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Bonnie E. Eskenazi, Heidi M. Binford and Michelle M. Lynn of Los Angeles’ Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger (310-553-3610) are representing Bagdasarian Productions in a suit alleging that Universal Studios broke promises to actively license products based on “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” The suit seeks $100 million for alleged fraud and intentional misrepresentation, among other things. According to the Los Angeles Superior Court complaint, in the mid-90s Universal aggressively attempted to acquire some or all of the rights to the Chipmunks at a time of worldwide boom for animation products. The plaintiffs also allege that Universal requested that they hold back on licensing some rights to make it possible to find a single home for all the rights, but that the studio’s real purpose was to lock up those rights so that the Chipmunks wouldn’t compete with Universal’s other children’s characters, and that, in fact, Universal was planning to dismantle its family entertainment division. Bagdasarian Productions LLC v. Universal Studios Artists, BC236607. Peter L. Haviland and Rhonda R. Trotter of the Los Angeles office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. (310-229-1000) have filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Lakeshore Entertainment Corp. against producer Irwin Winkler. The complaint, for unspecified actual and punitive damages, alleges that Winkler broke an oral promise for his exclusive services on the film project “Life as a House.” Lakeshore Entertainment Corp. v. Winkler Films Inc., BC236520. A Los Angeles Superior Court suit by America Hoffman, son of the late political activist Abbie Hoffman, alleges that America is falsely portrayed in “Steal This Movie!” — the biopic of his father, as a wimpy, quiet, sulking and effeminate mama’s boy. Charles M. Coate and Allison S. Hart of Beverly Hills’ Barab, Kline & Coate LLP (310-859-6644) are representing the plaintiff. Hoffman v. Lions Gate Films Inc., BC236130. The music group 311 is suing Capricorn Records over the artists’ recording contract. The Los Angeles Superior Court complaint, for rescission and breach of contract, alleges that Capricorn delayed the signing of the agreement (inked in 1992) while the group’s financial condition deteriorated, to get 311 to agree to exclusive songwriter, co-publishing and administration terms. In addition, 311 alleges that album sales suffered after Capricorn severed its relationship with the Universal Music Group. The artists are also challenging a choice-of-law clause in their recording contract, claiming that Tennessee was cited to avoid California’s seven-year limit on personal service contracts. Howard E. King, Stephen D. Rothschild and Troy H. Slome of Los Angeles’ King, Purtich, Holmes, Paterno & Berliner (310-282-8989) are representing the plaintiffs. Hexum v. Capricorn Records Inc., BC235892. Thomas Chavez Baiz, a former administrator for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), is suing SAG for employment discrimination and unfair business practices. According to the Los Angeles Superior Court complaint, SAG refused to promote Baiz, a Mexican-American, to executive administrator-affirmative action, even though he had worked as acting executive administrator for several months. Baiz says he was reassigned to the position of assistant administrator before he was fired. Thomas A. Saenz and Enrique Gallardo of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Los Angeles (213-629-2512) are representing the plaintiff. Baiz v. Screen Actors Guild, BC235463. Steven B. Katinsky is suing The Times Mirror Co. over Hollywood.com. Katinsky claims in his Los Angeles Superior Court complaint that he conceived of an idea for an online company to provide entertainment industry information that became Hollywood.com. Katinsky says that he owned 50 percent of the stock until the company was bought by Times Mirror in 1996. According to the complaint, Katinsky then got an executive employment contract that included a nondilutive interest in future company growth. Katinsky, who resigned in 1997, alleges that, prior to the announcement of a subsequent $100 million deal for CBS to buy 35 percent of Hollywood.com, Times Mirror attempted to force Katinsky to accept a buyout offer that was “grossly inadequate.” Mark D. Baute and Allyn O. Kreps of Los Angeles’ Lamb & Baute LLP (213-630-5000) filed the suit on behalf of Katinsky. Katinsky v. The Times Mirror Company, BC235664.

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