Pooh Court Case Can Be Officially Called 'Complex'
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002
    8 miles from DLR!

    Pooh Court Case Can Be Officially Called 'Complex'

    LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - There's little doubt that the longest-running case in Los Angeles Superior Court -- the Walt Disney Co.'s battle over Winnie the Pooh merchandising royalties -- is a complex matter.

    After churning through 12 years, more than 45 volumes of filings and at least six law firms, it's now official -- the case has been assigned to a new judge in a special complex civil litigation program.

    The lawsuit's long-running judge, Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige, set the move in motion by asking Superior Court Judge Charles McCoy Jr. to see if the case met the court's definition of complex. It did, McCoy concluded without needing the attorneys to appear Wednesday to argue the matter.

    McCoy, in fact, assigned the case to himself and set the first status conference for Oct. 22.

    "Judges in complex litigation don't look at cases in just one way -- they sometimes apply very creative, out-of-the-box solutions to manage and try complex cases," Disney attorney Daniel Petrocelli said. "They still have busy dockets, but they're able to take the larger, more complex cases and spend more time on those cases."

    Plaintiff's attorneys could not be reached for comment.

    The case was filed by the heirs of Stephen Slesinger, who bought the North American merchandising rights from Pooh author A.A. Milne in 1929. Shirley Slesinger Lasswell and her daughter, Pati Slesinger, insist they are owed hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid royalties. In addition, they want to terminate their 1983 licensing agreement with Disney.

    The plaintiffs declined to comment through a representative, and their newly appointed lawyers could not be reached for comment.

    In the past year, the case has been marked by several sudden twists, such as an attempt by a Milne heir and an heir to original Pooh illustrator E.H. Shepard to "recapture" the Pooh rights to themselves, effectively cutting the Slesingers out of the picture.

    Disney subsequently accused the plaintiffs of stealing thousands of confidential documents to gain an unfair advantage in the case. That was denied by the plaintiffs, but a hearing on the accusation could be one of the first matters that McCoy takes up.

    In June, longtime plaintiffs attorney Bert Fields abruptly left the case, paving the way for the firm of Jones Day to step in as the latest plaintiffs counsel.

    By Jesse Hiestand
    Oct. 2, 2003
    Source: Yahoo News!
    ~ MickeysGirl șoș
    ~ Gotta Love the Mouse! șoș

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Elk River, Minnesota
    Yeah I'd call it complex. I don't get most of what is going on with this case.

  3. #3
    yeah id say

    "There's a great big beautiful tomorrow...just a dream away"

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