2:07pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Hollywood Docket: The Clemency Project; Erin Andrews Deal; 'Pain & Gain' Settlement
Jason Flom, a top record industry executive and a legal crusader, is rallying lawyers behind the Clemency Project during the final months of the Barack Obama presidency.
A founding board member of the Innocence Project, Flom has an open letter urging colleagues to help him out.
"This initiative that presents a once in a lifetime opportunity for lawyers to reverse the ravages of the harsh sentencing policies that have ruined the lives of so many," he writes. "There are countless inmates who can benefit from this program, but they need lawyers to help and they need them now."
In other entertainment law news:
— Less than two months after Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews prevailed at a trial by winning a $55 million verdict against the hotel where a stalker filmed her nude through a peephole, she has reportedly come to a settlement agreement. Terms of her deal with West End Hotel Partners and Windsor Capital Group have not been disclosed. The development draws a close to the legal proceedings surrounding the infamous 2008 event. Here were the closing arguments at trial.
— Paramount Pictures has paid a confidential sum to settle a lawsuit brought by Marc Schiller over the Michael Bay-directed film Pain & Gain. In 1994, Schiller was kidnapped by a group of bodybuilders and forced to sign over his house, bank accounts and other assets. Pain & Gain covered the ordeal and was advertised as a "true story," but Schiller says that Bay and others took liberties by falsely portraying him as a "an unlikeable, sleazy, rude, abrasive braggart, who committed dishonest and illegal acts, used alcohol and drugs, was deprecating towards homosexuals, women, foreigners and others, and who was verbally abusive to his employees." A notice of settlement and stipulation to dismiss were filed in the lawsuit claiming defamation and privacy violations. Not before Bay gave a deposition, though. Read that here.
— Will this really be the last word on Stan Lee Media Inc., the company founded by the comic book genius that was abandoned around the turn of the century, went through bankruptcy and spent a decade fighting to regain rights to rights to Fantastic Four, X-Men and Spider-Man? In September 2013, Disney beat a billion dollar copyright lawsuit. The following year, Disney prevailed against SLM in an odd theater dispute. Disney was awarded more than $460,000 in attorney fees from judges in both cases. Since then, Disney has been looking to collect and has made extensive investigative efforts to find out the moneymen behind SLMI. (Forbes once reported that Disney's nemesis was none other than Relativity's old backer Elliott Management, run by hedge-fund guru Paul Singer). Now, a few months after Disney reported that SLMI's bank accounts had been drained of all but a couple thousand dollars, Disney told a judge on Friday about a "limited settlement" whereby SLMI's litigation funder agreed to a lump sum payment to resolve claims.
— Speaking of Relativity, Netflix has withdrawn an appeal filed over a bankruptcy judge's approval of the studio's reorganization plan. The streaming giant was hoping to get out of a deal that provided Relativity with hundreds of millions of dollars for failure to meet delivery minimums, but the argument didn't prevail before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles. Netflix has now pulled the appeal. No indication whether the two sides have really worked out differences.