The Hollyweird Legal Round-Up: Contracts, Baseball, and Piracy

10.16.13 5 years ago 6 Comments


Why hello there! As you can tell from the banner pic I’m a dog lawyer, member in good boy standing of the California State Bark Association. Res ipsa woof!

I kid, I kid. Believe you me, B. Finch, Esq. is people.

ANYhoo, let’s talk Tinsel Town law.

1) Why We Sue: Contracts


My Trailer’s Too F*cking Small; What Am I Paying You For, Murray?

Not all the Hot Legal Goss has to be about dumb lawsuits, you know. Sometimes you should, nay, must, read about the dopey agreements upon which the dumb lawsuits are based.

Dopey Agreements—A History: Back before the Jews allegedly ran Hollywood, in the halcyon days when we actually DID run Hollywood (enjoy a heaping helping of f*ck you, The Japanese and Rupert Murdoch), the most you could expect out of any one movie was a boffo return as high as ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Now that any piece of sh*t can make more than the annual GDP of Liberia over a long weekend, you’d think that the era when a “contract” was three words written in lead-based paint on Fatty Arbuckle’s left tit would be a distant memory.

Alas, no.

Me: I mention this because of a contract I saw this week. You know how Hertz makes you sign a Santa’s Naughty List-length amount of fine print to rent a Kia Spectrum for two days? The agreement I reviewed, licensing several seasons of a mediocre TV series for exhibition on Basic Cable (movie-related because studios make a F*CKton from cable networks for their old movies, in essentially identical deals), was (a) worth $87 million, (b) 4 pages long and (c) IN 11 POINT COMIC SANS. This seems like, and is, the kind of thing I would make up to push Vince over the edge. And yet true.

The Lesson, As Always: Life is not a meritocracy. People way dumber than you get paid vast sums. Drink responsibly.

2) Piracy. No, The Other Kind.

Suit: The real-life crew of Captain Phillips’ boat is suing the shipping line.

Result: Indirectly affects the movie; tests the theory that there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Me 2.0: Like you, I consider it a costly and generally-unnecessary hassle in the castle to leave the house in order to see a movie—you haven’t seen Lawrence of Arabia until you’ve seen it in the shower on a laminated Galaxy S4. Unlike you, I sleep on a canopy futon, nestled between symmetrically arranged African-American and Caucasian prostitutes (known in The Industry as a s’mWhore) (term of art). Regardless, I’m chagrined that every week, my beloved bidness is putting out movies that it behooves one to see on a big screen—Rush, Gravity and now Die Wet.

The Wrinkle: People have had their quibbles with the former two—Gravity because science, Rush because Ron Howard. With Captain Phillips, a small but in-the-know group of whiners, to wit, the crew of the boat that got hijacked, has a beef. They don’t claim that the story was ripped off, although they did come up with the idea of having their boat hijacked before the screenwriter did, which, credit where it’s due, was an idea the Somali pirates had first. As recounted in this space, minus my University of Phoenix-approved legal expertise, by one Ashley Hussein Burns [see], the crew is peeved with the owner of their boat, the Alabama (related: get f*cked Nick Saban). They say that the company, Maersk, encouraged the captain to bring the ship’s course closer to land than necessary in order to save time and money, making it pirate bait in the process.

What Needs To Happen: No idea about the maritime law part—you’d need an expert to explain that. And Phillips himself is not a defendant, although the implication is that he’s less of a hero than we are led to believe because he followed his company’s dumb orders and put their interests ahead of the crew’s safety. It is not legally relevant that Captain Richard Phillips was considered a Major Richard Weed by his subordinates, although that sh*t will most certainly get you got in Hater Court.

Regardless, Phillips will be testifying at the trial in December. And What Needs to Happen is that Hanks must take the stand, in character as the captain. He will absolutely crush the cross-examination; then, the defense will bring the judge to tears when they call Wilson as a character witness. Sure, it will be a miscarriage of justice, but so was giving Best Picture to Forrest Gump. A Crimson Tide player sees a girl getting nailed in a car and doesn’t try to tag in? Cracker, please (related: what are you still doing here, Saban? I told you to get f*cked).

Bonus: The movie is based on a book called “A Captain’s Duty,” which sounds like the same title they’ll use for the German scheiss porn version.

RIP, Blowjob Stacey.

RIP, Blowjob Stacey.

3) Trouble With Trouble With the Curve

Read this if you haven’t:

Vince at his Vinciest, law at its lawiest. There’s a link to the actual complaint, but it’s obscenely long and you should only attempt to read it through a pinhole in a piece of cardboard, because damn. This case completes me and I’ll provide updates as they happen. All I will mention now is, to underscore the plaintiff’s love for baseball—which is barely relevant to the suit—the complaint (on pages 21-22) includes pictures of his high school baseball trophy and jersey. Pictures, y’all. Pictures.

The attorney who wrote this abomination has a blog here:

Read it if the English language killed your childhood pet and you swore revenge.

4) Denouement.

File a lawsuit, mortals. Be somebody.

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