Publicist Fires Back in HFPA Legal Spat

Michael Russell and Stephen Locasio charged Tuesday that a press release from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Monday claiming a "first-round legal victory" in their ongoing litigation with the group behind the Golden Globes was misleading and was part of an effort to "try this case in the public domain."

Attorney Timothy McGonigle -- who represents Russell, Locasio and the Michael Russell Group, which formerly did PR for the HFPA -- said in a statement that his clients look forward to having "the eight pending claims for business torts and punitive damages resolved by a jury."

In a press release, the HFPA on Monday predicted the case will never be in front of a jury and that they would be able to "remove" the remaining claims "by demurrer or motion for summary judgment."

The Russell Group's statement called the claims dismissed by L.A. Superior Court Judge Kevin Brazile "minor" and noted that a claim of "unfair business practices" by the HFPA had not been dismissed by the judge.

A spokesman for the HFPA on Tuesday declined to comment further.

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