Not letting 24-hours pass after an attorney for the cabler sent a potentially deadening letter to the judge seeking to shut down the whole over-$280 million thing, a lawyer for the uber-agency and the ex-TWD showrunner have formally fired back with what can be summarized best as they say in Brooklyn: Fuggetaboutit!
“Defendants’ motivations could not be more transparent: they have no defense but delay,” wrote Jerry Bernstein today in correspondence of his own to New York Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten. “They have offered the Court no compelling reason whatsoever for halting the Court’s determination of the motions for summary judgment in this four-year-old case, which the parties -and the Court- have invested countless hours toward resolving,” The Blank Rome attorney argues (read it here). “Contrary to counsel’s argument, the new complaint does not raise any new facts or legal issues that would affect the summary judgment issues already fully submitted and heard by the Court in this action.”
As both sides await a ruling on their summary judgment motions in the December 2013 initial case, where CAA and Darabont basically claim that AMC ripped them off for hundreds of millions in profit participations, The Shahshank Redemption director and his agents hit the Charlie Collier run channel with a new $10 million suit on January 18.
In that separate case, which is full of links to the previous case, attorneys at Blank Rome and Santa Monica’s Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP claim that the “improper self-dealing” AMC “attempted to hide evidence related to its self-dealing from Plaintiffs during discovery in the pending litigation.”
The evidence is question in the matter on the zombie apocalypse series based on Robert Kirkman’s comic is the early agreement that TWD EP Kirkman had with AMC, who himself and other executive producers are suing over profit participation too. “AMC improperly and egregiously redacted Kirkman’s agreement when it was produced to Plaintiffs in discovery in the prior pending action,” the filing of last week asserted.
On Tuesday, after calling CAA greedy on January 18, AMC’s fairly recently retained Orin Snyder of Gibson Dunn wrote to the soon-to-retire Bransten that “this Court should recognize this maneuver for what it is — an outrageously unfair gambit to litigate this case twice, in a piecemeal and shotgun fashion, on potentially different (and conflicting) theories.” Promising to put a formal motion before the courts soon, Snyder wants both cases melded or the more than four year old first case halted for the time being – which could delay the summary judgment ruling and see a trial for the matter shoved into 2020 or beyond.
“If Defendants carry out their threat to file an order to show cause, with temporary restraint, seeking a stay of this action, the Court should refuse to sign it,” Bernstein declared today in his two-page letter. “There is no need for any ’emergency’ relief,” he said. “Defendants are free to move to dismiss the new action, or move to consolidate the new action with this action, on a properly-noticed motion, to which Plaintiffs will gladly respond. But the Court should firmly reject Defendants’ new counsel’s attempt to delay the Court’s ruling on the motions for summary judgment.”
Today AMC took another swipe right back to at the latest correspondence.
“The lawyers for CAA and Frank Darabont are talking out of two sides of their mouth,” Snyder said this afternoon in a statement to Deadline. “In their new lawsuit filed last week, they admit that their claims relate directly to their old claims. In the letter filed today, they reverse course. We will be filing a motion on Friday that explains this inconsistency and seeks appropriate relief from the court.”
So back to CAA and Darabont, at least until the end of this week.