Rosenberg denied! Judge set to dismiss lawsuit by SAG hardliners

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Rosenberg denied! Judge set to dismiss lawsuit by SAG hardliners

Mon Jun 21, 2010 @ 10:21AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

SAGBWLogo_R EXCLUSIVE: The Los Angeles Superior Court is about to close the door on an insurgency from a group of hard-liners at the Screen Actors Guild.

The court has issued a tentative ruling dismissing a complaint by former SAG chief Alan Rosenberg and others who alleged that a "Written Assent" in January 2009 violated the guild's bylaws. The Assent fired chief negotiator Doug Allen, appointed an interim executive director and dismantled the Standing TV/Theatrical Negotiation committee, replacing it with an "improved" task force.

The following month, Rosenberg and the Membership First faction of SAG attempted to get an injunction stopping the changes. A Superior Court denied them a TRO, and the decision was upheld by an appeals court. Meanwhile, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint.

The appeals court ruled that plaintiff's application for injunctive relief was moot based on a decision by SAG's board to ratify and re-adopt the provisions of the Written Assent as well as a vote by SAG's members to accept a contract negotiated with the AMPTP, the bargaining unit that represents producers.

The amended action thus became a battle to settle the lingering question of why the dispute was moot, which could influence the ground rules in possible future disputes. 
SAG moved for judgment based on the decision of the appeals court, but the plaintiffs wanted the claims declared moot only because of the guild's actions to amend its bylaws.  

In its tentative decision, the superior court rules for the defendants, saying the "subsequent Board action amending the bylaws did not moot the issues as they were already moot."

The decision could potentially give SAG's moderates a bit more breathing room in the negotiation of future labor contracts.

A hearing that will probably wrap up this case once and for all is set for Tuesday at 8:45 AM.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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