Hollywood Docket: Fox's Gianopulos to Keynote USC Law Event; David Bergstein Update; More

A roundup of entertainment and media law news.
Austin Hargrave
Jim Gianopulos

Film financier David Bergstein has lost his attempt to sue two Los Angeles law firms he believes helped nemesis Aramid Entertainment force his companies into bankruptcy. THR reported last week that Judge Michael P. Linfield had tentatively ruled in favor of an anti-SLAPP motion brought by Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and Levene Neale Bender Yoo & Brill because Bergstein's allegations against the firms arise from protected litigation activities. Now that tentative ruling has become official.

Bergstein still has a $50 million jury verdict against his former attorney Susan Tregub, who went to work for Aramid after she left Bergstein's company, but he'll have a hard time collecting that money.

In other entertainment law news:

  • Jim Gianopulos, soon to be the sole chairman of Fox's film studio following the recent announcement of the departure of Tom Rothman, will keynote USC Law School's annual Institute on Entertainment Law and Business on Oct. 27. Gianopulos will sit down for a lunchtime conversation with talent deal lawyer Bruce Ramer, who always puts together an interesting mix of panels at the day-long event.
  • Fox and Warner Bros. Television have won a New York district court case over the short-lived 2010 paranormal series Past Life, which screenwriter Stevan Mena claimed was ripped off from his script Transcience. Judge Barbara Jones on Sept. 27 granted a motion to dismiss the copyright action on the grounds that a reasonable observer would not believe that Past Life took copyrighted elements from Transcience. The studios were repped by Andrew Bart and AJ Thomas of Jenner & Block in New York.
  • Entertainment lawyer Ken Kleinberg, who is the founder of the University Kidney Research Organization, is celebrating the recent pact between UKRO and USC to establish a kidney research center at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. 
  • The German lawyer who was formerly chairman of Michael Jackson's MJ Entertainment has lost his effort to collect 5 million Euro from the Jackson estate. Read the Ruling Here.
  • Here's a lawsuit that proves that cover bands can be just as litigious as the real things. One of the founding members of a Led Zeppelin tribute band is suing his bandmates for allegedly stealing funds, illegally diluting his share of the "corporation" and, oh yes, forgetting to actually license works from Led Zeppelin. Read the Complaint Here.
  • Movie producers better be careful before filming Canadian currency. Just ask the musician who put an image of a Canadian penny on his album cover. Read the Story Here.