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    Zumo & MIDKIFF, .L.P.THREE ALLEN CENTER, 333 CLAY, SUITE 4500

    HOUSTON, TEXAS 77002(713) 651-0590

    FAX (71 3) 651-0597

    March 5,2008Via MessengerMs. Jerry DeereBrazor ia County District Clerk11 1 E. Locust StreetSuite 500Angleton, Texas 775 15-4678

    Re: H Walker Royal1 v.Wright W Gore and Dennis Henderson; No. 2004-29996; In the23gthJudicial District Court of Brazoria County, Texas.Dear Ms. Deere:

    Enclosed for filing with the Court, please find the following:1. Notice of Hearing2. Pla inti ffs Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on his Status as aPrivate Figure3. Proposed Order

    Please stamp the enclosed extra copies of this letter and documents.By copy of this letter, opposing counsel has been notified o f the filing of these docum ents.

    Thank you for your assistance.

    Ve t ly your

    .w-atrick ZummdEnclosures

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    Ms. Jerry DeereBrazoria County District Clerk

    cc : Via FacsimileMr. Bruce Gaible Mr. Dennis HendersonEric Garza Pro SeHays, McConn, Rice & Pickering P.O. Box 2490400 Two Allen Center Fort Meyers, Florida 339321200 Smith Street Fax: (239) 463-3550Houston, Texas 77002

    William BookMatt ChildTekell, Book, Matthews & Limmer, L.L.P.1221 McKinney, Suite 4300Houston, Tex as 770 10(7 13) 222-9542(713) 655-7727 (Fax)

    March 5,20 08

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    Cause No. 29996H.WALKER ROYALL,

    Plaintiff,VS.WRIGHT W. GORE, JR.,DENNIS HEND ERSON,WRTGHT W. GORE, 111, andWESTERN SEAFOOD COMPANY

    Defendants.

    9 IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF98 BRAZOFUA COU NTY , TEXAS0696969 239TH UDICIAL DISTRICT

    NOTICE OF HEARINGPlease take notice that P lain tiff s M otion for Partial Summary Judgment on his Status

    as a Private Figure is set for hearing on Wednesday, March 26 ,20 08 , at 9:00 a.m. @Respectfully submitted,ZUMMO & MIDKIFF, L.L.P

    By:State Bar ~ o b 2 2 9 3 4 5 0Three Allen Center333 Clay, Suite 4500Houston, Texas 77002(713) 65 1-0590 (Tel.)(71 3) 65 1-0597 (Fax)

    ATTORNEYOR PLAINTIFFH. WALKER OY LL

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    Certificate of Service

    I hereby certify that a true and correct copy of the foregoing Notice of Hearing hasbeen served on all counsel of record below in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure,on March 5,2008.Mr. Bruce GaibleEric GarzaHays, McConn, Rice & Pickering400 Two Allen Center1200 Smith StreetHouston, Texas 770 02William BookMatt ChildTekell, Book, Matthews & Limmer, L.L.P.1221 McKinney, Suite 4300Houston, Texas 770 10(713) 655-7727 (Fax)Dennis HendersonPro SeP.O. Box 2490Fort Meyers, Florida 33932

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    Cause No. 29996H. WALKER ROY ALL,

    Plaintiff,VS.

    WRIGHT W. GORE, JR.,DENNIS HENDERSON,WRIGHT W. GORE, 111, andWESTERN SEAFOOD COMPAN Y

    Defendants.

    5 IN THE DISTNCT COURT OF0 BRAZORIA COU NTY, TEXAS0000 23gTHJUDICIAL DISTRICT

    PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMM ARY JUDGMENTON HIS STAT US AS A PRIVATE FIGUREH. Walker Royall, plaintiff, moves for partial summary judgment on the issue of his status

    as a private figure. h upport of this Motion, plaintiff would show to the Court the following:I. Plaintiffs Claims

    Plaintiff has sued de fendants for libel, slander, defamation and conspiracy. Pla intif fs claimsarose in 2004 when defendants published defam atory statemen ts about plaintiff on a website knownas ''scandalinieeport.com." Desp ite notice to defendants that the statemen ts on the website werenot true, defendants continued to publish the statements. Defend ants also added new defamatorymaterial to the first website, published at least five additional defam atory websites, used billboardand newspaper advertising to direct others to the websites, and enco uraged republication of thedefam atory statements by third parties. Defendants also defamed plaintiff through statements innewspapers, magazines, brochures and by m eans of verbal com mun ications. Plaintiff seeks actualdamages and exemplary damages based on this conduct by defendan ts. All defendants have entered

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    general denials.11. Plaintiffs StatusAs A Private Figure

    In any libel, slander or defamation case, the pla int iff s status as a public or private figuredetermines the burden of proof. A public figure plaintiff must prove actual malice by clear andconvincing evidence. Turner v. KTRK Television, Inc ., 38 S .W. 3d 103,11 6 (Tex. 2000). A privatefigure plaintiff need only prove that the defendan t made the defamatory statement. Sne ad v. RedlandAggregates, Ltd, 998 F.2d 1325, 1334 (sth ir. 1993). Whether the plaintiff is a public or privatefigure is an issue that the Court must decide. HBO v. Ha rrison, 983 S.W . 2d 3 1,36 -37 (Tex. App.

    - Houston [14' Dist.] 1998, no pet.)111. Summary Judgment Standard

    When a plaintiff moves for summ ary udgment, he m ust prove the essential elements of theclaim. MMP v. Jones, 71 0 S.W.2d 59, 60 (Tex. 1986). Partial summary judgment is appropriatewhen the case is not fully adjudicated on the motion. Tex. R. Civ. P. 166a(e). A plaintiff must showthat there are no genuine issues of material fact and that he is entitled to judgment as a m atter of law.Wesson v. Jeferson Savings & Loan Ass 'n, 641 S.W.2d 903,9 04-9 05 (Tex. 1982). W hile the non-moving party is entitled to an assumption that all evidence favoring him is true, Nixon v.Mr. Prope rty Manag ement Co., 690 S.W .2d 546, 549 (Tex. 1 985), there are no fact issues on theissue of plain tiff s status. The dep osition testimony of defendants Western Seafood (Excerpts fromthe O ral Deposition of Western Seafood Company through Wright W . G ore, Jr. ("Western Dep."),Feb. 1 3,20 08, are attached to this mo tion as Exhibit A), Wright W. G ore, Jr. (Excerpts from the OralDeposition of Wright W. Gore, Jr. ("Gore Jr. Dep."), F eb. 13, 20 08 , are attached to this motion asExhibit B) and Wright W. Gore, 111 (Excerpts from the Oral Deposition of Wright W. Gore, I11

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    ("Gore TI1 Dep."), Feb. 14 ,200 8, are attached to this motion a s Exhibit C) establish that plaintiff isa private figure under the law.' The Court is able to decide this case on the law and the summ aryjudgment evidence attached to this motion.

    IV. The Summary Judgment Evidence Establishes That Plaintiff Is A Private FigurePlaintiff is not a public official; he holds no public office, neither elected nor appointed. He

    is therefore not a public official. Huckabee v. Time Warner Entertainment Co., 19 S.W. 3d 41 3,4 20(Tex. 2000). Plaintiff also does not m eet the requirements of a public figure plaintiff established bythe United States Supreme Court and the Texas Suprem e Court. A private citizen can be treated asa public figure if (1) the controversy is public; (2) the plaintiff had more th an a trivial or tangentialrole in the controversy, and (3) the defamation was related to the plaintiffs participation in thecontroversy. Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 345 (1974); Trotter v. Jack AndersonEnterp rises, 8 18 F.2d 43 1,433-3 4 (S" Cir. 1987); WFAA-TV, Inc. v. McLemore, 978 S.W. 2d 568,571 (Tex. 1 998).

    Defendants Wright W. Gore, Jr. and Wright W. Gore, I11 have both testified that they learnedof the proposed marina proj ect when they w ere invited to attend a meeting at the office of a Houstonattorney, Char les Leyendeck er, during the sum mer of 2003. (Western Dep. a t 52-54 ; Gore I11 Dep .at 130-3 1) They first met plaintiff at the meeting. Both testified that they had no t heard of plaintiffprior to the meeting. (Western Dep. at 58-59 ; Gore I11 Dep . at 128-30)

    In addition, both of the Gores testified that there was no public discussion o r news coverageof the proposed marina project at the time they were invited to the meeting. (Western Dep. at 7 1-73;

    '1n his individual capacity, Wrig ht W. G ore, Jr. testified that he would giv e the same answers that the gaveas the corporate representative of Western Seafood (Gore Jr. Dep. at 12-13).

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    2003, when Western Seafood Com pany filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to enjoin the Un itedStates Corps of Engineers from granting a permit for construction of the marina. (Western Dep. at73-74)

    In deciding whether a statement concerns a public issue, the trial court should examinewhether people were deb ating the issue and whether the media was covering the debate. WFAA-TV;Inc. v. McLemore, 978 S.W . 2d at 572. By the admission of the Gore defendants, the marina projectwas not apu blic issue at the time that plaintiff was asked by the City of Freeport to becam e involved.

    Plaintiff therefore did not "inject" himse lf into a public issue o r invite public attention to it.WFAA-TV; Inc. v. McLemore, 978 S .W. 2d at 572-73 . Defendant Wright Gore , 111 testified thatplaintiff was "reclusive" and consistently refused to discuss the marina project with reporters.(Gore III Dep. at 236-37)

    The deposition testimony of defendants is competent summary judgment evidence. Tex. R.Civ. P. 166a(c)(i). Admissions of a party opponent will support summ ary judgment. Tex. R. Civ.P. 166a(c)(ii).There is no dispute as to any material fact concerning pla inti ffs status as a privatefigure, and plaintiff is entitled to partial summary judgment as a m atter of law that he is a privatefigure, and not a public figure.

    WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED , H. Walker R oyall, plaintiff, m oves and praysthat he has partial summary judgment in his favor that he is a private figure for purposes of hisactions for libel, slander, defamation and conspiracy to com mit these torts.

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    Respectfully submitted,ZUMMOn MIDKIFF, L.L.P.

    By: Patrick Z%293450State Bar No.Three Allen Center333 Clay, Su ite 4500Houston, Texas 77002(7 13) 65 1-0590 (Tel.)(7 13) 65 1-0597 (Fax)ATTORNEYOR PLAINTFFH. WALKER OYALL

    Certificate of Service

    I hereby certify that a true and correct copy of the foregoing has been served on allcounsel of record below in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, on R arch 2 , 2 0 0 8 .Mr. Bruce GaibleEric GarzaHays, McConn, Rice & Pickering400 Two Allen Center1200 Smith StreetHouston, Texas 77002William BookMatt ChildTekell, Book, M atthews & Lirnrner, L.L.P.1221 McKinney, Suite 43 00Houston, Texas 770 10(713) 655-7727 (Fax)Dennis HendersonPro SeP.O. Box 2490Fort Meyers, Florida 3 3932

    Patrick Zumrno0

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    H. WALKER ROYALL,Plaintiff,

    WRIGHT W. GORE, JR.ET AL.

    Defendants.

    NO. 2004-29996

    ) IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF))1) BRAZORIA COUNTY, TEXAS)11)) 238TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

    ORAL AND VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITION OFWESTERN SEAFOOD COMPANY

    THROUGH WRIGHT W. GORE, JR.FEBRUARY 1 3 , 2008

    THE ORAL AND VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITION OFWESTERN SEAFOOD COMPANY through Wright W. Gore, Jr.,produced as a witness at the instance of the Plaintiff,and duly sworn, was taken in the above-styled andnumbered cause on the 13th of February, 2008, from 9:14a.m. to 12:45 p.m., before Johnnie E. Barnhart, CSR inand for the State of Texas, reported by machineshorthand, at the offices of Hays,, cConn, Rice &Pickering, 1200 Smith Street, Suite 400, Houston,Texas, pursuant to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedureand the provisions stated on the record or attachedhereto.

    I

    CONTINENTAL COURT REPORTERS, INC. 'm-

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    2

    A P P E A R A N C E S- - - - - - - - - - -FOR THE PLAINTIFF:

    Mr. Patrick ZummoZummo & Midkif f LLP333 Clay Street, Suite 4500Three Allen CenterHouston, Texas 77002

    FOR THE DEFENDANT WESTERN SEAFOOD COMPANY AND WRIGHT W.GORE, JR.

    Mr. Bruce GaibleHays, McConn, Rice & Pickering1200 Smith Street, Suite 400Houston, Texas 77002

    FOR THE DEFENDANT WRIGHT W. GORE, 111:Mr. Matt ChildsTekell, Book, Matthews & Lirnrner, LLP1221 McKinney, Suite 4300Houston, Texas 77010

    THE VIDEOGRAPHER:Mr. Doug HaynieContinental Legal Video Services2777 Allen Parkway, Suite 600Houston, Texas 77019

    24 ALSO PRESENT:

    CONTINENTAL COURT REPORTERS, INC.

    25 Mr. Wright W. Gore, I11

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    INDEX

    Appearances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Stipulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

    WRIGHT W. GORE, JR.Examination by Mr. Zurnmo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

    Changes and Signature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120Reporter's Certificate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

    EXHIBITSNO./DESCRIPTION PAGE

    No. .....................................Amended Notice of Oral Deposition ofWestern Seafood Company

    No. 2....................................0Defendant's Objections and Answers toPlaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories

    No. 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12Scandalinfreeport.com Printout

    No. 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Defendant's Objections and Responses toPlaintiff's First Request for Production

    No. 5....................................7Defendant Western Seafood Co.'s Responseto Request for Disclosures

    No. 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27CDNo. 7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27DVD RNo. 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Copy of Photo

    CONTINENTAL COURT REPORTERS, INC.

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    EXHIBITS

    No. g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 9SignAd Outdoor Advertising ContractNo. 10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 0Correspondence dated April 8, 2004 fromWalter A. HerringNo. 11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 9Improved Property Commercial LeaseNo. 12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 4Copy of Google MapNo. 13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107C D

    CONTINENTAL COURT REPORTERS, INC.

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    ~p

    THE VIDEOGRAPHER: This is the videotapeddeposition of Wright W. Gore, Jr. The date isFebruary 13, 2008.. The time is 9:14 a.m. and we're nowon the record.

    WRIGHT W. GORE, JR.,having been first duly sworn, testified as follows:

    EXAMINATIONBY MR. ZUMMO:

    Q. Would you tell us your name, please.

    A. Wright Gore.Q Mr. Gore, there's another Wright Gore. I

    think he is in the room. And are you Wright Gore, Jr.?A.QA.QA.Q

    about inA.Q

    Yes.Your son is Wright Gore, III?Yes.Is Wright Gore, Sr. still with us?No.So, of all the Wright Gores that you knowthe world, are the two of you here?Yes.Nobody else?

    A. No.Q. The first deposition that we're here for

    today, sir, is what is known as a deposition of acorporate representative, and it's the deposition of

    CONTINENTAL COURT REPORTERS, INC

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    letter that you remember receiving?A. Nothing.Q. Did Western Seafood or you personally discuss

    the subject of the letter with Wright Gore, III?A. I don't believe so.Q. Did Western Seafood or you personally discuss

    the subject of the letter with Dennis Henderson?A. No, I don't believe so. I really don't recall

    discussing it with anyone.Q And I had asked some questions about - - well,

    I want to save this topic for later if we get to it. Ithink you've generally answered it, and if we have thetime today, 1/11 go into specifics. But it was aboutstatements in the press where your son was identifiedas a spokesman for Western Seafood. But I think Iwould rather get to the topic of the marina with you.

    So, tell me the first contact thatWestern Seafood had with anybody on the subject o f t h edevelopment of a marina at a location either thatincluded Western's property or that was near Western'sproperty.

    A. One more time, please.Q. What was the first contact Western Seafood had

    with anybody where the subject was possible developmentof a marina that either was going to possibly include

    CONTINENTAL COURT REPORTERS, INC.

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    Western's property or be nearby Western's property?A. I believe that would have been some inquiries

    from Lee Cameron.Q Please tell us who Lee Cameron is.A. He's the executive director, the chairman or

    whatever his title is, of the Freeport EconomicDevelopment Corporation.

    Q. Tell me when you remember these inquiriesbeing made.

    A. Years ago.Q How many years ago? In the 1990s?A. Well, you know, five years ago. Just whenever

    the first - - the first conversations and informationbegan to be distributed and talked about regarding amarina or the concept that was to result from that~aritime rust Study that was done.

    Q Can you place from your memory whether thefirst conversation with Lee Cameron took place beforeyou knew about the Maritime Trust Study or afterwards?

    A. No. I'm not sure whether it was before orafter or concurrent.

    Q . How did you first learn about the MaritimeTrust Study?

    A. I believe he showed that to me or showed me acopy of i t .

    CONTINENTAL COURT REPORTERS, INC.

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