You’ve got one week to drop your case or we’ll go after you for malicious prosecution. That in a nutshell is what an email today from a lawyer for Warner Bros told the attorneys for plaintiff Ryan A Brooks in his copyright suit over the 2012 Clint Eastwood–Amy Adams baseball pic Trouble With The Curve. Still Brook’s lawyer Gerald Fox says he has no intention to end the suit. “This is typical big firm bullying,” he told me today. “If that’s the best they can do I’ll see them in court.” Thursday’s email from lawyer Matthew Kline of the L.A. offices of O’Melveny & Myers is WB’s first legalish response to a multi-million dollar 12-claim complaint filed on October 1 against WB, UTA, Gersh, director Robert Lorenz, screenwriter Randy Brown and Eastwood’s Malpaso Productions among others. Eastwood himself is not named. However, in the suit, Brooks claims Curve actually came from three of his copyrighted scripts about college baseball written by actor Don Handfield based on the plaintiff’s knowledge of that world. Handfield, who Brooks later had a biz falling out with, is also named as a defendant in the suit. Officially WB or the other defendants have not responded to the suit through the courts. The studio will only say that “the lawsuit is reckless and the allegations false.” However, Kline’s email to Fox today calls the suit nonsense and told the plaintiff’s lawyer to withdraw the case from federal court by October 18 or face the legal consequences. The email also had attachments of a $2,500 check paid to Brown for a 1998 option on an early draft of the Curve screenplay as well as a copy of the early draft. Fox told me that he has seen no registration with the WGA or anyone else of Brown’s script and that he has experts which will testify to the striking resemblance of the Omaha script, as the work Brooks hired Handfield to write was called, to the Curve movie. At this rate, and with these tactics by O’Melveny & Myers, who played very rough in WB’s Superman copyright case and where Kline was one of the studio’s lawyers, expect this legal match-up to more resemble a street fight than a ball game.
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