Anticipating more motions to try to end the matter that the Berlin Station actor first launched in late April against the disgraced producer, attorneys from both sides have already agreed to participate in court-orchestrated mediation next month. Yet, with a unspoken prediction that the sitdown will add up to little, a joint discovery plan submitted to Judge Philip S. Gutierrez to late last week penciled in a January 28, 2020 start date to a trial (read it here).
“We intend to move quickly to discovery and trial on behalf of Ms. Judd and look forward to proving Mr. Weinstein’s outrageous conduct,” Judd’s lead lawyer Theodore Boutrous of Gibson Dunn told Deadline today
Expecting that both Weinstein and Judd will appear in federal court, where the matter was moved in June, the trial is estimated to last about two weeks. Of course, facing a still sharp criminal trial on multiple sex crime charges in New York that could see Weinstein behind bars for decades, that presumes that the defendant doesn’t utilize his usual strategy of trying to delay the case – at least until the Empire State case is settled.
Past hearings have revealed that Judd’s Gibson Dunn team has already been speaking at length with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. The October 11 discovery plan unveils tactics by both side are aiming to pull the Oscar winner deeper into the case.
Claiming intentional interference with prospective economic advantage as well, Judd’s five count suit in part revolves around a December 2017 exclusive by Deadline that Jackson and Fran Walsh wanted to cast the A Time To Kill actor in 1998 in their Miramax backed and Weinstein produced movies of J.R. Tolkien’s writings. Judd’s lawsuit proclaimed that, in retaliation for the actor sexually rebuffing the producer, Weinstein “torpedoed Ms. Judd’s incredible professional opportunity” when he told Jackson and Walsh “that [his] studio had had a ‘bad experience’ with Ms. Judd, and that Ms. Judd was a ‘nightmare’ to work with and should be avoided ‘at all costs.’ ”
Last month, Judge Gutierrez partially defanged an attempt by Weinstein’s lawyer to end the matter. However, the district court judge did strip out Judd’s sexual harassment claim from the cases. The judge declared that a 1990s hotel room encounter in which Weinstein allegedly attempted to physically assault the actress did not fit the legal definition of workplace sexual harassment. At the same time, Judge Gutierrez granted a request from Judd’s attorneys to amend her sexual harassment complaint – which they plan on doing very soon, I hear.
Last week, heading towards a future and potential trial date setting hearing on December 20, Weinstein had one of the counts against him in the New York criminal case tossed out without a fight from the Manhattan District Attorney.
As well as being investigated by federal prosecutors and probes by the Manhattan D.A.’s office and the NYPD, allegations against Weinstein have been reviewed by the LAPD, which sent an initial trio of cases to the L.A. County D.A. on February 8. Another case was handed over to that same office early last month. As UK police continue their investigation, the Beverly Hills Police first passed two cases of sexual assault that they say occurred in their jurisdiction to Lacey’s office on January 2.