Don Henley’s Stolen Lyrics Lawsuit Is In Jeopardy

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The Eagles drummer and co-lead Don Henley’s ongoing legal battle against three suspects, who allegedly stole his personal notes and lyrics, seems to be in danger.

In the late ’70s, the Eagles hired an unnamed author to write the band’s biography. However, things didn’t go well with their plan. The anonymous writer stole about a hundred pages from Henley’s personal notes. The notes included the lyrics to the Eagles’ hit songs from, ‘Hotel California,’ to ‘Life in the Fast Lane.’

The biographer’s identity was disclosed in the latest filing motion, and he was revealed to be Ed Sanders, a writer and former member of the rock band Fugs. As the original case stated, Sanders sold the notes to Glenn Horowitz. In 2012, Horowitz allegedly teamed up with rock auction house owner Edward Kosinski and Craig Inciardi, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame curator, to sell Henley’s personal notes.

Each of the suspects was charged with various offenses, such as criminal possession of stolen property in the first degree and conspiracy in the fourth degree. The case seemed to be proceeding in favor of Henley. However, Kosinski’s lawyer Antonia Apps recently filed a 49-page brief and stated that charges should be dropped, and the case should be dismissed.

The lawyer argued that the statute of limitations period had expired, and there was an inordinate delay between seizing the documents and filing the actual charges. She also stated that Kosinski was unaware that the personal notes were stolen when her client purchased them, suggesting a legal insufficiency. Apps also argued that the case’s expert had valued the lyrics improperly, valued at $1 million in July.

Another lawyer for one of the three defendants also stated that Henley’s legal team had creative theories regarding the basis of the case, as they tried to build up a case that did not exist in the first place. The defense lawyer added that there was no elaborating proof that the lyrics were stolen until recent years and noted that once again that the statute of limitations period had expired.

The filing claimed:

“If the People’s view is that Mr. Sanders is not a thief, the Court should dismiss the Indictment in its entirety because the gravamen of the crime of criminal possession of stolen property is that the property being possessed was in fact stolen. Mr. Henley had three years in which to file an action to recover the property, but he failed to bring such a claim. Upon expiration of that three-year limitations period in April 2015, the Eagles’ rights to the lyrics were extinguished.”

The defendants argued that the timeline of the case didn’t add up, and they did not possess Henley’s personal notes as the DA’s office took them. Kosinski’s legal team continued arguing for their statement, adding that their client had no involvement with the case after 2015.

The filing argued:

“When Mr. Kosinski assisted Mr. Inciardi in transferring the lyrics from Christie’s to Sotheby’s in January 2016, [all three defendants] ceased to have possession of the lyrics as of January 5, 2016, when the lyrics were delivered to Sotheby’s, where they stayed until their December 16, 2016 seizure by the DA. Kosinski and Inciardi relinquished their absolute ability to demand the return of the lyrics and cannot, therefore, be found to have constructively possessed the lyrics after January 5, 2016.”

A spokesperson for Don Henley rejected to comment on the aforementioned arguments. The next hearing for the case is set for October 14, and many rock fans are excitedly waiting to see how this issue will get resolved.