Understandably, frustration has set in among many owners of the resort that are or may be affected.
Sadly, this frustration has taken a nasty turn...I've been accused of being a shill for Festiva...NOT TRUE. The Finn Law Group has been accused of not being a real law firm...NOT TRUE. And so on.
What follows is an unedited response from Michael Finn of the Finn Law Group:
Of course it's disheartening to hear that Finn Law Group is being characterized as being part of the problem and maybe even being controlled by the Defendants. It's further a frustration that I cannot divulge the status of the settlement negotiations because of the imposition of confidentiality that governs all settlements activities, this one being no exception. There are some statements I can make that shouldn't impact the settlement discussions, and I do feel compelled to defend my firm's efforts to obtain some recompense for the injured owners.
First, know that I believe the settlement negotiations have been mostly successful and we well should have a proposed resolution prior to the court ordered mediation date of Dec 16th, 2015. We have the framework of a potential resolution already in place, and, as they say, the devil has been in the details.
More importantly perhaps, at least to me, is addressing the insinuation that I've somehow, after 45 unblemished years of law practice, fallen in with the very industry I've been battling over the past 5 years. Believe me folks, no one on the timeshare developer/operator side of the equation is inclined to even speak to me, and selling out my clients after all these years is not even possible. They can't print that much money.
Please do recall that Celebration World, a defunct company did not sell or transfer the subject resort to Festiva. Festiva purchased the assets from a third party who obtained the Celebration assets after Celebration defaulted on their secured debt to this third party. Neither Festiva nor RCI, the prominent defendants in our litigation, were directly involved in either the default nor the repossession of Celebration Word assets. Many of you received notice from the State of Florida's DBPR (Department of Professional Regulation) that they had investigated the complaints of Celebration World owners, and in their opinion, nothing inappropriate occurred and further that they planned to take no action against any of the players, including our named Defendants.
Finn Law Group saw things differently and with the involvement and direction of the class representatives, brought suit on their behalf. Class action litigation is costly and time consuming with no guarantees of a win. We've invested a lot of time and money in this, and owe a duty of loyalty to our clients, the class representatives. We have yet to receive a penny on this matter and are therefore perhaps the most unhappy participants in this oft delayed ordeal.
I can deal with all of the above, but what is a bitter pill for me to swallow after taking the risks I've taken, is being accused of being the reason for the delays in the proceedings, when exactly the opposite is accurate. I know you folks are looking for the source of delay to blame but to castigate the only law firm who's tried on their own dime to make some of this right, is simply inaccurate, and a tad hurtful!
I can't offer more than this at this time but I do hope the coming holiday season will be good to all of us similarly situated participants in this sad clean up of what should have been far better handled by the regulatory agencies who sat back and did nothing. Perhaps if you're looking for someone to be upset with, that might be a better place to start.