Law of Hollywood Land

Entertainment Legal Bouts and Justice

Former Prison Break Star Lane Garrison Settles with Victim’s Family

Lane Garrison During His Trial

Lane Garrison During His Trial

Lane Garrison, who starred on Prison Break, was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter back in 2006 when he killed 17-year old Vahagn Setian while drunk driving.

Garrison, who pleaded guilty to the charge and is currently serving 40 months in prison, reached a financial settlement with the parents of Setian earlier this week. The settlement comes from a civil suit filed by the Setians last year for the wrongful death of their son. The exact amount remains confidential.

Garrison has reached a settlement with Michelle Ohana, who was 15 at the time of the crash, and spent two months in a wheelchair due to her injuries.

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April 23, 2009 Posted by | Drunk Driving, DUI, Lawsuit, Wrongful Death | , , , , | 1 Comment

Michael Jackson Settles Lawsuit Filed by Bahraini Sheikh Out of Court

Michael Jackson Settles Lawsuit

Michael Jackson Settles Lawsuit

London’s Royal Courts of Justice has said that a lawsuit filed by Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa against Michael Jackson has been settled out of court.

The lawsuit claimed that Jackson had abandoned a business deal with 33-year old Sheikh Abdulla that would have included a new album and an autobiography.  Sheikh Abdulla had paid the $2.2 million in legal fees for Jackson’s 2005 child molestation trial, let Jackson move into one of his palaces in Bahrain after the acquittal, and had given Jackson a $7 million advancement on the planned record and book.

Jackson’s lawyers argue that the money given was to him as a gift, and that he was not bound by any contract.

The terms of this amicably settled dispute will remain undisclosed, with a representative for Sheikh Abdulla saying “the details of the settlement will remain confidential as this is part of the agreement.” The pair have wished each other well on their individual endeavors.

November 24, 2008 Posted by | Celebrity, Lawsuit, Musician | , , , , | 2 Comments

What is Behind Fox’s Attack on Warner Bros Over WATCHMEN?

As you have heard, some legal battles have been raised due to the highly expected film adaptation of comic books, WATCHMEN.

So what really happens?

Well, basically, a judge has granted 20th Century Fox permission to take Warner Bros. to court for not obtaining permission to make WATCHMEN in the first place. Fox has appeared to have the copyright protection to make a film of WATCHMEN for the past 22 years, without luck, in reality, to make it themselves. Warner seems to think that everything is on the up and up, so the battle goes to trial.

Properties that are derived from studies, but in the end was not done are generally collected by other studies. But the original studio still hangs on in case the film has becomes a giant property. In this case, Fox tried to make WATCHMEN before, and now WB is doing it and receiving much attention in the process, so pissed Fox is and does not want to become a joke.

Apparently, Fox does have reasonable ground for their lawsuit for the issues of “turnaround” and “changed elements”, and has already been explained in an article in the New York Times this week.

On its face, turnaround is a contractual mechanism that allows a studio to release its interest in a dormant film project, while recovering costs, plus interest, from any rival that eventually adopts the project. But turnaround is a stacked deck.

The turnaround clauses in a typical contract are also insurance for studio executives who do not want to be humiliated by a competitor who makes a hit out of their castoffs.

That trick turns on a term of art: “changed elements.” A producer of a movie acquired in turnaround who comes up with a new director, or star, or story line, or even a reduction in budget, must give the original studio another shot at making the movie because of changed elements, even if a new backer has entered the picture.

Thus, “Michael Clayton” was put in turnaround by Castle Rock Entertainment (which, like Warner, belongs to Time Warner). When George Clooney became attached to star in it, however, Castle Rock stood on its right to be involved as a producer of what turned out to be an Oscar-nominated film.

But what this all comes down to is money. Fox may appear to want to stop WATCHMEN in its tracks, but the real purpose is for them to get a piece of what will bound to be some massive monetary intake.

WATCHMEN storms theaters March 6, 2009.

August 27, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Lawsuit | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Workers Compensation Claim for Phone Sex Operator Raises Questions

From the construction worker who falls and injures his back to the coal miner who develops “black lung”, workman’s compensation is there to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Even white collar workers who develop carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) from the repetitive motions of typing can file for reimbursement of surgery and lost time on the job. But what if that repetitive motion was not typing, and what if that employee was not in a traditional office setting?

Such is the case of Marci Lyn Deutsch, a phone sex operator in Florida, who filed a claim in 1999 with Fort Lauderdale Workers Compensation lawyers against her employers CFP Enterprises after developing CTS. Deutsch claims that she developed CTS in both her hands from repetitive self-gratification which she engaged in up to seven times a day while speaking with customers. Deutsch had initially sought “$267 a week, based on her salary of $400, plus $30,000 to cover her medical bills after neurosurgery to relieve the pain in her hands” from her employer. However, the final settlement was minimal, due in part to retired judge Joseph Hand telling her that “she’d have a tough time” winning.

As ridiculous as the claim may be at first glance, under further scrutiny Deutsch’s claim warrants respect and opens up a much broader argument in regards to injury from legal professions that may not be fully embraced by the public. Should an adult film star who is injured while performing on the set be any less entitled than any other entertainment performer? This communication could even go so far as to suggest that prostitution should be legal, so that the sex workers would have access to legal rights and benefits, such as in Australia and Amsterdam.

Admittedly, it is a difficult discussion, but one in which the focus and outcome should be in the legal interest of all parties involved and the greater protection of the population, and not fall into an argument in which one’s “moral compass” is the mediator.

August 6, 2008 Posted by | Workers Compensation | , , , , | 2 Comments