Friday, February 13, 2009

SAG President’s Appeal Denied

Friday the 13th proved unlucky for SAG president Alan Rosenberg and his co-plaintiffs in their lawsuit against their own union. It turns out that three days ago, they filed an appeal of the Superior Court’s denial of their request for a temporary restraining order that would have blocked negotiations with the studios. Today, that appeal was denied.

For those into legal details, the appeal was in the form of a writ of mandamus, essentially a special form of appeal. Rosenberg and his fellow Membership First plaintiffs 1st VP Anne-Marie-Johnson and board members Diane Ladd and Kent McCord can still file an ordinary appeal of the denial, and they can still continue to press their lawsuit in the Superior Court as well. Both of those processes would take months.

However, although the “Gang of Four” can continue the lawsuit ad nauseam, wasting SAG members’ money in the process, they’re unlikely to gain traction. The remedies they are seeking in the lawsuit—injunctions—are similar to what they’ve already been denied twice, at two different levels of the court system. No judge is likely to micromanage union affairs, wade into internecine politics, and unwind actions taken by the Board and, ultimately, one hopes, by the membership. SAG and the AMPTP rightly are viewing the lawsuit as irrelevant, and plan to proceed with negotiations on Tuesday and Wednesday next week (Feb. 17 and 18).


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1 comment:

  1. The simple explanation, as I posted in another comment earlier this week, is that mandamus relief is not available where there is a right of appeal. Since the order denying injunctive relief is appealable, mandamus relief was not available. I expected this petition to be denied summarily, and it apparently was.

    What puzzles me is that the plaintiffs' attorney would be unfamiliar with such a basic matter, and didn't at least try for a form of relief that wasn't DOA. I still doubt whether the Court of Appeal would have granted one of the other possible forms of relief, but at least he would have had a fighting chance.