New York jury won’t hear profanity-laden emails from original The walking dead showrunner Frank Darabont in lawsuit for $ 300 million profit-sharing battle Shawshank Redemption director and CAA versus AMC – at least for now.
“The Court is not swayed by the defendants’ argument that, in the absence of Mr. Darabont’s emails, jurors might speculate as to why Mr. Darabont was fired and infer that the ‘AMC fired Mr. Darabont to limit his compensation,’ New York Supreme Court Judge Joel Cohen wrote. in an order Tuesday.
“However, if the complainants expressly question AMC’s motive for terminating Mr. Darabont, for example by alleging that AMC terminated Mr. Darabont as part of a scheme to deprive him of additional compensation, then the door could be opened to such evidence. , “he added.” This decision will be made at trial. “
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Seeking to gain an advantage, to put it politely, in 2017, AMC scoured all over Darabont with a filthy document dump that carried heavily soiled digital laundry in public. The respective emails showed Darabont was blowing his stack as he lambasted the team and the show’s creatives with people like they “better wake up the f * ck and be careful.” Or I’ll start killing people and throwing bodies out the door.
Not a good look, everyone agrees. Especially if you’re trying to convince a jury that you’re the good guy and AMC are the bad guys, do you know what I’m talking about?
Additionally, among a series of moving ordinances that hit the role of the New York Supreme Court today, further inflammatory evidence has been drawn from the seven-year splenetic legal battle. Much to AMC’s relief, Darabont and his super-agency will not be able to use a “fair market value” approach and draw large-scale deals between the NFL and other broadcasters into the lawsuit. Which means that while the Darabont and CAA legal team might want to argue that TWD should have had a license fee of around $ 30 million per episode if AMC had not allegedly done its own. account, Justice Cohen says that “the evidence and testimony presented by the parties on this point must relate to AMC’s transactions versus comparable programming.”
Further, “the evidence presented of total AMC earnings is irrelevant and therefore inadmissible” and “the evidence relating to the total compensation or net worth of AMC officers is inadmissible.”
“Such evidence is irrelevant and unduly prejudicial,” Judge Cohen ruled in another order, no doubt allowing people like now Fox Entertainment boss Charlie Collier and Josh Saplan to wipe off a bit of sweat from their eyebrows. “However, plaintiffs can investigate the financial incentives available to the executive in connection with the outcome of this dispute,” Cohen continued, covering some bets. “This may include a description of AMC’s earnings-based compensation incentives. Decisions regarding specific testimony will be made at trial, taking into account relevance and undue hardship.”
Pink escaped the zombie apocalypse blockbuster series just before the start of its second season in October 2011, Darabont and the CAA sued the then-Collier-led AMC in New York City in late 2013. .
The producer and his pocket reps basically claimed that Darabont was denied hundreds of millions of once-topped TWD’s mandatory television profits in a sleight of hand by AMC, owned by the Dolan family. In what has become more than occasionally a manure sweeping case personally and professionally, the case is now in its second judge at the New York Supreme Court and has seen a now consolidated $ 10 million second trial. added in early 2018, based on a reading of the TWD comic. contract from creator Robert Kirkman.
While not dead himself, an action by Kirkman about his own profit-sharing deal had great success last year. On July 22, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel Buckley essentially determined that if Kirkman didn’t like the “plain language” agreement he signed and the amended adjusted gross receipts and fees. The resulting imputed license was his problem, not AMC’s.
Nonetheless, as has become the norm in this case and its aftermath, both sides won today.
“We are satisfied with the results of the quash motions, and the plaintiffs are ready to prove their allegations at trial,” Darabont’s Dale Kinsella and the CAA legal team told Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump LLP told Deadline. “As expected, the emails from Darabont, which AMC tried to highlight in every petition for seven years, were excluded from the trial because they have nothing to do with the substantive issues in this case. We can now come back to the question at hand, which is to compensate creators for what they rightly deserve. “
“We are satisfied with today’s decisions, which allow us to prove at trial that AMC paid the plaintiffs all that is owed to them under the contract,” said AMC Senior Co-Lawyer Orin Snyder from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. In a lawsuit, a California court ruled in AMC’s favor over similar claims brought by Robert Kirkman. We are eager to present our case to a jury and achieve the same result here. “
Judge Cohen’s whirlwind of paperwork comes as it becomes increasingly apparent that the much-anticipated and much-delayed start of the April 26 trial will likely be pushed back.
A conference call between lawyers for both sides and Judge Cohen next week or so will determine whether the backlog of cases in the Empire State due to the coronavirus pandemic and the focus on criminal cases could bring the ‘deal at the end of the year. or even 2022. Or in other words, the 11th and final coming season of TWD could be finished long before the trial on the big dollars of the series itself.