Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DCP seeks reconsideration in Globes dispute

With a trial looming over the rights to the Golden Globes, Dick Clark Prods. is asking a federal court judge to reconsider her decision not to render summary judgment over many of the issues in its dispute with the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. U.S. District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank ruled Aug. 8 that because there were "numerous genuine disputes of material fact," the HFPA's case against longtime producer DCP could proceed. The case centers on a clause in a 1993 pact that appeared to give DCP "perpetual rights" to produce the telecast as long as it could continue to land a broadcast deal with NBC. The non-jury trial is scheduled to start on Sept. 6, with a final pretrial conference scheduled for Aug. 25. In a filing on Monday, attorneys for DCP asked that Fairbank reconsider her decision that the HFPA's claims are not barred by the statute of limitations. Fairbank ruled that the HFPA was still within the time frame to file suit because the dispute arose after DCP signed a long-term deal with NBC last October. The HFPA filed suit in November, claiming that the new NBC deal is invalid because DCP did not obtain its consent. But attorneys for Dick Clark Prods. contend that, because of the statute of limitations, the HFPA has long since passed the time in which it can raise one of its chief claims. The HFPA is arguing that its prexy in 1993, Mirjana Van Blaricom, acted beyond her authority when she signed the 1993 pact, an amendment to an earlier contract. Contact Ted Johnson at ted.johnson@variety.com

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