Roundup – June 10, 2007

Here’s a Hollywood-themed edition of our irregularly-scheduled roundups:

  • When Sacha Baron Cohen accepted his Golden Globe award for Borat, he famously thanked all the Americans who hadn’t sued him “so far.” Subtract one person from that list; a New Yorker identifying himself as John Doe, who clever people quickly outed as businessman Jeffrey Lemerond, has now filed a lawsuit, claiming that he was humiliated by his appearance in the film. (Has anybody ever tried compiling a list of people who claimed they wanted privacy but filed lawsuits which exposed their secrets to a wide audience?) The Smoking Gun has the complaint. (Previous Borat suits: Dec. 2005, Nov. 9, 2006,Nov. 22, 2006)

  • A Beverly Hills store has settled its lawsuit against Us Weekly for refusing to give it free publicity. (Previously: Sep. 12, 2006, Sep. 22, 2006)

  • Carol Burnett’s lawsuit against the Family Guy gets tossed. (AP) On Point has details and the judge’s opinion. (Previously: Mar. 21.)

  • Two for the price of one: A couple of weeks ago, attorney Debra Opri sued her former client, Anna Nicole Smith-impregnator Larry Birkhead, for unpaid legal fees. Opri was last seen on Overlawyered sending exceedingly large bills to Birkhead, including thousands of dollars in cell phone charges.

    Now, Birkhead is suing Opri for conversion, fraud and malpractice. He claims that she took at least $650,000 of money owed to him for various appearance fees and has refused to return it; he also claims that Opri told him she was going to represent him for free in exchange for the publicity she’d receive, and then turned around and billed him hundreds of thousands of dollars. No, I’m sure this won’t turn into (yet another) media circus. (AP, TMZ.)

  • Judd Apatow, director of the movie Knocked Up, is being sued for copyright infringment by a Canadian author who claims he stole her book for his screenplay.

    A few months in, Eckler says she’s worn out by the litigation. “Here’s what it comes down to: 1) Being a writer, especially a Canadian one, without access to an unlimited bank account, sucks. 2) Copyright infringement is highly technical and difficult to prove. 3) Universal/Apatow know they have resources I do not have, and that every time they simply do not return my lawyer’s phone call, it costs me money.

    She also complains about her treatment at the hands of her first lawyer, who was referred to her by Apatow’s lawyer. (WSJ law blog; commentators at Volokh seem skeptical of the merits of her claims.)

  • Eleven year old boy, Dominic Kay, who directed a 15-minute movie starring Kevin Bacon, settles lawsuit against his neighbor, who helped finance the movie. “Kanter met Kay when her son played with him on a soccer team.” (L.A. Times)