreed. Id. Dan Lewis, ROK Drinks’ accountant later told Plaintiff the check
and money for the ROK Distillery came directly from DeJoria. Id.
During Plaintiff’s weekly meetings over the course of his time at ROK Drinks, Kendrick
mentioned about a dozen times that he must check with DeJoria first before making financial or
management decisions for ROK Drinks. Id. ¶ 7. Kendrick often called DeJoria directly in these
meetings, placing him on speaker phone, to ask for his permission on financial and management
Around October 2017 when Plaintiff requested ROK Drinks distributors carry the Graffiti
Wine Brand, Kendrick informed Plaintiff that ROK Drinks would not be doing that because DeJoria
preferred to phase out the brand. Id. ¶ 9. After Plaintiff’s termination by ROK Drinks, Plaintiff
called DeJoria and spoke with him on the phone. Id. During that phone call, DeJoria admitted to
Plaintiff that both him and Kendrick bought the Graffiti Wine brand but when Plaintiff asked him
why he did not compensate Plaintiff as promised, he explained that Plaintiff made the deal with
Kendrick, and would have to deal with him. Id.
In sum, DeJoria’s management role at both ROK Stars and ROK Drinks is clear and his
extensive involvement in the matters at the core of this case is illustrated by Defendants’ own
documents, the testimony of ROK Drink’s former president, Alison Kennedy, and Plaintiff’s
B. Procedural Background
Upon service of the Deposition notice, Plaintiff’s Counsel expressed his willingness to
“work with your schedule” on the noticed dates and indicated he had “no problem rescheduling to
another reasonable date,” but stated that “[i]f we do not hear back from you by Friday, August 20,
2021, we will assume that these dates work for you and we will proceed accordingly.” Ambrose
Decl. ¶ 3. Merino responded to Plaintiff’s Counsel’s service on August 18, 2021, without raising
any issues regarding the timing of DeJoria’s deposition. Id. ¶ 4. Merino merely asked Plaintiff’s
Counsel to “identify the scope of the DeJoria Deposition” and made no indication at that time he
planned to object. Id.
Plaintiff’s Counsel responded to Merino on August 25, 2021 by identifying the matters on
which Plaintiff planned to question DeJoria and confirming that based on Mr. Merino’s “earlier
emails, it is our understanding that both Mr. Kendrick and Mr. DeJoria are available on September
14 and September 22 respectively.” Id ¶ ¶ 4-5. Once again Merino did not object to the September
22, 2021 date or provide any indication that the DeJoria deposition was otherwise objectionable. Id.
¶ 5. From August 5 to September 13, neither Merino nor DeJoria provided any indication that
Defendants would not produce DeJoria for his September 22 deposition. Id. at ¶ ¶ 4-6.
On September 13, 2021, Merino indicated for the first time there were “substantial issues
with whether the deposition of Mr. DeJoria was necessary or appropriate” and would send a letter
later that week. Id. ¶ 6. On September 15, 2021 Merino sent a Meet and Confer letter (the “Letter”)
which asserted that (i) DeJoria does not qualify as an employee, officer, director, or managing agent
of any party to this action (ii) claimed that DeJoria has no role in this dispute, then requested that
we forego DeJoria’s deposition, and (iii) claimed that Plaintiff’s noticed deposition of DeJoria
violates the local rules that require depositions be taken in order of notice. Id. ¶ 7, Ex. C.
Plaintiff’s counsel responded to this letter on September 20 by sending a detailed email to
Merino identifying and attaching records illustrating DeJoria’s managerial role at Defendants and
his key role in the matters at the heart of this litigation. Id. ¶ 8-10. This meet and confer email
made it clear that Plaintiff intended to proceed with the deposition of DeJoria as scheduled. Id.
Merino did not respond to this email. Id.
Following Merino’s failure to respond to the September 16 email, Plaintiff’s counsel once
again reached out to Merino on September 20, 2021 asking if Merino was available to discuss the
issues surrounding his deposition. Id. ¶ 21. On September 22, 2022, the date of DeJoria’s
deposition, Plaintiff’s counsel met and conferred via phone call regarding DeJoria’s deposition.
Merino continued to refuse to make DeJoria available for deposition. On that same day, Defendants
failed to produce DeJoria for his properly noticed deposition, despite not having served any valid
objection. ¶ ¶ 22-23.
On September 23, 2021, one day after DeJoria’s properly noticed deposition, Defendants’
counsel mailed an Objection to Notice of Deposition of DeJoria (the “Objection”) to Plaintiff.
Although the Objection’s Proof of Service states that it was mailed on September 21, 2021, the
Shipment Tracking Information shows that the Objection was mailed on September 23, 2021 at 8:57
PM. Id. ¶ 23, Ex. T, Ex. U.
In a final effort to avoid filing a Motion to Compel, Plaintiff filed a Request for Informal
Discovery Conference. The Court informed Plaintiff that it could conduct the Conference on
October 4, 2021. Id. ¶ 25-26, Ex. W, Ex. X. However, Merino indicated he could not attend the
Conference on that date, even though the conference could be conducted telephonically. Id.
In sum, Plaintiff properly noticed the deposition of DeJoria. Defendants went nearly a
month and a half without raising any issues regarding the deposition itself or its timing. Defendants
failed to produce DeJoria for his properly noticed deposition despite not having served any
Objection to that deposition, and Defendants’ counsel mailed its Objection to DeJoria’s properly
noticed deposition a day after DeJoria’s deposition was scheduled.1
Now, Defendants have continued to refuse to produce DeJoria for deposition. This
unjustified refusal has forced Plaintiff to incur significant legal costs. Moreover, without obtaining
critical testimony from DeJoria, Plaintiff’s ability to litigate this action will be severely prejudiced.
III. THIS COURT SHOULD COMPEL DEJORIA’S ATTENDANCE AT DEPOSITION
AND THE PRODUCTION OF THE DOCUMENTS DESCRIBED IN THE NOTICE
It is Plaintiff’s right to take the deposition of DeJoria. CCP § 2025.010. DeJoria is a
managing agent of both ROK Stars and ROK Drinks. See Ambrose Decl; Moses Decl. Moreover
neither Defendants nor DeJoria served a valid or timely objection to Plaintiff’s deposition notice.
Ambrose Decl. ¶ ¶ 22-23, Ex. Q, Ex. R. A deposition subpoena is not required to compel the
attendance of an officer, director, or managing agent or employee of a party. C.C.P. § 2025.280(a).
A. Neither Defendants nor DeJoria served a valid or timely objection to his
properly noticed deposition and thus waived any right to object.
“If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action or an officer, director, [or]
managing agent . . . without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear
for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document or tangible thing
described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the
deponent’s attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document or tangible
thing described in the deposition notice . . .” C.C.P. § 2025.450. A party objecting to deposition
notices under the California Code of Civil Procedure “waives any error or irregularity unless that
party promptly serves a written objection specifying that error or irregularity at least three
calendar days prior to the date for which the deposition is scheduled…” C.C.P. § 2025.410
Here, neither Defendants nor DeJoria served any valid or timely objections to Plaintiff’s
deposition notice. Defendants’ counsel Merino mailed Plaintiff an Objection to Notice of
Deposition of DeJoria (the “Objection”) on September 23, 2021 – one day after DeJoria’s
deposition was properly noticed and he failed to appear. Ambrose Decl. ¶ ¶ 22-24. Merino’s
Objection was served with a “Proof of Service” dated September 21, 2021, however the shipment
tracking information attached to the Objection and Proof of service state clearly that it was sent on
September 23, 2021. Id. In addition, the purported Objection was not served on Plaintiff’s counsel
by email even though the parties have an electronic service agreement and routinely serve each
other by email.2 Id. ¶ 2, Ex. A, ¶ 23, Ex. V.
Even if the Objection was truly served on September 21, 2021, and all indications are that it
was not, it still fails to satisfy the timeliness requirements of Section 2025.410, that requires an
objection to be served within three calendar days of the deposition date. As Defendants failed to
file a timely objection to DeJoria’s deposition, they waived any objections. The Court should thus
compel Defendants to produce DeJoria for deposition and produce the documents and records
attached to his deposition notice.
B. DeJoria is a managing agent of Defendants ROK Stars and ROK Drinks and
thus must appear for deposition
Even though Defendants have waived any argument to DeJoria’s properly noticed
deposition by failing to serve a timely objection, Defendants’ contention that DeJoria is not a party
affiliated witness does not withstand any scrutiny. Rather, as shown by Defendants’ internal
documents and public statements, the testimony of ROK Drinks’ former president Alison Kennedy,
and Plaintiff’s declaration, DeJoria is involved in every aspect of management at both ROK Stars
and ROK Drinks. California courts routinely look to federal courts in analyzing the issue of
whether a deponent is a managing agent under C.C.P. § 2025.280(a). Lopez v. Watchtower Bible &
Tract Society of New York, Inc., 246 Cal.App.4th 566, 601 (2016). Courts consider the following
factors in determining whether a person is a managing agent: (1) whether the individual is invested
with general powers allowing him to exercise judgment and discretion in corporate matters; (2)
whether the individual can be relied upon to give testimony, at his employer’s request, in response
to the demand of the examining party; (3) whether any person or persons are employed by the
corporate employer in positions of higher authority than the individual designated in the area
regarding which information is sought by the examination; (4) the general responsibilities of the
individual respecting the matters involved in the litigation. Elasticsearch, Inc. v. GmbH, 2021 WL
1753796 at *1-2 (N.D. Cal. May 4, 2021) (finding the potential deponents were managing agents
where they had authority over Defendant and power regarding subject matter of litigation).
In determining whether a person is a party’s managing agent, Courts focus on whether the
individual is invested with general powers allowing him to exercise judgment and discretion in
corporate matters and the general responsibilities of the individual respecting the matters
involved in the litigation.” Id (emphasis added). Shareholders are managing agents when
“responsible for initiating” the “disputed purchase.” Resort Properties of America v. El-Ad
Properties N.Y. LLC, 2008 WL 2741131 at *3 (D. Nev. 2008) (holding “owner and majority
shareholder” was “clearly a managing agent” of Defendant corporation and finding where party
offers to “conduct the deposition via video conference,” it is not unduly burdensome.).
Here, despite Defendants’ assertion that “DeJoria has no role in the dispute,” DeJoria’s role
as a managing agent is clear. Ambrose Decl. ¶ 10. DeJoria was deeply invested with general
powers which allowed him to exercise direct judgment and discretion in corporate matters directly
affecting the matters with respect to: (i) The MOU between Plaintiff and Defendants that is at the
heart of this action; (ii) the provision of ROK Stars shares promised to Plaintiff; (iii) meetings,
business decisions, and financial decisions relating to Plaintiff’s employment with ROK Drinks, and
Plaintiff’s Graffiti Wine Brand, which was owned by ROK Drinks and/or ROK Stars; and (iv) the
decisions of Defendants Kendrick, ROK Stars and ROK Drinks, all of which took orders from and
were managed by DeJoria. Id. ¶ ¶ 10-19. Moses Decl. ¶ 2-9.
DeJoria is also in the position of highest authority on the subject matters of information
sought. DeJoria gave instructions directly to Defendant Kendrick, who signed the MOU,
specifically on matters at the heart of this litigation, including whether Kendrick had permission to
sign the MOU, or to terminate the MOU. Ambrose Decl. ¶ ¶ 12-19; Moses Decl. ¶ 2-3, ¶ 8.
DeJoria had authority over the funds tied to the MOU, and whether Defendants ROK Stars and
ROK Drinks could pay the consideration to Plaintiff contemplated in the MOU, including the cash
payments and $250,000 of ROK Stars stock. Ambrose Decl. ¶ ¶ 11, 14, 16-19; Moses Decl. ¶ ¶ 2-7.
Put simply, DeJoria exercised near complete control over whether the MOU could or could not be
executed, and whether it could be performed. Moreover, it is clear that DeJoria was responsible for
initiating the disputed agreement between Plaintiff and ROK Drinks. Ambrose Decl. ¶ ¶ 12-14, 16-
19; Moses Decl. ¶ 2-4. Thus DeJoria is a managing agent of ROK Stars and ROK Drinks for the
purposes of this litigation. Elasticsearch, Inc. v. GmbH, 2021 WL 1753796 at *1-2 (N.D. Cal. May
4, 2021); Resort Properties of America v. El-Ad Properties N.Y. LLC, 2008 WL 2741131 at *3 (D.
Plaintiff has also offered to perform a video deposition of DeJoria, further identified the
planned scope clearly and concisely, and offered to limit the duration of the DeJoria deposition. The
burden on DeJoria would thus be extremely limited. Ambrose Decl. ¶ ¶ 2, 5, Ex. A, Ex. B.
Plaintiff therefore asks this Court to compel Defendants to produce their managing agent
DeJoria for deposition and to produce the documents described in the deposition notice attached to
the Ambrose Declaration as Exhibit B.Plaintiff respectfully asks that the court grant this motion and order
Plaintiffs to produce DeJoria for deposition within twenty days from the date of the hearing.
JUST THINKING OUT LOUD….IF JOHN PAUL DEJORIA’S THREE DEAD PARTNERS WENT THROUGH SIMILAR?
PAST BLOG…BACARDI AND JOHN PAUL DEJORIA’S LAWYERS, WERE CIRCLING LIKE VULTURES, LESS THAN TWENTY FOUR HOURS AFTER HIS PARTNER, IN PATRON, WAS FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIRS….(PAST BLOG)
CAUSE OF DEATH! OR SHOULD I SAY, CIA, CAUSE OF DEATH…..HEART ATTACK!
P.S. JOHN PAUL DEJORIA FUNDED “THE SOUND OF FREEDOM”, BAD GUY, PLAYING GOOD!