Cobb Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs is overseeing the jury trial, which could last a week.
The Woodstock-based Tea Party Patriots Inc. alleges that Amy Kremer, who lives in the Roswell area of Cobb, wrongly retained control of the group’s email list and intellectual property, including its trademark name and websites, after she was removed as a member of the group’s board of directors in September 2009.
Kremer, 40, a former Delta flight attendant, is chairwoman of the Tea Party Express.
In court filings, leaders of the Tea Party Patriots also say Kremer posted confidential directors’ proceedings on her Facebook page.
Kremer and three others began working on what would become the Tea Party Patriots in February 2009. She was named one of the directors in August 2009, but a month later, was removed from her post. The group sued her in October 2009.
Kremer, though, has filed a countersuit and insists she is the owner of the name, website and other similar domain names she purchased to protect the group. She also has denied posting any confidential information online.
She argues in court papers that it was her idea to organize a group and call it the Tea Party Patriots. She insists she created the group’s Ning social-networking site and bought the website domain names. She also insists she created accounts for the group on Twitter, Facebook, Google and YouTube.
The Tea Party Patriots group is represented by Deborah Ausburn of the Galleria-based Taylor English Duma firm. Kremer is represented by Kevin Leipow of the Atlanta firm Hall, Booth, Smith & Slover.
The jury will decide who owns the name, websites, email datatbases and other property, as well as whether anyone was unjustly enriched in the process and what damages, if any, will be awarded.
In separate but related matters, Kremer filed suit in Cherokee County last month against Jenny Beth and Lee Martin, a Woodstock couple who work with the Tea Party Patriots, alleging unjust enrichments, libel and slander, and seeking unspecified damages. Both Martins are on the witness list for the current trial in Cobb.
Also last month, the Atlanta Tea Party filed suit against Kremer and James Lyle in Cobb, alleging that they collected money in the name of the Atlanta Tea Party for an event to be held in Atlanta on April 15, 2009 but never remitted the money or an accounting to the group. Lyle is apparently Kremer’s boyfriend.