Analysis: Could Sheen’s $100 Million Lawsuit Actually Go To Trial?

Mar 11, 2011  •  Post A Comment

"[T]he Hollywood legal community is buzzing about whether the case could go to trial or if it will be decided by a private abritrator. Our sources suggest arbitration is the most likely forum for this dispute, but it’s hardly a sure thing."

That’s the take on Charlie Sheen’s $100 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. and Chuck Lorre, writes THR’s Hollywood Esq. blog. The blog says it’s the "intersection of entertainment and law."

First, the article addresses the issue of Warner Bros. firing Sheen from ‘Two and a Half Men," and where that case will be heard: "Sheen’s problem is that his contract with Warner Bros. Television includes a broad arbitration clause, and the studio has already submitted the quarrel to dispute-resolution service JAMS. We reported on Wednesday that the arbitration company has already opened up an inquiry by informing lawyers for WBTV and Sheen, and both sides have 14 days to submit their first written arguments. The case would be conducted privately, which, fortunately for WBTV, would occur away from the limelight and the sympathetic ears of potential jurors."

Next, says that story, " ‘Sheen’s lawyers will try to argue that this lawsuit arises out of the conduct of Chuck Lorre, who doesn’t have a contract with Sheen,’ explains well-known entertainment litigator Larry Stein. ‘That way they hope the judge will keep this case separate,’ allowing Sheen vs. Lorre to play out in court (where Sheen could reveal potentially damaging company information) while Sheen vs. WB is handled privately."

The article concludes, "Sheen only needs to get a judge to rule favorably on one of two potential arguments. Either, the arbitration provision wasn’t broad enough to cover an interference dispute against Lorre, or the agreement between WBTV and Lorre was intended partly for Sheen’s benefit. Still, it’s a bit of a long-shot."

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