Choose Denies WGA’s Request To Delay Listening to On CAA’s & WME’s Motions – .
A federal judge has denied the WGA’s request for an eight-week continuation of a hearing on the CAA and WME’s motions for an injunction that would force the guild to end its group boycott of the agencies.
“We are pleased that the court has denied the WGA’s motion to postpone the preliminary injunction hearing and accepted the disclosure timeline proposed by us and WME,” said Richard Kendall, CAA’s chief attorney on the case. “As we have said repeatedly, CAA is ready, willing and able to meet with the WGA leadership and their attorney to resolve any remaining issues and review this matter before our requested hearing on Jan. December can be resolved. Otherwise we look forward to meeting the WGA in court. “
CAA & WME urge the judge to reject the WGA’s request to delay the hearing on their request to end a longstanding dispute
Earlier this week, WGA attorney Casey Pitts asked US District Court judge Andre Birotte Jr. about the continuation, saying, “As the attorney for CAA knows, the timing of filing CAA and WME is extremely inconvenient for me. Since late January, my husband and I have been planning to start Thanksgiving Week (Saturday, November 21 through Sunday, November 29) to celebrate a major life milestone. I will not work during this time. On November 5, 2020, during a phone conversation with CAA attorney Patrick Somers to discuss the timing of the deposit, I told Mr Somers that I would be taking this break. Many of my co-counsel are also unavailable next week. Stacey Leyton, Ethan Litwin and Andrew Kushner will not be available for part of the holiday week. “
“Every minute the guilds let themselves into further delays, ignore court mediation orders and reject the CAA’s approval of the guilds’ own terms, the authors lose,” said CAA in its motion filed today. “It is inexcusable that the guilds still deny thousands of their own members the opportunity to benefit from the advocacy of their preferred agents in a challenging marketplace. CAA has agreed to stop packaging and reduce its ownership of production from partners to the level that the guilds insisted on. What on earth are the WGA leaders legally protecting writers from at this time? The answer, of course, is that the guild leaders do not protect writers but serve their own interests – by reinforcing their self-proclaimed “takeover” of the CAA and WME in violation of antitrust laws and at irreparable expense from the CAA and the guilds’ own members. The court should not support the guilds’ delaying strategy by postponing the hearing on this matter beyond the 28-day notice period that almost all injunctions in this district receive. The guilds’ ex parte proposal should be rejected. “
The dispute arose in April 2019 when the WGA ordered its members to fire their agents who refused to sign the guild’s code of conduct, which banned packaging fees and agencies from affiliation with related manufacturing companies. Since then, every major agency except CAA and WME has signed a modified code that phased out packaging fees and reduced manufacturing companies ownership to just 20%.