Glamour! 10-year lawsuit, Hollywood, a novel, lawyers…

What more could anyone want? Except, of course, the plaintiff who has been trying to get this case resolved for ten years. From the New York Law Journal:

A lawsuit accusing a New York attorney of helping former clients misappropriate millions of dollars from a partnership that was formed to make a movie of D.M. Thomas’ 1981 novel “The White Hotel” may go forward, a Manhattan judge has ruled, setting the stage for a trial after more than 10 years of litigation.

In an order handed down Friday in Briarpatch v. Briarpatch Film, 603364/01, Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten (See Profile) held there were issues of fact as to whether the attorney, Paul Verner, knowingly helped his former clients make off with the money, denying Verner’s motion for summary judgment.

Ten years. The big One-Oh. Unbelievable. I think the case name, Briarpatch v. Briarpatch Film, is so adorable. It sounds like a couple of little kids suing each other.

But isn’t. The case concerns a company formed to make some movies out of novels. One of the novels was “The Thin Red Line.” That movie got made. Another was the novel “The White Hotel.” No movie has yet been made. (I think I read the book but am not really sure. Doesn’t say much for the novel, does it?) A couple of men were sued for taking monies from the corporation and distributing the monies to themselves, instead of the corporate partners. And then when they lost the first lawsuit, they failed to satisfy the judgment against them — defaulted, in other words — and were brought back to court again, and apparently defaulted again.

Oh and there was a bankruptcy. the phrase “fiduciary duty,” and an appeal thrown in, too, which the defendants also lost.

This case is beginning to sound familiar to me.

Do read on, in case you’re curious about how two guys could keep losing a lawsuit and keep not turning over the money, and then continue to do the same thing again, but with another lawyer.

What kind of interest will apply if the plaintiff wins? When the plaintiff wins, I mean.


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