UPDATED, 9:55 AM: Disney/ABC just objected in court to the judge’s start date for the retrial, so the start has been shifted to September 10. The trial is scheduled to run through September 25, and a status conference has been set for September 5. White also rejected today the defense’s motion to dismiss the case, and also rejected a plaintiff’s request for financial sanctions.
PREVIOUS, 9:51 AM: Judge Elizabeth Allen White today set June 4 as the start date of a second trial in Nicollette Sheridan’s wrongful termination suit against ABC Studios and ABC. White said the trial is expected to take 12 days. A mistrial was declared in the first trial March 19 after the 12-person jury told the judge it was deadlocked 8-4. Sheridan has contended that her Desperate Housewives character Edie Britt was suddenly killed off in early 2009 because of complaints she made over an alleged head-hitting incident on the Desperate Housewives set with executive producer and series creator Marc Cherry on September 24, 2008. The three weeks of the first trial saw a parade of former ABC executives, such as former ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson and former ABC Studios boss Mark Pedowitz, and both Sheridan and Cherry, among others, take the stand. Cherry, who was in court throughout much of the first trial, was removed as a defendant midway through the trial when the battery charge against him was dropped from the case; White decided the charge did not met the standards of workman’s compensation statutes that apply to these matters. Sheridan, who had been the courtroom every day during the first trial, was not in attendance this morning. Jean Zoeller. Disney VP Litigation, attended and sat in the public gallery. Sheridan is represented by Mark Baute and Patrick Maloney of Baute Crochetiere & Maloney. ABC is again represented by Adam Levin of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp.