Lawsuits galore: Minor v. Danielson hearing Friday

cover-halseyminor-leedanielsonMinor and Danielson during happier times at the groundbreaking of the Landmark.

Lawyers for formerly entwined hotel-makers Halsey Minor and Lee Danielson will be in court Friday in a case that puts the troubled Landmark Hotel project back in the spotlight. In a follow-up to a recent story about hotel owner Minor, here is a look at most if not all of the litigation in which Minor has recently been involved.

The Landmark Hotel

Minor v. Danielson & SFG
Filed: February 11, 2009, Charlottesville Circuit Court
Alleging: That Danielson's company, Hotel Charlottesville LLC, intentionally hid $5.2 million in expenses for such “ordinary and customary” costs as elevators, fire protection, and plumbing fixtures. Minor's suit seeks $450,000 in damages and demands extrication from the project.

landmark_tomdaly-medThe Landmark in mid-January.

Twists: Amended nine days after filing to also sue the bank, Specialty Finance Group, or SFG.
Latest: Judge Edward Hogshire will hear Danielson's demurrer motions November 20.

SFG v. Minor Family Hotels
Filed: February 24, 2009, State Court, Fulton County, Georgia
Alleging: That Minor committed seven defaults on SFG's $23.7 million loan, $10 million of which was disbursed.
Twists: Each side has filed a motion for summary judgment.
Latest: Minor claims Danielson and the bank colluded to make the project fail [as detailed here].

Danielson v. Minor
Filed: April 14, 2009, Charlottesville Circuit Court (counterclaim to Minor v. Danielson)
Alleging: That Minor unlawfully broke the contract with Danielson as the Landmark’s developer; seeks $5.8 million.
Twists: Danielson, claiming that Minor's additions included a $382,000 mosaic in the lobby, seeks binding arbitration.
Latest: Judge Hogshire will hear the arbitration request November 20.

Merrill Lynch Private Finance

Merrill v. Minor
Filed: December 22, 2008, Southern District New York federal court
Alleging: That Minor sold off paintings that were collateral for $21.6 million Minor borrowed.
Twists: Merrill says it rebuffed, at one point, Minor's effort to borrow up to $35 million
Latest: Via summary judgment, Judge Sidney H. Stein grants Merrill’s victory October 23. Minor appeals.

John Thain

Minor v. Merrill
Filed: March 10, 2009, Southern District New York federal court (as as counterclaim)
Alleging: That Merrill put a billion-dollar hold on his account despite his being current on payments, allegedly causing Minor to lose $1.5 million deposited on a $58.5 million Gulfstream G650 jet.
Twists: Minor barred from deposing top execs, such as now-ousted Merrill CEO John Thain, and later hit with restraining order over alleged harassment.
Latest: Two weeks before handing victory to Merrill, the judge described Minor's attempt to amend his suit as “futile, made in bad faith, and dilatory.”

Minor v. Merrill II
Filed: March 10, 2009, State Superior Court, Los Angeles
Alleging: As above, that Merrill unfairly levied that billion-dollar account freeze
Twists: Minor (citing an order barring him from selling off any artwork) charges unfair debt collection practices.
Latest: Merrill filed a demurrer October 7; a hearing has been set for November 25.

Christie's auction house

Minor v. Christie's
Filed: December 3, 2008, Northern District California federal court
Alleging: Fraud and conversion for holding on too long to seven Richard Price artworks Minor had lent Christie's to sell for around $25 million. "By the time the artworks were returned to Plaintiff, they had declined in value significantly."
Twists: Christie's alleges that Minor didn't hold clear title to the Richard Price works because they were allegedly pledged to secure his loan from Merrill.
Latest: No court filings since June; matter may be in mediation.

Christie's v. Minor
Filed: January 23, 2009, Northern District California federal court

cover-halsey-hialeah-parkAn archival photo of Hialeah Park.

Alleging: Fraud and breach of contract that Minor "knew" he couldn't pay the $12.2 million he bid for auction-bought paintings, including "A Rearing Stallion" by Sir Anthony van Dyck, "A Passing Shower in the Yellowstone Canyon" by Thomas Moran, and a Mary Cassatt.
Twists: Minor seeks jury trial.
Latest: See above.

Save Hialeah Racing

Minor v. City of Hialeah and John Brunetti
Filed: February 11, 2009, Dade County Circuit Court
Alleging: That the city broke its own laws in the 2004 sale of the historic flamingo-bedecked track and that the owner wrongly stopped on-site racing.
Twists: Before and after the August 8 suit dismissal, Minor revealed he was trying to buy parts of bankrupt race track-owning Magna Entertainment Corp.
Latest: Minor appeals. Brunetti will re-open Hialeah for Quarter Horse racing on November 28.

Sotheby's auction house

Sotheby's v. Minor
Filed: September 2, 2008, Southern District New York federal court
Alleging: That Minor–- high bidder on three artworks totaling $13.8 million and despite an offer of "generous" payment terms–- failed to make any payment.
Twists: A Sotheby's employee allegedly told Minor he was "going to love" Edward Hicks' "The Peaceable Kingdom with the Leopard of Serenity."
Latest: The case continues. More below.

cover-halsey-peaceablekingdomThe Peaceable kingdom with the Leopard of Serenity.

Minor v. Sotheby's
Filed: September 22, 2008, Southern District New York federal court, a counterclaim (An attempted class-action filed October 1, 2008, in Northern District California was dismissed.)
Alleging: That Sotheby's secretly valued "The Peaceable Kingdom" at a lower value and secretly had an economic interest in the painting thus "irrevocably tainting" the auction, "unjustly enriching" itself, and breaching a fiduciary duty.
Twists: "Minor's counterclaim," Sotheby's says, "is barred under the doctrine of unclean hands."
Latest: "Because the paintings were sold at auction, Minor set the price," says Judge Henry Pitman in an October 26 order, closing a door on Minor's effort to invoke consumer law or claim any fiduciary duty.

A leaky, rotten residence

Minor v. Reagan W. Silber
Filed: February 7, 2007, Superior Court, Los Angeles County
Alleging: That when Silber sold a modernist mansion to Minor for $20 million in 2006, it contained vast internal rotting.
Twists: After winning $5.2 million August 27, 2008, in a court-affirmed arbitration, Minor moved to rented quarters in Holmby Hills and offered the Bel Air property for sale for $12.8 million.
Latest: He reduced the price to $11.4 million, but according to the last listing agent the property is off the market.

Small claim in L.A.

Pamela Palmer Doqui v. Shannon & Halsey Minor
Filed: December 18, 2008, in Los Angeles small claims court
Alleging: That the Minors owed her $7,500.
Plaintiff, who has worked for Reese Witherspoon, wins April 3; Minors appeal later that month.
Latest: Having abandoned their appeal, the Minors pay $7,931.21 on August 21, 2009.

Future lawsuit against Better Publications LLC?

Minor v. Hook
Filed: Not filed–- only threatened via October 27, 2009, email to editor.
Alleging: A smearing of Minor's good name.
Twists: "Either you set the record straight or you'll need a legal team by Christmas, and I promise there will be no Hook shortly thereafter."
Outcome: Uncertain.


Somehow I don't think so.......hard to buy with phony paper and he has already sold anything of value.. his farm is now for sale, the plane is gone, he cannot afford to buy a house in LA, etc., etc. , etc., think his "trophy" wife will be next to go. Women and children were first off the Titanic weren't they?

Ohh, good grief! Minor could buy and sell you 100,000 times.

Halsey would sue everyone who has ever called him ugly, fortunately for the rest of us he ran out of money awhile ago. Lawsuits haven't solved any of his wacko issues, though it isn't for a lack of trying. This man should just pay off all his debt and retire in the back woods of the Appalachian mountains never to be heard from again. His smear techniques haven't worked to which I liken Halsey to the temper of a 8 year old school girl. Take my advice, which he will seeing how he loves himself so much he reads every blog about himself, retire where you can never be heard from again seems like the best option. Your wife left you and you never see your kids, your broke, in more lawsuits than the US government, and have no friends left. Quit while your behind.

Well, I at least learned that "mm" can mean millions with reference to dollars. Although, I think that it's supposed to be "MM" in this context.

Unless, of course, Minor is down to making 56 millimeter dollars, which is probably more likely.

Don't miss the e-mail Minor sent to Hawes, bizarre is mild. Does anyone know this guy ? So here's your chance, tell us something that would make his hometown proud of him.

What a mean thing to say about Rod Stewart...

The Hook isn't the only publication showcasing Mr. Minor's talent for suing people and subsequent money woes - wonder if he's threatening to sue them too, in fact, a quick google search of articles about him points to a whole lot of suits in the making, well, at least he wouldn't run out of ways to keep busy.


"The picture that these lawsuits paint is one of an angry dotcom mogul with a vanished fortune who's looking for someone else to blame for his woes. As a riches-to-rags story, it makes for great art."

here's one of his money woes I hadn't heard before " A divorce which cost him roughly half of the $100 million fortune he walked away from CNET with "

Put your money where your mouth is...

Escrow all the money you are being sued for to prove that it is not about cash flow.

Then I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

any body elese think he looks like Rod Stewart in that photo?

quote: "What is it with all the eccentric millionaire nut jobs in C-VILLE?"

When you're making $50 to $100 a million a year, you can be a nut job too if you want. Shucks, I do it. And I don't make anywhere near that much money each year.

I think most people are simply green with envy of those with wealth. I suppose you noticed all the silly replies about Patrica Kluge and her wealth last week? People are just jealous. </B.

This guy needs a job!


With all that money , that suit looks like he just found it at the GOODWILL :)

What is it with all the eccentric millionaire nut jobs in C-VILLE .

I agree, the Kluge's have done a lot to contribute to the community. Any one know something Minor has done, besides sue people, and leave an abandoned hotel on the Mall ?

Jealousy is putting it lightly . I am green with envy but I am half way there myself . I've got the nut job part down I just need somebody to show me the money :) .

Good ol Patricia . I say hats off too her . The amount of financial support the Kluge family has given the children's hospital of UVA is irreplaceable;le . Patricia could have been turning trix in that helicopter with Wilder for all I care .

Kluges are good hearted people in my book .

Has anyone read the email Halsey sent Hawes Spencer???? Wow, now I know why the judge in the Merrill Lynch case put a RESTRAINING ORDER on the boy.