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With quite a bit of fanfare, 21st Century Fox hired the corporate law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison back in July to conduct an investigation into Roger Ailes and allegations of sexual harassment at Fox News.
The engagement isn’t stopping Paul, Weiss from now going up against Fox News in court.
Specifically, Charter Communications has retained the firm to fight a fraud and breach-of-contract lawsuit brought by Fox News. The cable network alleges that Charter is using the acquisition of Time Warner Cable to underpay license fees and the dispute will be examining the deals between the companies to figure out which one governs carriage moving forward.
“This case arises out of efforts by Fox News to extract from Defendants (and ultimately, their cable customers) tens of millions of dollars of subscription fees to which it is not entitled as a matter of contract, industry practice, or common sense,” states a memorandum in support of Charter’s new motion to dismiss.
21st Century Fox won’t comment on seeing Paul, Weiss on the other side. Certainly in Corporate America, clients waive conflicts, though it still is notable for Fox to risk doubts on the “independence” of the firm it hired to investigate the highly public Ailes affair.
In other entertainment law news:
— Wild Bunch, an international sales agent, has filed paperwork seeking to confirm a $750,000 arbitration award against embattled Worldview Entertainment, the financier of Birdman and Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply. Worldview has come apart thanks to a massive legal fight among its former principals, Christopher Woodrow, Maria Cestone and Sarah Johnson Redlich. Amid this, Worldview sued Wild Bunch for withholding funds for Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here to offset monies allegedly owed by Worldview over the films, The Search and Jimmy P. In April, the parties stipulated to a judgment of $750,000 and costs in favor of Wild Bunch. The sales agency is now before a New York federal court looking for the money plus interest.
— The children of Jenni Rivera, the Mexican-American pop superstar who died in a plane crash in 2012, are now suing her former business manager Pete Salgado. According to a complaint filed on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Salgado has violated a contract and fiduciary duties by allegedly disclosing confidential information about Rivera in both a book and as part of an announced Univision television series. The lawsuit further reports that Salgado’s attorney has taken the “laughable position” that a non-disclosure agreement he signed was forged.
— More secrets: DirecTV has filed a complaint in New York court against Heartland Media for allegedly disclosing the satellite television company’s confidential retransmission rates. The disclosure is said to have come as part of negotiations for the acquisition of the defendant by Nexstar Broadcasting Group. DirecTV asserts breach of contract, unfair competition, unjust enrichment and misappropriation of trade secrets.
— Jukin Media is suing again. The company, which specializes in licensing viral videos after making revenue-sharing agreements with video creators, on Friday filed a copyright and trademark infringement complaint against QWorldStar for posting hundreds of its videos including “Fat Lady Gets Out of BMW” and “Baby Shark Bites Guy’s Shoulder.” The lawsuit follows a settlement with Defy Media. In that case, Jukin alleged its competitor was ripping off its videos. The case went to trial in March, but never reached a verdict because the parties reached a settlement as the jury was deliberating. Jukin was primed for success, though, as a jury member told The Hollywood Reporter at the time that the unanimous conclusion was no fair use. Jukin is set to reprise the litigation against QWorldstar, which operates worldstarhiphop.com.
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