|A pink neon "Appeals" sign resides in GMSR's library. The sign was donated to GMSR by its associates on GMSR's fifth anniversary. It is a tradition at GMSR to turn on the sign to commemorate a successful appellate outcome.
The light goes on frequently. Below are some recent occasions for Edward L. Xanders:
Recent Wins: Edward L. Xanders
Court of Appeal affirms order denying motion to recover attorney’s fees from GMSR’s client under Family Code section 2030
August 3, 2010
In re Marriage of Armour/Ritter (2010) 2010 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 6108 (California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Eight) [unpublished]. A wife in a marital dissolution proceeding incurred almost $700,000 in attorney’s fees litigating whether the confidential documents of her husband’s employer, which the spouses had used in litigating property division, should be sealed or publicly disclosed. After winning an appeal reversing an initial sealing order, the wife moved under Family Code section 2030 for an order compelling her husband, GMSR’s client, and his employer to pay her sealing-related attorney’s fees. The trial court denied the motion on multiple grounds, including that the fees did not sufficiently relate to the merits of the dissolution proceeding to justify fee shifting and that, notwithstanding the husband’s greater net worth, fee shifting was not needed to ensure parity of representation. The Court of Appeal upheld both findings as within the trial court’s discretion.
In re Marriage of Armour/Ritter (2010) 2010 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 6108
Court of Appeal affirms $3.2 million judgment for movie studio’s underpayment of profit participation and reverses a nonsuit on fraud and other claims
May 25, 2010
Alan Ladd Jr. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. (2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 1298 (California Second Appellate District, Division Three) [partially published]. GMSR represented Academy Award-winning producers Alan Ladd Jr. and Jay Kanter, whose films include Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner and Body Heat. They sued Warner for consistently undervaluing the television license fees for their movies when Warner licensed movies in groups, including a practice known as “straightlining” that allocated the same licensing fee to each movie regardless of its actual value. They also sued Warner for fraudulently misrepresenting that Blade Runner would never be profitabe, for miscalculating Blade Runner profits, and for wrongfully removing credits and logos from hundreds of thousands of DVD copies. A jury awarded $3.2 million for Warner’s undervaluation of the movies, but the trial court nonsuited the other claims, finding that a settlement barred the Blade Runner profit claims and that there was insufficient evidence of fraud and of financial damage from the credit/logo deletions. The Court of Appeal affirmed the $3.2 million jury verdict in the opinion’s published portion, among other things rejecting Warner’s attempt to limit damages on the basis of the statute of limitations because of a failure of proof at trial. In the opinion’s unpublished portion, the Court reversed the nonsuited claims and remanded them for trial.
Alan Ladd Jr. v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. (2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 1298
Dismissal of legal malpractice action affirmed
October 3, 2006
Shelden v. Grossman, (2006) Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 8805 (California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Seven (Los Angeles)) [unpublished]. Ted Xanders and Robin Meadow were responsible for the victory in this legal malpractice/fraud action against a law firm. The plaintiff alleged that the firm had helped its client, the plaintiff's stepfather, to induce the plaintiff’s mother to leave all her property to the stepfather instead of to the plaintiff (either directly or by way of a trust for her benefit after her stepfather’s death). Although the case involved interesting questions of a will-drafter’s duty to third-party beneficiaries and collateral estoppel, the Court of Appeal didn’t reach those questions because it unanimously held that the action was barred by the statute of limitations. The plaintiff’s mother died in 1985, the plaintiff executed a release in favor of the stepfather and his lawyers in 1993, and the plaintiff didn’t sue until 2000. The plaintiff claimed that she did not suffer injury until the stepfather’s death in 1999, asserting that it might have been possible that he could have remedied the alleged wrong by then conveying her supposed inheritance to her. Robin wrote and argued the defendants’ successful demurrer in the trial court, and Ted wrote the successful respondent's brief in the Court of Appeal.
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