January 18, 2013 10:00am PT by Matthew Belloni
Julianna Margulies Ex-Managers Seek to Force Deposition in Pay Lawsuit
The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies' legal fight with her former managers has taken another turn. D/F Management, whose principals include Margulies' former rep Steve Dontanville, is attempting to force the actress to complete a deposition amid her claim that she's too busy with her hit CBS drama.
In court papers filed Jan. 17 in Los Angeles Superior Court, D/F's lawyers reveal that Margulies was deposed for a single day in December in the dispute over management commissions. But her attorneys are now saying the deposition can't continue until at least April because the only day Margulies is available is Feb. 18, a holiday.
"After delaying the commencement of her deposition, Margulies is now inordinately delaying its completion, and it has become clear that without the Court's intervention, Margulies will not provide any reasonable dates for the conclusion of her deposition," the motion to compel states.
The move is the latest strategic play in a nasty dispute over commissions from the actress' TV and endorsement deals. D/F sued last summer claiming Margulies has stiffed it at least $420,000 in commissions and refused to pay 10 percent of earnings from endorsements such as her L'Oreal cosmetics relationship. Margulies fired back in October, claiming Dontanville "demonstrated a general lack of initiative, attention, focus and commitment" to her and experienced "personal problems" that led to her severing ties.
D/F argues that despite Margulies' "improper smear campaign" against Dontanville and her attempt to avoid paying commissions to representatives who helped revive her career with Good Wife, she can't escape her obligation to complete her deposition, especially since she has filed a cross-complaint in the matter.
A hearing in the case is set for Feb. 28 in Los Angeles Superior Court. D/F also is seeking sanctions against Margulies.
The managers are represented by Mathew Rosengart at LA's Greenberg Traurig firm. Margulies is repped by a team at LA's Drinker Biddle & Reath.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Margulies' attorneys fire back:
"The motion is completely frivolous. It was D/F Management that terminated the first session of Ms. Margulies’ deposition despite her offer to continue answering their questions. We had already offered other times for completion of the deposition before this motion was filed. We expect that the Court will not be pleased by D/F Management’s gamesmanship."