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The Jeffrey Katzenberg vs. Disney trial doesn’t pick up until next week, but that didn’t stop Katzenberg from cracking a few lawyer jokes Wednesday during a marketing confab keynote address.

Speaking at the Promotion Marketing Assn.’s annual get-together inside the Universal City Hilton, the DreamWorks partner warned the crowd, “ask questions, but ones that I don’t have to consult an attorney with before I can answer.”

And upon hearing an annoying cell phone ring, Katzenberg quipped, “That better not be a lawyer calling for me.”

Fresh air

Katzenberg is now entering the second phase of his showdown with Disney (witnesses are debating the value of the studio’s assets), and said he was happy for the temporary reprieve from “being locked in small rooms with tons of lawyers. I could say just about anything.”

But Katzenberg kept mostly tight-lipped about courtly matters despite the most recent decisions in the case going his way.

Touting the ‘Works

While his speech was intended to inspire marketing execs, Katzenberg said that DreamWorks products appeal to the widest range of audiences. He boasted that “our Glendale home is designed with the artist in mind and … all our movies take audiences to a place they haven’t been before.”

DreamWorks is readying animation releases for 2000: the Tim Rice/Elton John-scored “The Road to El Dorado” and the Mel Gibson-voiced “Chicken Run.”

Other notable happenings at the three-day Promotion Marketing event included an address by Miramax prexy Mark Gill and a panel discussion on the campaign strategies for the eagerly anticipated “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.”