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Empire Energy Update

  Download PDF - Wednesday 11th June 2014 at 10:45 GMT

("Alpha" or the "Company")

Empire Energy Update

Alpha Prospects Plc, the investment management company listed on the GXG Exchange, focused on companies with fast growth and/or recovery prospects, announces that following Smart Win's motion for summary judgment in the case against Empire Energy Inc. ("Empire"), in which Alpha has a 20% interest via the holding in Tasmanian Oil and Gas Limited, the lawyer acting for Empire issued the following statement:

NEW YORK, June 10, 2014 - Paul Batista, Empire Energy's attorney in the New York litigation between Smart Win and Empire, has predicted that Smart Win's second motion for summary judgment, filed on June 9, 2014, will meet the same fate as Smart Win's first motion for summary.

"Smart Win's first motion, which the court denied in full more than three years ago, raises exactly the same issues as the current motion. It is a carbon copy of that earlier motion," Mr. Batista said. "In my opinion, it, too, will fail."

Mr. Batista added, "Nothing has changed, and we are confident that the judge will conclude now, as he did three years ago, that a jury will have to decide whether Smart Win was a joint venture partner with Empire and whether Smart Win crippled Empire's on-going exploration for oil in Tasmania."

Mr. Batista also commented, "Significantly, the pre-trial depositions and other discovery since the last motion for summary judgment was decided against Smart Win have only strengthened Empire's position on its defense against Smart Win's claim to $4 million in damages and, more important, Empire's counterclaims to far larger damages from Smart Win."

Mr. Batista noted that any party in any civil case has a right to move for summary judgment, but that the procedure is reserved for simple cases in which there are absolutely no issues for a jury to decide.

"Smart Win will do anything and everything to prevent jurors from hearing the evidence," Mr. Batista said. "While it is impossible to predict the outcome of any litigation, including this one, it is possible to observe that the presumption under New York law is that summary judgment should rarely be granted in only the simplest cases. Smart Win took a bite at that apple three years ago. It is biting the same apple now. In my opinion, the result will be the same - the motion will be denied and a jury of six to eight New Yorkers will decide the dispute. Smart Win wants to delay the jury trial forever. Empire wants to be in front of the jurors tomorrow."

Mr. Batista predicts that Smart Win's new motion will not be decided until September 2014 at the earliest because of the court's lighter summer schedule.


Alpha Prospects PLC
Christopher Foster
+44 20 7518 4300
+44 (0) 7525 688 741

Lothbury Financial Services
Michael Padley
+44 20 3440 7620