The fight between Warner Bros. and the heirs of Siegel and Shuster is nothing new, but the attorney hired by the two families is being sued by Warner and DC Comics as well… and the judge has refused to throw that case out. I’ll let Variety.com take it from here… [LINK]
Marc Toberoff had sought to strike Warner Bros.’ unit DC Comics suit against him under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, which was designed to curb lawsuits with the intent of intimidating the opposition by delay and legal expense.
U.S. District Judge Otis Wright said that Toberoff had failed to show that his role as the attorney for the heirs to co-creators Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster was protected under the anti-SLAPP law. He cited a business agreement Toberoff made with the Shuster heirs, which Wright said was “not an agreement for the provision of legal services, but one concerning the exploitation of Joe Shuster’s creations.”
DC Comics, represented by Dan Petrocelli, sued Toberoff in May 2010, claiming that earlier in the decade he interfered with their relationships with Siegel’s and Shuster’s heirs to coax them out of settling with the studio and instead enter into an agreement with his own production ventures to exploit the “Superman” franchise.
Toberoff, who had no comment, has characterized the suit as “frivolous” and a way to pressure his clients into settling the case and selling back the rights at a reduced price.
Wow… how many lawyers have their own production companies? Chances are: none, until they’ve got clients with, ahem, super-lucrative properties.
One wonders if the heirs of Superman’s creators have attracted anything but parasites, whether corporate or otherwise.
One further wonders if California has a bitch-SLAPP law, but maybe one shouldn’t wonder about that for long.