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So Sue Me…

SNL Intern Lawsuit Ends with Resounding Lawyer Punchline

OuttenGoldenLogoOutten & Golden sounds like the name of Saturday Night Live skit law firm. But it is in fact a real outfit headed by Wayne N. Outten and Anne Golden, with offices in New York, LA and San Francisco.

This week, the news from the class-action front for this company is indeed golden. From Dominic Patten‘s Deadline report:

If everything is approved, the plaintiffs’ lawyers at labor-issues firm Outten & Golden will get $1.184 million from the settlement. Unsurprisingly, that’s a lot more than the plaintiffs will see. “Class Counsel will move for Court approval of the Service Payments of $10,000 to Plaintiff Monet Eliastam, $5,000 to Plaintiffs Alexander Vainer and Rheanna Behuniak, and $2,000 to Opt-In Plaintiffs Samantha Kurlander, Nicole Klepper and Jamaal Brown,” the filing of October 22 states. The rest of the cash will go to thousands of others who interned at NBCU starting on July 3, 2007 in New York and on February 10, 2010 in California. Those interns should expect to get about $500 each if they accept the settlement.

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A Prescription for Vigorous Debate: Katherine Heigl vs. Duane Reade

ShutterstockKatherineHeiglOver at Yahoo Celebrity, there’s an exclamation point in the headline. On Twitter, folks like Piers Morgan are leading the incredulous charge.

Never mind that most of the coverage seems to not understand that in these sorts of legal matters, the plaintiff starts with a figure that is intentionally outrageous and eventually, usually settles from there. This particular Google News trail stems from Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl‘s Wednesday NYC court filing against pharmacy chain Duane Reade:

The actress is said to be livid that photographs of her leaving the New York store last month carrying several shopping bags were used by the company, which tweeted the snap along with the caption: ‘Love a quick #DuaneReade run? Even @KatieHeigl can’t resist shopping #NYC’s favorite drugstore.’

The complaint said she was photographed in March near a Duane Reade store in New York while filming a new television series.

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Scientology Plaintiff Recasts Hubbard, Miscavige as Bond Villains

Five years after FishbowlLA first wrote about it, the legal crusade by Florida-based litigant Peter Letterese against the Church of Scientology continues. When Letterese recently reached out to us once more, he used an analogy that – regardless of the merits of his various complaints – lingered.

“In numerous places within his own writing, L. Ron Hubbard openly wrote about being a big Ian Fleming fan,” Letterese explained via email. “Every bit as dangerous as the Nazis, who used tanks, guns and ships to “conquer,” Hubbard, who didn’t have the financial resources for all that, created his own SPECTRE.”

In other words, Letterese is drawing a line from real-life USSR organization SMERSH and Fleming’s book-inspired version SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) to the idea that Hubbard was the equivalent of Ernst Stavro Blofeld and David Miscavige, ostensibly, Ernst Blofeld Jr. The current leader of the Church of Scientology does not have a white Persian cat, but as Janet Reitman‘s 2011 book about the non-profit religion alleged, he has owned dogs that come pretty close:

Miscavige would arrive flanked by his wife and Lou Stuckenbrock, a retinue of aides and, often, his beagles. He had five dogs, two of which, Jelly and Safi, wore tiny blue sweaters with commander’s bars. Miscavige was known to make his staffers salute the dogs, who held ranks higher than those of many people on the base.

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Day Two of IMDb Trial Full of Juicy Tidbits

It will never be as memorable as A Civil Action, The Verdict or My Cousin Vinny. But there’s no denying that by suing IMDb, 41-year-old actress Huong Huang (a.k.a. Junie Hoang) has cleverly cast herself in the best lead role of her career.

Per a THR Esq. report by guest contributor (and attorney) Venkat Balasubramani, all sorts of fun testimony transpired Tuesday in the Pacific Northwest courtesy of Huang, her agent and IMDb’s customer service manager. And… if folks at a certain other I-acronym organization are paying attention, more real-life drama may be in the plaintiff’s future:

Hoang emphasized that her income decreased following IMDb’s display of her true birthdate. She testified that she amended her tax returns and that the amounts of money disclosed in tax filings did not present the full extent of her income.

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LA Times Delivery Drivers Shot by LAPD Get $40,000 in Lieu of New Truck

Well, this was infinitely more complicated than it needed to be. After pumping 102 bullets into the truck of Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, during the hunt for Christopher Dorner, LAPD volunteered to replace the truck, which the women used to deliver newspapers. When it came time to actually make good on its promise, however, the LAPD tried to force the women to pay the taxes on the new truck, claiming its hands were tied by the IRS.

According to the LA Times, the LAPD finally came to its senses yesterday and worked out a reasonable solution: give the women $40,000 so they can buy their own truck, and still afford to pay the relevant taxes.

The voluntary settlement still doesn’t prevent the pair from suing LAPD, particularly for shooting Hernandez twice in the neck. We’ll see if it will still buys the goodwill that it should have if it had been handled sensibly.

Reuters Social Media Editor Matthew Keys Indicted for Aiding Anonymous

OK, this is an odd one. Matthew Keys, a social media editor at Reuters and a former employee of the Tribune Company-owned Fox affiliate KTXL in Sacramento, has just been charged by the feds with helping Anonymous hack into the Tribune Company website in late 2010. More specifically, they are charging Keys with giving away log in keys to the Tribune website in an online chat room. Someone then took the log in data and used it to mess with the online version of an LA Times news story.

From the Times:

The indictment says Keys provided members of the hacker group Anonymous with log-in credentials for a computer server belonging to KTXL FOX 40’s corporate parent, the Tribune Co.

According to the indictment, Keys identified himself on an Internet chat forum as a former Tribune Co. employee.

After providing log-in credentials, Keys allegedly encouraged the Anonymous members to disrupt the website.  According to the indictment, at least one of the computer hackers used the credentials provided by Keys to log into the Tribune Co. server, and ultimately that hacker made changes to the web version of a Los Angeles Times news feature.

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Keith Olbermann and Current TV Finally Come to Settlement Terms

The Hollywood Reporter says that Current TV and Keith Olbermann have reached a settlement over his high-profile sacking last year. Not surprisingly, the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Olbermann and Current released a joint statement to the trade.

“The parties are pleased to announce that a settlement has occurred, and that the terms are confidential. Nothing more will be disclosed regarding the settlement.”

More from THR:

The move comes days after Olbermann filed extensive summary judgment motions (read in full) in advance of a May trial date in Los Angeles Superior Court. Olbermann claims he was improperly terminated without cause from his Countdown show a year into his five-year, $50 million contract with the network. He argues that Current and its co-founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt also trashed him in the press, used his name and image in connection with a commercial for AT&T and denied him editorial control over specific shows.

Newspaper Delivery Drivers Shot by LAPD Won’t Get New Truck

The LAPD PR-nightmare continues unabated. After mistakenly shooting more than 100 holes through the truck of Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, (who also took two bullets to the neck) during the hunt for Christopher Dorner, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck apologized and promised to replace their truck.

The new truck, however, is apparently not going to happen, according to NBC4, who spoke with the pair’s attorney Glen Jonas.

According to Jonas, LAPD and Galpin Ford wanted his clients to pose for a photo opportunity and pay income tax on the truck. The women no longer want the truck after they were told they needed to fill out a 1099 form for the donation, Jonas said Monday.

“You tried to murder the woman, now you’re telling her she can’t have a four-wheel drive, you’re telling her she can’t sell it and you’ve got to be taxed on it?” Jonas said. “How would anyone react to that?”

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James O’Keefe Agrees to Pay $100,000 to Victim of ACORN Sting

It was the sting that made him a household name, but James O’Keefe is paying for it now. Wonkette reports that the Breitbart protege just agreed to pay $100,000 to former California ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera–who O’Keefe filmed without consent for his doctored pimps-and-hoes sting operation that helped shut down the community organizing group in 2010. You know the one.

Vera was fired after appearing in O’Keefe’s video, even though it later turned out that O’Keefe’s “investigation” into unethical ACORN activity had been edited to look far worse than it actually was.

From Wonkette:

According to a copy of the deal, obtained late last night by your wonkettes and viewable after the jump, O’Keefe has also agreed to ink an 11-word non-apology apology, that sources close to reality are calling “insincere” and “suuuuuuuch bullshit.”

According to the final 5-page agreement, signed by O’Keefe and his legal counsel Mike Madigan this past Tuesday, the boy detective now publicly “regrets any pain suffered by Mr. Vera or his family.” O’Keefe and his counsel have also consented to fork over the $100,000 within 30 business days of the settlement agreement’s being signed.

Full settlement docs after the jump:

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Dianne Feinstein’s Husband at Center of Current TV Sale Lawsuit

An LA-based media consultant is claiming that selling Current TV to Al Jazeera was all his idea. THR Esq. has the eight-page complaint filed Tuesday in California Superior Court.

The allegations hinge on a July 23, 2012 meeting and Power Point presentation. On that summer Monday, John Terenzio claims he met with Current TV board member Richard Blum and laid out how the Qatar-based broadcaster could be a perfect fit. Blum, a billionaire, is married to California state U.S. Senator for California Dianne Feinstein.

Terenzio is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and currently listed as living in Los Angeles with his wife and three children. From his Tri American Productions (TAP Inc.) biography:

Terenzio served as the president of programming and publishing at Broadband Sports, specializing in sports content for new media and television platforms… He has created, developed and produced virtually every type of reality programming, including prime time network news, television and digital sports, and programming in the court and “talk” syndicated genres.

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