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A key hearing in the Charlie Sheen drama is set to begin very this morning in a Santa Monica courtroom, as a judge will decide whether the actor gets to pursue a $100 million lawsuit in open state court or whether the dispute will head to private arbitration.
The first order of business for Judge Allan Goodman is deciding whether cameras will be allowed inside the courtroom.
The LA Superior Court judge says in a message to the parties published on the court’s website that he has received three media requests for TV and audio coverage of today’s hearing. It’s up to the judge’s discretion whether or not to allow live media coverage of the arguments.
Warner Bros. and Chuck Lorre will likely oppose a televised hearing while Sheen’s camp may be more open to the publicity. At least for the initial stages of the hearing, when the judge reviews proposed evidence to be submitted — under seal or not — it will start away from the public’s eye.
Afterwards, Sheen’s lawyers will have 20 minutes to argue his main points about why the arbitration clause shouldn’t apply, and lawyers for WB and Lorre will get their 20 minutes. Each side then will have approximately 10-15 minutes to respond.
Even if this thing is broadcast, we can’t imagine it’s going to make compelling viewing (at least not as compelling as the Sheen children custody hearing taking place across town.) Many of the arguments will be on procedural technicalities, like whether Sheen can escape his arbitration clause because he’s asserting claims on behalf of a group of Two and a Half Men employees.
Stay tuned. We’ll bring the results of today’s hearing soon.
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