CAA is disputing a writer’s lawsuit that claims his agents misrepresented him over a pilot called Main Justice and ultimately redeveloped it with another writer client. In a demurrer filing, the agency calls the lawsuit “fatally vague.”
John Masuro, a former prosecutor who was a staff writer for HBO’s The Newsroom, is suing CAA and his agents Andrew Miller and Leah Yerushalaim. He claims that they optioned his series idea for a nominal price before reworking it without his OK and sold it to CBS. CAA’s response filing last week called portions of the suit “unintelligible.”
Masuro says he submitted the Main Justice pilot to Miller and Yerushalaim in September 2015 and also showed it to a producer who in turn alert the Mark Gordon Company’s Nick Pepper. He claims that another entity, the Dan Jinks Company, also expressed interest but that the agents stopped shopping the project while MGC weighed the offer.
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“Instead of playing Pepper and Jinks against each other to increase the price, Miller and Yerushalaim improperly disclosed to Pepper that Musero was waiting on Jinks and CBS to make a competitive cash offer for Main Justice and counseled Pepper to hold off on improving his initial offer,” Musero’s suit claims. “In so doing, defendants shared Musero’s confidential communications and negotiation strategies with CAA client The Mark Gordon Company [in order to] drive down the value of Main Justice to the detriment of Musero, but to the benefit of its larger and more profitable client, The Mark Gordon Company.”
In 2017, Obama-era Attorney General Eric Holder and CAA client Jerry Bruckheimer were teaming on a drama series called Main Justice to be written by CAA client Sascha Penn. Musero’s suit says Miller initiated the development of the project and pitched it using his idea.
CAA lawyer Craig Holden counters that, absent a copyright infringement claim, the writer’s only legal path would be a breach of implied contract. The attorne also argues that the lawsuit doesn’t explain which of the plaintiff’s ideas were misappropriated, which agreement his claims for breaches of confidentiality and contract are based upon, or which conduct is attributed to which defendant.
A June 24 hearing on the case is scheduled.
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