Claims of legal action between Portnoy and former band are based on filed paper which went nowhere, says band lawyer

Mike Portnoy

Chill out: Mike Portnoy

The most recent chapter in Mike Portnoy’s split with Dream Theater is a non-event, says a lawyer representing the band.

Sources yesterday said the drummer had launched a lawsuit against his former bandmates after his surprise decision to quit the prog metal outfit in 2010.

Courthouse News Service revealed a paper in which Portnoy claimed the band and its representatives were “wrongfully using the name of the band in connection with the promotion of live performances by the individual defendants” – namely singer James LaBrie, guitarist John Petrucci, bassist John Myung and keyboardist Jordan Rudess.

Portnoy released a cautious statement urging fans to ignore the story, saying: “Everyone chill out. I am legally not allowed to speak of business matters, but I’m sure you realise there are two sides to every coin. Life is bright and positive. I am happy and so are they – so shouldn’t you be too? Don’t believe the hype.”

Now Ronald Beinstock, representing Dream Theater, tells Blabbermouth: “On or around April 27, 2011, Mr Portnoy filed a ‘Notice With Summons’. This document is not a formal complaint. Further, the document was never served on any of the named defendants, rendering it moot.

“There is no pending litigation between Dream Theater and Mr Portnoy.”

In US law a Notice With Summons must be served within 120 days of filing in order to remain active; therefore, the paper has expired.

Portnoy has expressed his relief following Beinstock’s announcement. The drummer says: “First of all, I did not sue them; and second of all, I desperately tried to discuss matters with them personally to avoid anything like this, and yet they insisted on only using lawyers. So my lawyers filed those papers – back in April, mind you – as that was the position they chose to take. If the band would have talked to me, it would have never come to that.

“All that aside, this was six months ago. So yes indeed, we have all moved on since then. I’m still really not allowed to discuss any of this publicly, but I feel everybody’s hasty and half-truth filled witch-hunt yesterday deserves to be addressed, to help at least try to clear my name and reputation that was so wrongly tainted by yesterday’s false conclusions.

“The fact is, when you have a band, or a corporation or marriage, for 25 years, there are business and financial things that need to be sorted out behind the scenes. However, it was incredibly lame of Blabbermouth to exploit these private issues and divulge personal information that is clearly nobody’s business other than our own.

“They are creating hate and negative propaganda and poisoning the minds and spirits of music fans around the world. Shame on them.”

Related stories: