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MGA Entertainment Inc. has settled in principle its $10.2 million billing dispute with O’Melveny & Myers, which represented the Bratz doll manufacturer in its high-profile copyright dispute with Mattel Inc.

During an Oct. 12 court hearing, Christopher Jennings, an attorney at Los Angeles-based Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher who represents O’Melveny, said the parties were working with retired U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian, a neutral at JAMS in Los Angeles, on the details of the settlement. He asked Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court Judge Elizabeth White to give the lawyers a month or so to iron out the details.

White obliged, scheduling a Nov. 7 status conference.

Both Jennings and MGA attorney Edmond Connor, managing partner of Connor, Fletcher & Williams in Irvine, Calif., declined to comment following the hearing. During the proceeding, neither discussed the details of the settlement. And no specifics were outlined in a stipulation filed on Oct. 3 in which lawyers on both sides told White that the parties had reached a tentative settlement.

An O’Melveny spokeswoman said no one was available to comment, and MGA spokeswoman Susan Hale did not respond to a request for comment.

O’Melveny sued MGA last year for unpaid bills associated with its work on the case. The dispute lingered for more than a year as both sides fought over discovery.

On Sept. 14, MGA replaced its lawyer, James Rosen of Rosen Saba in Beverly Hills, Calif., with a team that included Connor and two other partners from his firm, Michael Williams and Douglas Hedenkamp. The team also included Jennifer Keller of Keller Rackauckas, who successfully represented MGA against Mattel. In that trial, a federal jury awarded MGA $88.5 million after finding that Mattel stole trade secrets by planting spies at industry trade shows.

U.S. District Judge David Carter issued a $310 million judgment that included the verdict, which he lowered to $85 million to correct a mathematical error, plus exemplary damages, attorney fees and costs.

O’Melveny represented MGA from 2004 to 2007. In the billing dispute, MGA initially filed a counter complaint asserting that O’Melveny had botched the transition to its successor firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, just before the first trial began. During that trial, a federal jury awarded Mattel $100 million on claims that MGA infringed its copyright for the Bratz doll, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit overturned the verdict.

MGA dropped the malpractice claims in its billing dispute with O’Melveny on Aug. 26, soon after O’Melveny had moved for sanctions based on alleged discovery violations. During a Sept. 21 hearing, White indicated that she was leaning toward sanctioning MGA.

Because of the settlement, the lawyers have asked that the case be stayed, including a hearing on discovery issues and an order on O’Melveny’s pending sanctions request, according to the stipulation.

Amanda Bronstad can be contacted at [email protected].

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