Nearly four years after Rebel Entertainment Partners took a CBS unit to court over millions in alleged missed contractually due payments from Judge Judy, the parties have come to a deal to dismiss the case.
Rebel attorney Sean Hardy of Freedman + Taitelman told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rupert Byrdsong on Wednesday that “the case settled at mediation and the settlement agreement has been signed” (read it here). As is usual in such matters, no details of the settlement have been made public.
Neither CBS nor lawyers for the plaintiffs, who first filed their case in March 2016, responded to request for comment on the agreement. Rebel Entertainment Partners is the successor-in-interest to the talent agency that originally packaged the Sheindlin-fronted series.
However, I hear that while the matter may be resolved in one sense, there could be more scrimmages to come in the well-publicized dust-up. Even though L.A. Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazueloshas ruled in mid-2016 that Judge Judy’s big payout wasn’t a factor in the show’s supposed losses, the dispute continued to revolve in no small aspect around claims of some fast accounting moves and deductions of Judy Scheindlin’s $47 million salary for the long-running syndicated show as well as the spinoff Hot Bench. All of which means for Rebel and CBS that this may not be over quite yet.
If that wasn’t enough of a potential hindrance to big Michael Bloomberg supporter and Emmy Lifetime Achievement award recipient Scheindlin, there is, of course, the other multimillion-dollar Judge Judy lawsuit brought by the show’s co-creators.
In a jury-seeking complaint against Scheindlin and various CBS entities filed in early 2018 and heading for trial next year, Kaye Switzer and the trust of the late Sandi Spreckman say they are owed $4.75 million from the $95 million sale of the Judge Judy library to the then Les Moonves-run company in the summer of 2017. Oddly, despite a big announcement at the time and the company shelling out that nearly $100 million, CBS, which has since merged with Viacom, has been arguing that it never actually bought the library back from Sheindlin.
Expect this one to get fiery in front of the bench. Also expect it to be a real drag on that Supreme Court appointment if Bloomberg is elected POTUS, a big if.