Two days of lawyers taking swings at each other with cries of “misconduct,” smear” and “specious arguments” in the seemingly never end The Walking Dead $310 million walloping over profit participation, a grown-up has laid down the letter of the law, literally.
In a one-page court notice today, New York Supreme Court Justice Joel M. Cohen mocked both attorneys for AMC and CAA and ex-TWD showrunner Frank Darabont and then proceeded to separate the squabblers.
“The Court is in receipt of counsels letters dated May 20 and May 21, 2019 and has reviewed the deposition transcripts attached thereto,” Justice Cohen wrote Wednesday. “Collectively, the transcripts provide a master class in how not to conduct and defend depositions under the laws and procedures of the State of New York,” he belittlingly added (read it here).
'Walking Dead' Profits Lawsuit Now Sees AMC Accused Of Trying To Avoid Trial With 'Specious Arguments'
Justice Cohen’s next two lines in the court order, should bring a least a chuckle to anyone who has been following this matter since Darabont and his uber-agency first went after the cabler in December 2013 over big bucks they say they were screwed out of after the Shawshank Redemption director was fired from TWD just before its second season. “Instances of misconduct, on both sides, are too numerous to mention or adjudicate in this space, the newishly minted addition to the case said of this latest school yard brawl over depositions. “Suffice it to say, such conduct is unacceptable.”
All of which means, as the multi-filed beast of a back end cash lumbers to trial on May 11, 2020, the Justice has decided that the defendant and plaintiffs should get on getting a Special Master (can I say, terrible name BTW) to “facilitate prompt resolution of disputes.” If the deposition of Darabont and two others need to go forward ASAP a “Special Referee” will be “appointed by the court” to keep everyone on their best behavior.
Surprisingly, AMC didn’t have a comment on Justice Cohen’s remarks and instructions.
Directly attacked by AMC’s outside counsel Orin Snyder in a May 20 letter to Justice Cohen, one of the main lawyers for Darabont and CAA made sure to get in the last word.
“Unfortunately, Orin Snyder’s first deposition in this case set a manifestly hostile tone which required a vigorous defense, said Dale Kinella today after the court notice hit the docket. “We trust a referee supervising the depositions will create a more businesslike atmosphere to conclude the remaining few depositions so the parties can promptly proceed to trial.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.