6:01pm PT by Matthew Belloni
Charlie Sheen Judge Orders Additional Briefing Before Deciding If $100M Case Will Be Public or Private (Exclusive)
The judge overseeing Charlie Sheen's $100 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. and Two and a Half Men executive producer Chuck Lorre has asked the lawyers in the case to submit additional arguments before he decides whether Sheen's case should be sent to private arbitration.
In an order issued Wednesday and obtained by THR, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Allan Goodman requested additional briefing on several minor procedural and evidentiary issues. The move explains why Goodman has not yet ruled on whether to enforce an arbitration clause in Sheen's contract with Warner Bros. even though oral arguments on the issue took place nearly three weeks ago.
Judge Goodman set a May 18 deadline for the additional court papers to be filed, so we'll probably get a ruling near the end of the month.
As you'll recall, Sheen and his attorney Marty Singer argue that the legal issues surrounding Sheen's firing from Two and a Half Men should be decided by a judge and jury, while Warners, repped by John Spiegel, and Lorre, repped by Howard Weitzman, are seeking to enforce a broad arbitration clause in Sheen's contract and take the matter to a private JAMS arbitration.
The arbitration issue could be key to the case because the prospect of a public trial could be used as leverage to force Warner Bros. to settle the case.