×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Judge in Writers Guild Suit Against Agencies Replaced Again

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elaine W. Mandel has replaced Craig D. Karlan to handle the Writers Guild of America’s lawsuit against Hollywood’s four major talent agencies.

Mandel was appointed Wednesday. She is the third judge assigned to the case, which was filed April 17 by the WGA against CAA, WME, UTA and ICM Partners over the issue of agencies accepting packaging fees from studios, which the guild alleges violates the agencies’ fiduciary duty to clients. Mandel was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2009 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The WGA, using its only preemptory challenge, removed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Marc Gross on May 3 after Gross refused to voluntarily recuse himself from the case. Karlan replaced Gross on May 6 and recused himself after both sides requested that he do so on grounds that he has been a writer and engaged in discussions with a CAA employee about projects.

Karlan said he did not concur with all of the facts and conclusions asserted in the motion. He said he’s a member of the general group of writers who conceivably might be subject to the type of fees in dispute — even though he’s not a member of the unions and has no current formal business relationship with any of the parties.

“Nevertheless, the court believes that even though there may not be grounds mandating disqualification for cause, the court’s recusal would further the interests of justice,” Karlan said.

The suit was filed by the WGA and eight individual writers, including David Simon, creator of “The Wire,” “The Deuce” and “Homicide: Life on the Streets.” Other plaintiffs are Meredith Stiehm, Barbara Hall, Patti Carr, Ashley Gable, Deric Hughes, Chip Johannessen, and Deirdre Mangan.

The suit was filed five days after talks between the WGA and the agencies cratered, leading to the guild’s leadership ordering members to fire agents who had not signed on to the guild’s Code of Conduct — which bans agents from collecting packaging fees and having ownership stakes in production companies.

UTA co-president Jay Sures offered on Wednesday on behalf of the agencies to re-start negotiations with the WGA over a new franchise agreement to govern how agents represent writers.

Mandel’s financial disclosure reports show that she used to own $2000 to $10,000 worth of CBS stock, along with many other stocks. The holding appeared on her 2017 disclosure form, but was not on her 2018 form. She is married to former Los Angeles Assistant City Atty. Thomas Peters, who stepped down from his post in March after the Los Angeles Times questioned the City Attorney Michael Feuer’s office about outside income that Peters reported.

 

More TV

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

  • Emmys: How a Social Media Campaign

    How a Social Media Campaign to Game the Emmys Led to This Week's 'Block Voting' Scandal

    The Television Academy’s “block voting” controversy has quickly become the talk of Emmy season — and that appears to have been the org’s point. According to multiple insiders, the number of people disqualified from voting in this year’s competition is believed to be small, only around three members (out of nearly 25,000 members overall). But [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Drops Trailer for 'Veronica Mars' Revival (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu dropped the official trailer for the “Veronica Mars” revival and HBO revealed more cast members for “Lovecraft Country.” FIRST LOOKS Hulu has dropped the official trailer for its revival of “Veronica Mars,” set to premiere on July 26. The series will bring back most of the original cast, including Kristen Bell, Jason [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Viacom CEO Bob Bakish

    Bob Bakish Talks Pluto TV, Netflix and CBS-Viacom Merger Rumors

    Viacom CEO Bob Bakish knows that a lot of his peers are in the original content space in streaming, but he believes the company’s ad-supported free service Pluto TV is better off relying on Viacom’s library of content. “We can debate a lot of things about the future, but in the near term, the opportunity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content