Huskerpedia site shut down after judge's order

2011-11-03T09:29:00Z Huskerpedia site shut down after judge's orderBy LORI PILGER / Lincoln Journal Star Sioux City Journal
November 03, 2011 9:29 am  • 

HuskerPedia, one of the biggest Nebraska sports Internet fan sites, was shut down Tuesday, on an order this week by a California judge.

It was a victory for the website's founders, David Max, a California businessman who grew up in Page, Neb., and Joe Hudson, copy desk chief at the Denver Post and a former Lincoln Star reporter.

Max had filed a lawsuit against a former partner in the site, Eric Park, who operated Huskerpedia after excluding Hudson and Max. 

Orange County Superior Court Judge William Monroe issued a preliminary injunction Monday shutting down Huskerpedia.com and Husker.pedia.com.

"Completely means entire site, all pages and content," the judge wrote in his order.

By midafternoon Tuesday, the sites were taken offline and replaced with a notice that they will remain off until the conclusion of court proceedings in about 30 days.

It was the latest move in the legal wranglings over ownership of the site, which started with Max's lawsuit in March 2010.

Max sued Park, Information SuperBrand Inc. and others alleging they owed Max more than $392,000, terminated Max from his position as chief financial officer, then ran the site "as if they were the true owners of it."

Hudson wasn't part of the suit.

The defendants in Max's case filed an unsuccessful cross complaint seeking $32 million, claiming they had owned the site since December 2003.

Information SuperBrand, based in Irvine, Calif., manages more than 1,500 Web sites, including more than 1,000 "pedia" domains in 40 categories.

HuskerPedia receives more than 300,000 unique visitors per month and generates more than $1.5 million in revenue annually, according to a December 2009 news release. It links to stories about Husker sports on other Web sites, including the Journal Star's HuskerExtra.com.

After Max sued, he and Hudson, who launched HuskerPedia in October 1999, created a new Husker fan site, HuskerMax.com.

In a thread on the site, Max spread the news of a jury's ruling on Friday against SuperBrand Inc., Park, Tal Golan, David Homsey, Kyle O'Neill and Jerry Tegtmeier.

After a two-week trial, the Orange County, Calif., jury awarded Max damages of $1,396,961.49. 

"The jury awarded everything that we asked for and more," Max's attorney, Ralph Rogari of Los Angeles, said in a phone call Tuesday.

He said, though it's probably unlikely Max will see most of the money, the verdict does clear Max's name, which he said had been dragged through the mud.

On Monday, the judge issued an injunction shutting down the sites and precluding the defendants from running any University of Nebraska sports-related sites.

And he ordered the parties to return to court Dec. 1, at which time Rogari said he expected the injunction to become permanent.

He said Max, a University of Nebraska at Kearney graduate who bleeds Husker red, and Hudson now are focused on building their new website, HuskerMax.

Parks' attorney didn't return a call seeking comment Tuesday afternoon.

Copyright 2015 Sioux City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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