Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

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Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  Apologist Puncher on Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:28 am

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/blogs/thr-esq/superman-lawsuit-delay-lifted-depositions-46688
A federal judge has just lifted the delay in the long-running Superman litigation, setting the stage for Warner Bros. to proceed with key depositions of the families of Man of Steel creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel.

As we reported last month, the judge overseeing the high-profile Superman case delayed the matter indefinitely as lawyers for Warner Bros.' DC Comics and the heirs of Shuster and Siegel awaited an appeal of a procedural ruling that could have taken many months. Warners challenged that ruling, and now U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright has modified the order, allowing the studio to restart its information-gathering and "proceed with full discovery of [heirs] Joanne Siegel, Laura Siegel Larson, Jean Peavy and Mark Peavy."

The Nov. 16 order is the latest in the cartoonishly nasty battle between Warners and the Superman heirs over rights to the lucrative character. After a judge ruled a few years back that the studio might lose certain copyrights associated with the Man of Steel, Warners sued Marc Toberoff, the attorney for the families, claiming he improperly convinced them to back out of deals and terminate their copyright assignments relating to Superman.

Now, as Warners fast-tracks its planned Christopher Nolan-produced, Zack Snyder-directed Superman reboot, Toberoff is fighting back agressively against that lawsuit, filing a host of motions attempting to have the case dismissed and Warners punished for targeting him personally. Now, thanks to this ruling, Warners will soon have its chance to ask questions of Toberoff's clients.

Warners lead attorney Dan Petrocelli tells THR that the depositions, which were initially scheduled for Nov. 15, will be rescheduled immediately. We've left word for Toberoff and will update will his comment.



Last edited by Apologist Puncher on Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:49 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  webhead2006 on Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:08 am

i am getting so sick of the whole legal crap with superman. I just wished already that wb/dc and the families would just end it already and just make a freakin deal already that works in favor of all parties.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  thecolorsblend on Thu May 26, 2011 12:52 pm

This seems like the best thread to use for the Siegel Parasites case against DCE so I have thus retitled the thread.

Also, Superman Supersite didn't link back to the original Variety article or else I would've done so myself. I'm too lazy to search for the Variety article but if someone else wants to, be my guest.

Variety by way of Superman Supersite wrote:Variety reports that DC Entertainment is on the verge of scoring a key victory in the latest chapter of the ongoing Superman lawsuit between the company and the estates of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Earlier this year DC filed a counter-suit against attorney Marc Toberoff, who is representing the estates of Siegel and Shuster, for poisoning the relationship between DC and said estates.

Toberoff has tried to get the counter-suit struck off on the basis of client/attorney privelege being breached by DC and Warner Bros. for using key documents in the case that were initially stolen from Toberoff's office by a former associate.

However, since Toberoff obeyed a subpeona from one court to hand copies of the documents to federal authorities investigating the theft, U.S. Magistrate Judge Ralph Zarefsky has now found that Toberoff breached this priveledge himself. And so the documents can now be used in a case against him. Toberoff maintained that he has an agreement that the documents would be confidential, but it seems that wasn't enough.

If Judge Zarefsky's ruling stands, DC will be one step closer to retaining key rights to the Superman property.

URL- http://www.supermansupersite.com/05261229.html



GOOD! Seems those rumors about Toberoff being the problem in all of this have some teeth after all.

EDIT- As I wrote some place else around here, any attorney's job is to REPRESENT THE CLIENT. In this case, that means bringing settlement offers to the client's attention. However, it seems Toberoff has rejected settlement offers without even consulting with the Siegels. I presume the motive for this would be the partial ownership Toberoff seems to be a candidate for, and thus he would have every conceivable motive to avoid settling.

Now, I'm not a lawyer myself but I've worked for and with them for years and I can tell you that calling this a breach of ethics hardly covers it. If this allegation can be documented, my hunch is that this is could be a serious game-changer for this case since I believe previous court decisions in the Siegel Parasites' favor revolved around being the parties "unable" to reach settlement. If the reason for that inability is someone intentionally goofing up the entire process, the house of cards may come tumbling down.

Of course, I fully expect the Apologists to lament this decision, because either (A) they have no concept of what giving your word and sticking to an agreed upon deal means just like most people don't these days or (B) they have no freaking clue what's at stake here should the Siegel Parasites prevail. Or hell, maybe both.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  webhead2006 on Thu May 26, 2011 1:52 pm

Nice find there. I hope dc/wb can take control of more apsects with this. I still hope in the end things will settle out and wb.dc can continue to use and own everything.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  Apologist Puncher on Thu May 26, 2011 9:08 pm

It's everything I have been saying all along.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  thecolorsblend on Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:12 pm

For once that Superman Supersite jackoff remembered to link back to the original article.

Hollywood Reporter wrote:A federal judge overseeing the latest chapter of the fight over "Superman" rights has denied attorney Marc Toberoff's appeal over an order to turn over documents to Warner Bros. The studio hopes to use the documents to show how he allegedly interfered with its rights and engineered an improper arrangement between the estates of "Superman" creators Jerry Siegel and Joel Shuster not to make any deal with the studio.

URL- http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/federal-judge-allowing-warner-bros-201931


If there's any justice at all in this universe, a deal/settlement of some type will be reached and we can put this shit behind us once and for all. If nothing else, that would allow the Superman comics to at least suck on their own terms instead of some greedy dickhead lawyer's, right?

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  non_amos on Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:14 pm

Si'!

But this brings me to something I intended to post anyway. I'm sure we've already touched on these points before in one form or another but considering the entire fiasco, just look at duh apologists' stance:

1) They want duh heirs to win against WB/DC at any cost, even if it means 'taking them to the cleaners' & therefore jeopardizing the characters they themselves supposedly hold so dear, &

2) Somehow the 'changes' going on in the upcoming Superman comics are 'worth it', you know, at least we keep the 'core of the character'. Superman didn't need the underwear anyway, right? BARRRFFF!

It's like they say. Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it! Mad

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  webhead2006 on Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:34 pm

Like I said many times before. I really hate this dam estate battle. I just want it to be over, the heirs settle, the laywer taken off the case. And then its over and done with. So then we would only have to worry about public domain coming in about 30 yrs unless that legal standings change too any time in the future.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  thecolorsblend on Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:52 pm

http://www.comicsbeat.com/2011/06/24/the-legal-view-the-once-and-future-superman/

In short, this appears to have been written by someone with some understanding of the law and how it works. It's written to be pretty accessible to someone already familiar with the basics of the case (ie, us) so I encourage all of you to check it out.

Basically, it paints a slightly brighter picture of the Siegel Parasite case (brighter, that is, if you support WB/DC as I do) than a lot of people are saying. I don't begrudge someone too much for not having a deeply nuanced understanding of this thing since most of us don't have legal training. I mean, it's one thing to not understand every single detail of what's going on with the case. That's simple ignorance. No biggie.

It's quite another to support the Siegel Parasites. That's retarded. And queer. So if that's you, take your sad sack Apologist opinions some place else, they're not welcome around here.

Anyway. Whether through settlement or the legal wrangling this dude hints at, the odds may favor DC more than I initially thought.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  webhead2006 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:54 pm

Man I so hope so. And nice find there.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  Apologist Puncher on Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:48 am

Good news for the Bros. Warner and Superman fans everywhere:

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118045071

'Super' suit to go on
Judge won't throw out Warner Bros.' lawsuit
By TED JOHNSON

A federal judge is refusing to throw out Warner Bros.' suit against the attorney for the heirs to the creators of "Superman," who are poised to reclaim rights to the Man of Steel in 2013.
Marc Toberoff had sought to strike Warner Bros.' unit DC Comics suit against him under California's anti-SLAPP statute, which was designed to curb lawsuits with the intent of intimidating the opposition by delay and legal expense.

U.S. District Judge Otis Wright said that Toberoff had failed to show that his role as the attorney for the heirs to co-creators Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster was protected under the anti-SLAPP law. He cited a business agreement Toberoff made with the Shuster heirs, which Wright said was "not an agreement for the provision of legal services, but one concerning the exploitation of Joe Shuster's creations."

DC Comics, represented by Dan Petrocelli, sued Toberoff in May 2010, claiming that earlier in the decade he interfered with their relationships with Siegel's and Shuster's heirs to coax them out of settling with the studio and instead enter into an agreement with his own production ventures to exploit the "Superman" franchise.

Toberoff, who had no comment, has characterized the suit as "frivolous" and a way to pressure his clients into settling the case and selling back the rights at a reduced price. A provison of the Copyright Act allows creators and their heirs to recapture their creations under certain circumstances. Toberoff successfully recaptured portions of the "Superman" storyline for the Siegel heirs in two U.S. District Court decisions in 2008 and 2009, and the Shuster estate is seeking to recapture its rights in 2013.

In his filings, Toberoff said that for at least the past five years, he has only been on retainer with the Siegel heirs and Shuster's executor.

Toberoff's attorneys noted that he did not consult with the Siegels -- and had yet to meet with them -- when they dropped their attorneys at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown and formally called off negotiations with DC Comics in September 2002. Only the next month, they said, did they contact him for representation. Two companies of his companies, IP Worldwide and Pacific Pictures, had agreements with the heirs but they have either been terminated or expired, Toberoff's filings noted.

Wright did not rule on whether Warner Bros. was likely to prevail on the merits of its suit, only whether it was covered by the anti-SLAPP statute. But he wrote that it gave the court "great pause" that a settlement agreement with the Shusters came undone.

He also ruled that Toberoff has to turn over a letter written by Laura Siegel Larson, Siegel's daughter, to her half brother. Warner Bros. believes the letter supports their claim that Toberoff "tortiously interfered" with their settlement with the Siegels.

This last part is what most of the imbecile's "supporting" the Heir's case don't seem to grasp. Toberoff is the ONLY reason this case hasn't been settled, and if he gets HIS way, never will be.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  thecolorsblend on Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:19 am

VERY good news. Seems the right side could win this thing after all.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  webhead2006 on Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:46 am

Nice find there. I do really hope we are nearing the end of all the legal battle crap.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  Apologist Puncher on Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:56 pm

Copies of the documents WB is using as the basis for their suit against Toberoff:

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/10/29/superman-dc-comics-v-pacific-pictures-corp-and-the-toberoff-timeline/

Toberoff induced the Shuster heirs to repudiate their 1992 agreement with DC Comics and enter into a 50/50 joint venture with defendant Pacific Pictures Corporation, a company wholly owned and controlled by Toberoff, pursuant to which the heirs conveyed the entirety of their purported Superman copyright termination rights to the venture. The stated purpose of the venture was to secure and exploit DC Comics’ copyright interest in Superman. Toberoff procured this joint-venture agreement even though he knew that the Shusters’ 1992 agreement with DC Comics operated to grant any and all of the heirs’ interest in Superman to DC Comics and extinguish any termination rights the heirs might have held. Toberoff also induced the Shuster heirs to serve a notice of termination purporting to terminate and recapture alleged interests they had granted to DC Comics under the parties’ 1992 agreement. This termination notice was invalid: among other defects, it was filed by a party lacking the necessary majority interest to terminate. Furthermore, any putative right to terminate held by Joe Shuster ceased to exist when he died having elected not to exercise it during his lifetime and having died without leaving a surviving spouse, child, or grandchild to inherit and exercise it.

As a result of his arrangements with both the Shuster and Siegel heirs, Toberoff secured control of the largest financial stake in the collective, putative Superman termination rights (i.e., Toberoff—47.5%; Siegel heirs—27.5%; Shuster heirs—25%). Toberoff sought further control, however. In order to assert that DC Comics had no further rights to exploit the derivative Superman character “Superboy”—including in the highly popular Smallville network television series—Toberoff manufactured the position that Jerry Siegel alone—to the exclusion of Shuster—was the sole creator of Superboy. Toberoff did so with full knowledge that his 2001 agreement with the Shusters explicitly confirmed the Shusters’ asserted joint rights in Superboy, consistent with the long-held view of Shuster, Siegel, and their heirs that Superboy was jointly created by Shuster and Siegel.

Direct link to the documents themselves:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/70799469/Exhibit-A-to-DC-Comics-v-Pacific-Pictures-Corp-Superman-Marc-Toberoff-Timeline

If these turn out to be real, and from what the judge has said they ARE, disbarment is the LEAST of the punishments this weasel should receive.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  non_amos on Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:36 pm

I don't claim to know law but methinks there's 'something rotten in Denmark' with what Toberoff is attempting to do. It's obvious he's looking out for El Numero Uno, himself! So what is his end game anyway? He himself becomes the 'major stockholder' or something? He goes on to make his own Superman films & reap the profits? Certainly no judge is so blind as to not see through this perversion of justice?!

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  thecolorsblend on Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:38 pm

I'm no legal eagle but I do work with lawyers. A lot. To my understanding (and this could end up being way wrong so please do fact-check as you see fit), best case scenario, the dude gets disbarred. But the lengths of manipulation that he's apparently gone to... frankly, the sky could be the limit for all I know: fraud, contempt of court, etc. Worst case... shit, this could be a prison sentence for all I know.

Even so... I'm wondering how this would affect his deals re: ownership with the Siegel/Shuster Parasites. Let's say that an agreement is reached for some sort of 50/50 split between WB and the Siegel/Shuster Parasites. Of the latter's 50% share, would Tobe continue with his controlling interest? My suspicion is that the agreement is conditional upon the matter being settled and Superman being turned over to the Parasites... but that's from skimming this stuff, not from any level of in depth research.

As far as ownership rights are concerned, it seems to me the 1992 stuff is the more germane issue to DC's position as sole owners of all things Superman.

This thing has so many twists and turns, it's unbelievable. No matter how things shake out, I'm glad DC has finally found legal representation that knows how to deal with Tobe. Looks to me like the fucker has played every kind of dirty pool there is and I, for one, am happy that it's finally coming to light.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  thecolorsblend on Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:39 pm

non_amos wrote:I don't claim to know law but methinks there's 'something rotten in Denmark' with what Toberoff is attempting to do. It's obvious he's looking out for El Numero Uno, himself! So what is his end game anyway? He himself becomes the 'major stockholder' or something? He goes on to make his own Superman films & reap the profits? Certainly no judge is so blind as to not see through this perversion of justice?!
Yeah, no shit. I mean, at what point does the attorney's potential benefits in a case like this become a conflict of interest?

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  Apologist Puncher on Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:43 pm

non_amos wrote:I don't claim to know law but methinks there's 'something rotten in Denmark' with what Toberoff is attempting to do. It's obvious he's looking out for El Numero Uno, himself! So what is his end game anyway? He himself becomes the 'major stockholder' or something? He goes on to make his own Superman films & reap the profits? Certainly no judge is so blind as to not see through this perversion of justice?!

Here's what I am pretty confident that asshair wants to do:

1. Obtain his 47.5% MAJORITY SHARE of the Superman property. By any means necessary.

2. Broker his OWN deal with the Bros. Warner for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars. Of which HE would receive his 47.5% share of. The Heirs would then SPLIT the remaining 52.5%.

Everything this douche is doing goes against the entire CONCEPT of our court system. The fact that he didn't outright deny what was in the letters WB obtained, and in fact reported them stolen, will sink him. Hopefully for good.

I expect him to drop-out as the attorney for the Heirs prior to this happening, with WB then dropping their suit against him.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  non_amos on Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:47 pm

One thing that gets me is how the media, what I've read online anyway, has portrayed Toberoff as being almost invincible himself, like the character he's trying to usurp. I mean, it's like these guys 'tuck tail & run' at the mere mention of his name! I mean, he wins cases like this, right? All the time, right? I don't know where this stands right now but I know he threw his hat in with the Jack Kirby estate also to sue Marvel similarly. Gold-Digger? I think that would be an understatement! I don't think being impartial is in his vocabulary.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  Apologist Puncher on Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:02 am

non_amos wrote:One thing that gets me is how the media, what I've read online anyway, has portrayed Toberoff as being almost invincible himself, like the character he's trying to usurp. I mean, it's like these guys 'tuck tail & run' at the mere mention of his name! I mean, he wins cases like this, right? All the time, right? I don't know where this stands right now but I know he threw his hat in with the Jack Kirby estate also to sue Marvel similarly. Gold-Digger? I think that would be an understatement! I don't think being impartial is in his vocabulary.

An ex-attorney from Toberoff's office decided to torpedo his "practices".

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  webhead2006 on Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:17 am

I still dont get all the legal mumbo jumbo stuff myself. But what i gather from those quote it seems the lawyer dude had no rights at all towards the copyright(more so on the shuster's end of the rights) and pretty much forced the siegel heirs to give him the rights. So if this is indeed the case i agree the case should be dropped and then wb/dc just work on a monitary deal with the heirs to cover looses and stuff. So then the heirs just get a percentage of profits made on the rights they do own that dc uses in said given year and be just that.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  Apologist Puncher on Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:36 pm

http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/warner-bros-wants-rights-fight-with-superman-heirs-decided-in-court/

Warner Bros Wants Rights Fight With Superman Heirs Decided In Trial

By THE DEADLINE TEAM | Monday March 26, 2012 @ 3:54pm PDT
Tags: Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Superman, Warner Bros
Freelance journalist Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

In a strategic move in the copyright battle between Warner Bros and the heirs to Superman’s creators, the studio has filed an appeal to reverse earlier rulings in the case and put everything out in open court in a trial. “This long-running dispute should be brought to an end,” Warner Bros wrote in a dense 117-page appeal (read it here) filed Friday with the 9th Circuit Court. In typical Hollywood legalities, the move actually resolves nothing — expect to see a response from the heirs and then another back from Warner Bros, and all off it to end up one way or another in the Appellate Court sometime in the late summer or early fall.

Through the courts, the estate of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel recaptured half of the original Superman rights in 2008, with the estate of co-creator Joe Shuster to do the same in 2013. Warner Bros, which owns longtime Superman publisher DC Comics, disagrees with those decisions. “This case is about the ownership of copyright in the earliest comics that introduced elements of the iconic Superman character and story,” the appeal from Warners lawyer Daniel Petrocelli states. “The case presents an unusually broad array of doctrinal, factual, and procedural issues. But much of the case reduces to a familiar proposition: a deal is a deal.”

Warners contends that Laura Siegel Larson, the heir to the Siegel estate, “reneged” on a copyright deal with DC that “guaranteed the family many millions of dollars in cash, royalties, and other compensation.” In its call to have the issue decided by trial, the studio says “the family asserted there was no deal without a long form and the district court agreed, casting aside established California contract law principles — principles essential to the entertainment industry, where many business deals are never formalized.” The latest legal move by Warner Bros follows a win last year in the matter, when Judge Otis Wright tossed out a First Amendment suit by Marc Toberoff, a rights lawyer for the heirs.

None of this will have any immediate effect on the upcoming Zack Snyder-directed Superman reboot Man Of Steel, scheduled to be released June 14, 2013, or any potential sequels from that property.

The bold REEKS of Toberoff.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  thecolorsblend on Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:47 pm

Apologist Puncher wrote:The bold REEKS of Toberoff.
That has been explicitly stated in some reports I saw. He was named outright. And something else? He approached them. I'm not a lawyer so I don't know how common that is but it seemed worth noting.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  webhead2006 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:41 pm

I just like to see things settled out and be done with. Its no good for either party with the continued back and forth nature of the case.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

Post  Apologist Puncher on Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:14 pm

thecolorsblend wrote:
Apologist Puncher wrote:The bold REEKS of Toberoff.
That has been explicitly stated in some reports I saw. He was named outright. And something else? He approached them. I'm not a lawyer so I don't know how common that is but it seemed worth noting.

Keep in mind, Deadline.com is 1000% PRO-Siegel/Shuster in this matter. Even though in their OWN story, it confirms what the Bros. Warner have been saying, and are suing Toberoff over, they still don't concede that HE is the problem.

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Re: Superman Case With The Shuster/Siegel Estates

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