In a notice to the court on May 23, MGA attorney Melanie Phillips, a managing associate in the Los Angeles office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, attached a proposed judgment that would award her client the fees plus $32.4 million in costs. Mattel should receive nothing and its counterclaims should be dismissed, according to the document.
MGA had redacted the amount it sought in a demand for fees filed on May 6 on behalf of its primary firms: O’Melveny & Myers; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Orrick; and Keller Rackauckas. The latter two firms handled the recent trial. Orrick partner Annette Hurst wrote that MGA’s bottom line was “conservative” compared to what the company actually spent, and excluded payments to several firms whose “roles were less centrally related” to the defense of the Mattel’s copyright claim. She also mentioned that MGA is in litigation with its insurers, some of which have refused to cover all of its legal fees.
Phillips referred calls to Hurst, who did not return a call for comment.
MGA is seeking another $177 million in punitive damages and nearly $4.3 million in restitution from Mattel. Mattel attorney John Quinn wrote in a May 13 reply brief that punitive damages would be unjust. MGA was seeking “every cent” that its primary law firms ever billed in the case, which originated in 2004, wrote Quinn, name partner in Los Angeles-based Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
In 2008, Mattel obtained a $100 million verdict during the first trial between the toy companies, which took place in Riverside, Calif. Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit overturned that verdict, ruling that the judge had abused his discretion in giving Mattel the rights to the dolls. At that time, MGA’s trial counsel was Thomas Nolan, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
The first trial involved copyright infringement and breach of contract claims; the second addressed additional claims brought by the competitors against one another for stealing trade secrets.
A hearing on the fees, damages and proposed final judgment is scheduled for May 25 before U.S. District Judge David Carter in Santa Ana, Calif.
The fees and punitive damages are in addition to the verdict awarded on April 21 to MGA and its chief executive officer, Isaac Larian, after a jury found that Mattel, maker of Barbie, had stolen trade secrets by planting spies at industry trade shows. The jury rejected Mattel’s claims that MGA infringed on its copyright after hiring away a designer who allegedly stole the idea for the Bratz doll, concluding that Mattel did not own the rights to the first four models of the Bratz dolls plus two newer versions.
The jurors found for Mattel on one issue: They awarded damages of $10,000 after finding that MGA and Larian intentionally interfered with the contract between Mattel and the designer, Carter Bryant.
Amanda Bronstad can be contacted at email@example.com .