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A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge issued a tentative ruling on Friday denying toymaker MGA Entertainment Inc.’s efforts to stay a lawsuit that was filed by its former lawyers at O’Melveny & Myers. The ruling does impose a protective order requested by MGA that prevents O’Melveny from disclosing or disseminating any information protected by attorney client privilege, but the Judge narrowed the scope to allow O’Melveny to disclose information necessary to defend itself against MGA’s claims. ( Click here to download a copy of the ruling.)

O’Melveny filed a lawsuit against MGA in July seeking $10.2 million in unpaid legal fees. The law firm had represented the toy company on several matters, most notably in a hard fought lawsuit against Mattel, Inc. over ownership of the Bratz doll line (O’Melveny ultimately was replaced by Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom.). MGA responded to O’Melveny’s lawsuit with a cross-complaint that included several malpractice claims including overbilling, misrepresenting the qualifications of attorneys, and failing to secure expert witnesses.

MGA moved to stay the trial until after its lawsuit against Mattel, which is scheduled to be retried in January, was resolved. It argued that there is a strong nexus between the upcoming retrial involving the Bratz doll line and this lawsuit. O’Melveny opposed the stay, arguing that the case is a straightforward fee dispute that is unlikely to be impacted by the fight between Mattel and MGA.

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