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Posts Tagged ‘Bert Fields’

Anschutz/Cussler Jury Take A Field Trip

The LA Times’ Glenn Bunting reports on the newest wrinkle in the civil trial between producer Philip Anschutz and author Clive Cussler that has, so far, seen accusations fly about inflated sales figures, script approvals gone wrong and how much money was made or lost on the 2005 movie SAHARA. So at the urging of Anschutz’s attorneys, Superior Court Judge John P. Shook arranged for the jury of eight women, four men and six alternates to view the adventure movie at an elegant screening room on the Paramount lot. Bert Fields, Cussler’s lawyer, had opposed showing the film outside the courthouse, arguing that the excursion would put “too much emphasis” on the movie starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz. “It’s prejudicial and pandering to the jury.”

Not so, says Alan Rader. “It is important for the jury to decide whether audiences enjoyed this movie or not. The only way to do that is to see it in a real movie theater with a real projection system.” But do they actually have to like or dislike the movie? Fields concedes the latter would help his case but it’s not essential.
“Even if they made a wonderful movie, Clive still gets to approve the changes because he is the decider, to use a current phrase.” So yeah, you read it right – jurors get to decide if the movie sucks or not as a means of moving the trial along. Who’d have thunk it?

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Cussler/Anschutz Lawsuit Underway

The LA Times’ Glenn Bunting reports on the latest developments in the fight between author Clive Cussler and producer Philip Anschutz about the movie SAHARA – and whether Cussler inflated his sales figures by a great deal to secure the movie deal,which is what Anschutz alleges in a countersuit. Anschutz’s production company, Crusader Entertainment, would never have made the feature film “Sahara” if it had known that Cussler’s New York agent, Peter Lampack, had “concealed the true facts for several years,” according to the lawsuit. But Cussler’s lawyer, Bert Fields (the same lawyer who is bff with Judith Regan) shot back, “It is a typical Anschutz bullying tactic to try to intimidate a witness on the other side by suing him personally. It is disgusting and despicable.”

Testimony in the lawsuit entered its sixth day, and Cussler hasn’t been faring well under friendly questioning from Fields. When asked the name of an Academy Award-winning screenwriter whose script Cussler approved, the 75-year-old novelist said “David Hart” — combining the names of “Sahara” writers David S. Ward, who won an Oscar for “The Sting,” and James V. Hart. In another instance, Fields asked Cussler whether he got along with director Rob Bowman. “We didn’t,” Cussler responded. “I never met him…. Oh, I’m sorry…I got along with Rob Bowman… I thought you were talking about [screenwriter] Josh Friedman.” Anschutz’s lawyers have delayed cross-examination for another time, and no doubt there will be more fun developments as the trial progresses…