Diamond Wars: Village urges denial of Genesis' restraining order

Retailer argues TRO is prior restraint, calls lawsuit 'self-serving...damage control'

In a scathing 16-page rebuttal to a request for a temporary restraining order related to Genesis Diamonds' recently-filed lawsuit, the attorney for Village Jewelers ripped the first litigious salvo fired in Nashville's Diamond Wars as frivolous.

Attorney Brian Manookian argues the Genesis' request for a TRO — as part of its lawsuit, Genesis asked a judge to prohibit Village from making "false statements or misrespresentations" about Genesis or owner Boaz Ramon — rises to the level of prior restraint and that the claims made by Genesis have little chance of succeeding on the merits at trial, in part because all the statements in question made about Genesis were made to Genesis employees, which Manookian says doesn't meet the standard of publication to a third party required for libel and slander.

Further, Manookian rejects Genesis' claim of violation of the Lanham Act — a federal law which prohibits false advertising — as none of the claims in question were broadcast broadly enough to constitute advertisement and further argues that Genesis can't claim violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act because no consumers were harmed.

Manookian repeatedly refers to Genesis' case as a SLAPP suit — short for "strategic lawsuit against public participation." SLAPP suits are filed with an aim towards silencing criticism by exhausting the critics, either psychologically or financially.

The hearing on the injunction is 1:30 Monday in Chancery Court.