7:40 PM UPDATE: Message from SAG Interim NED David White about court hearing:

Dear Screen Actors Guild member,

As you know, the Guild was scheduled to resume negotiations today regarding the expired TV/Theatrical contract. However, that meeting had to be postponed due to a legal matter that has been brought against the Guild, which is now before a state court in Los Angeles. I am writing to present you with information about this development.

Yesterday, the Guild received notice that President Alan Rosenberg, 1st Vice President Anne-Marie Johnson and National Board members Kent McCord and Diane Ladd filed a lawsuit against the Guild challenging the January 26, 2009 “written assent” presented by a majority of the National Board of Directors. As you know, that written assent terminated the Guild’s relationship with its then-National Executive Director; created and appointed a national task force to advise the Chief Negotiator and the Board on the TV/Theatrical negotiations; named John T. McGuire as Chief Negotiator; and named me as Interim National Executive Director. If successful, this legal action could impact or even reverse those board actions.

As a result, attorneys for Screen Actors Guild appeared this morning in Los Angeles Superior Court to respond to the lawsuit. After hearing from attorneys representing the plaintiffs, as well as the response from SAG counsel, the Court ruled that the lawsuit was procedurally defective and refused to issue the requested injunction.

The Plaintiffs’ counsel then stated that they intend to amend their documents and resubmit them this Thursday morning, February 5, 2009. The Guild will present a vigorous defense.

The Guild understands the importance of concluding negotiations and securing a fair contract for SAG members and looks forward to re-engaging with the AMPTP as soon as possible. In the meantime, the Guild continues to work in the service of its members, with focus, dedication and commitment.

David White
Interim National Executive Director

4:30 PM: SAG just issued this statement about what went on in court this AM:

Court Refuses to Issue Injunction Against Screen Actors Guild

Los Angeles, (February 3, 2009) — Attorneys for Screen Actors Guild specially appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court this morning in response to notice of an ex parte application for an injunction regarding the written assent of January 26, 2009.

After hearing from attorneys for plaintiffs Alan Rosenberg, Anne-Marie Johnson, Diane Ladd, and Kent McCord, as well as SAG counsel, the court held that the notice and application for the injunction, as well as the underlying complaint, were procedurally defective and refused to issue the injunction at this time.

Plaintiffs’ counsel stated in court that they intend to amend their documents and notice a new hearing for Thursday morning, February 5, 2009.

2:00 PM: MF’s complaint is here. Here’s the SAG Internal memo about today’s court hearing:

Date: February 3, 2009 12:51:16 PM PST
To: SAG National Board of Directors and Alternate National Directors
Subject: Message from Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG DNED & General Counsel

Attorneys for Screen Actors Guild specially appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court this morning in response to notice of an ex parte application for an injunction regarding the written assent of January 26, 2009.

After hearing from attorneys for plaintiffs Alan Rosenberg, Anne-Marie Johnson, Diane Ladd, and Kent McCord, as well as SAG counsel, the court held that the notice and application for the injunction, as well as the underlying complaint, were procedurally defective and refused to issue the injunction at this time.

Plaintiffs’ counsel stated in court that they intend to amend their documents and notice a new hearing for Thursday morning, February 5, 2009.

I will continue to keep you apprised of further developments as they occur.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland
Deputy National Executive Director
and General Counsel

12:40 PM: The TRO was rejected by L.A. Superior Court Judge James Chalfant on technical grounds. But Membership First members Alan Rosenberg, Anne-Marie Johnson, Diane Ladd and Kent McCord will refile their court documents for a new hearing as soon as Thursday. The complaint needs to be amended by giving specific causes of action and notifying all 41 defendants. So SAG vs SAG continues…

  1. SAG vs SAG: Who’s Suing Whom Today
  2. AMPTP/SAG Talks Tomorrow Postponed: SAG Goes To Court Tuesday Over Rosenberg And Johnson Try For Injunction To Overturn Written Assent