April 25, 2011 3:01pm PT by Eriq Gardner
'Twilight' Literary Scout Moves Step Closer to Winning Lawsuit (Exclusive)
Remember Nanette Shipley? She's the literary scout who claimed credit for discovering and helping a company called Maverick Films launch films, Twilight and The Lighting Thief. Now comes word that Shipley has demonstrated to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge that she is likely to prevail in her claims. As a result, the judge has granted Shipley's request to freeze $100,000 of Maverick’s assets pending the outcome of the lawsuit.
As we reported in February, Shipley alleged that she helped Maverick find and obtain the rights to both motion pictures. She said she was promised $75,000 for her work in connection with Twilight and $100,000 for her work in connection with The Lighting Thief, and was owed all but $20,000 of the total amount.
According to the attorneys for both parties, a few days before a Superior Court hearing on the matter, Maverick sent over a $55,000 check to satisfy what was owed to Shipley for Twilight.
Now, the two sides are arguing over the remaining amount due for alleged "scouting services" on The Lightning Thief.
"Maverick is going to end up paying every dime they owe our client, plus costs and every dime of legal fees incurred," says Shipley's attorney, Alex Weingarten, trumpeting a decision by a LA Superior Court to grant a writ of attachment against Maverick for $100,000. "All they are doing by putting up a fight is running up the tab that they are ultimately going to be on the hook for.”
In response, Maverick says it agrees that fees are owed, but merely disputes the amount. It says it only owes $50,000.
Gary Raskin, the attorney defending the matter, is unimpressed with the latest decision and wonders why Shipley's camp is spending high legal fees to obtain from Maverick and its former topper Mark Morgan what might amount to a small monetary difference. He adds that Shipley was well-compensated for "discovering" a best-seller in The Lightning Thief.
Part of what remains in dispute is the involvement and obligations of Greg Mooradian, who has worked on the Twilight franchise and is now a senior vp production at Paramount. Mooradian was formerly associated with Maverick, and the defense contends that he was primarily responsible for Shipley's affiliation and might be partly responsible for what's owed. If the case isn't settled, a trial may delve into the job functions of the often unseen world of literary scouts in Hollywood.