“The Court GRANTS Defendants motion to stay this case pending resolution of his criminal case in New York, with the exception that the stay does not extend to any appeal Plaintiff takes from the Courts entry of judgment on its order dismissing her sexual harassment claim,” wrote U.S. District Judge Philip Guterrez today in a mixed bag of orders that are technically wins for both sides (read it here).
The much-accused producer is expected back in court back East on April 26 with his new-ish lawyer and set to go to trial on June 3 in the Empire State. Yesterday, Weinsteins West Coast lawyers successfully made their argument in DTLA that allowing the Berlin Station actors civil case to go forward simultaneously would make fighting legal battles on at least two fronts too much for Weinstein and could hinder his rights.
It is a notion that attorneys for Weinstein have put forth in several other actions their client faces, to varying degrees of success. All parties in the Judd case are ordered to meet two weeks after Weinsteins criminal trial starts for an update on the matter. A June 29 status conference has also been set, giving Weinstein a little over two and a half months to show that the Judd case should still remain halted.
However, with the overall nearly yearlong Judd case has seen the pause button hit for now, the actor has also been permitted to try to get the sexual harassment claim back into the matter after it was first tossed aside on an exaggerated technicality back in September of last year. That decision was reiterated in January of this year by Judge Guterrez when he declared that a 1990s hotel room encounter in which Weinstein allegedly attempted to physically assault Judd did not fit the legal definition of workplace sexual harassment under a previous California statute.
That may or may not change now, but at least Judd has another shot before the previous scheduled 2020 start of her retaliation case against Weinstein first filed last April.
“Taking all of the circumstances into account, the Court concludes that there are no just reasons for delaying appeal of the dismissal of Plaintiffs sexual harassment claim under § 51.9,” the federal judge said in another order (read it here) Tuesday coming off the oral arguments from both sides on Monday. “The claim presents novel legal questions that are entirely distinct from Plaintiffs other claims, and appellate review may provide important guidance to other courts grappling with similar issues. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs motion for entry of judgment on her sexual harassment claim.”
“The Courts order staying Ms. Judds case while Mr. Weinstein is on trial for rape and other charges is no surprise, since the Court took the view that when Mr. Weinstein finally answers her questions under oath prosecutors could use any truthful answers hes given to try to put him in prison,” Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner Michael Dore, one of Judds lawyer, told Deadline today. “At the same time, were very pleased that the Court has given Ms. Judd a chance to immediately seek an order from the Court of Appeal regarding what the Court described as an issue of first impression under California law that could affect others like Ms. Judd who only recently discovered that sexual harassment harmed their career prospects.”
Reps for Weinstein had nothing to say on Tuesdays orders
Claiming intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, Judds suit in no small part focuses on a December 2017 exclusive by Deadline that director Peter Jackson and producer Fran Walsh wanted to cast the A Time to Kill actor in 1998 in their Miramax-backed and Weinstein-produced The Lord of the Rings movies.
Judds lawsuit asserted that because the actor sexually rejected the producer, Weinstein “torpedoed Ms. Judds incredible professional opportunity” when he told Jackson and Walsh “that [his] studio had had a bad experience with Ms. Judd, and that Ms. Judd was a nightmare to work with and should be avoided at all costs. “
Weinstein has denied this was the case and that he in any way influenced Jackson and Walsh in who they put in the cast Read More – Source