July 23, 2012 5:53pm PT by Alex Ben Block
HFPA Files Appeal in Golden Globe Case, Delaying Trial
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has scored a procedural victory in its on going legal battle with Dick Clark Productions over the TV rights to the Golden Globe Awards.
A federal judge has agreed to a motion by the HFPA which will allow the press group to file an appeal to their loss at trial with the appeals court prior to the second phase of the trial. As part of the decision by federal Judge Howard Matz, the second phase of the trial will now be put off at least until the appeals court rules on this motion.
Daniel Petrocelli, attorney for the HFPA, said that normally there would be no appeal until the entire trial was concluded, including the second phase which has to do with such issues as what expenses DCP takes out from the show’s production, who has the right to the pre-show and who holds digital rights.
Petrocelli estimates the appeal will take as much as 18 months to reach a judgment. He said that he will actually file the appeal, following a notice of appeal, around October or November.
DCP had not objected to the motion to allow the HFPA to appeal the first phase first. However, this does leave a number of issues up in the air even as DCP will go ahead and produce the 2013 show with the HFPA.
There is also the question of how the uncertainty will impact the efforts by Red Zone Capital to sell DCP, which it put up for sale earlier this year.
In early May, DCP won its legal case to hold on to broadcast rights to the Golden Globes as long as the show remains on NBC despite strenuous protests from the HFPA. The ruling in the non-jury trial was by Judge Matz, who would also be the one to oversee the second phase of the trial.