UPDATE: Just hours after a judge rejected Julianna Margulies attempt to have her former managers’ commissions lawsuit against her dismissed, the actress’ lawyer say they “remain confident” that D/F Management’s “claims will be shown to be meritless.” Read the full statement from Sheldon Eisenberg of Drinker Biddle & Reath here:
“We are disappointed that the Court believed issues of fact prevented it from dismissing the case at this point when the case is a dispute between New York residents and when New York law would clearly not permit it to go forward. In any event, none of our defenses, including the statute of frauds, have been eliminated from the case and we remain confident that D/F’s claims will be shown to be meritless.”
PREVIOUSLY: Looks like Julianna Margulies won’t just be spending time in courtrooms on The Good Wife. A judge today rejected the actress’ attempt to dismiss a lawsuit launched last July by her former managers D/F Management seeking more than $420,000 in unpaid commission. That means the case will go to a jury trial on October 9 as scheduled. That is something The Good Wife star, who counterclaimed last fall, was trying to avoid in seeking a summary judgment Tuesday in LA Superior Court. Part of Margulies’ counterclaim was that the early 2009 agreement with her former ICM agent Steve Dontanville and talent manager Frank Frattaroli at D/F was never in writing. Margulies ended her relationship with D/F Management in late April 2011, about 20 months after debuting on the CBS drama. Citing New York law, Margulies’ attorneys argued before Judge Ernest Hiroshige this morning that the oral management agreement needed to be in writing to be enforceable, and because it wasn’t the actress doesn’t owe D/F anything. Hiroshige saw it differently. “If it is true that the custom and practice in the entertainment business is to pay continuing commissions to a talent manager after termination of the management agreement then California, as the epicenter of the entertainment industry, may have the stronger interest in having its statute of frauds applied,” wrote Hiroshige in his tentative order earlier today. After hearing arguments from both sides, he made a final order to dismiss the motion for summary judgement.
“We are pleased, but not surprised, by the Court’s thoughtful and well-reasoned ruling that rejected Ms. Margulies’ effort to dismiss the case”, D/F lawyer Matthew Rosengart said. “My clients are disappointed that Ms. Margulies reneged on her agreement to pay them commissions in connection with The Good Wife, among other things, and we look forward to the trial in October”. Margulies and her Toast Productions are represented by Sheldon Eisenberg and Ryan Fife of LA firm Drinker Biddle & Reath.
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