September 19, 2021

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Break Through With Legalicy

‘Judge Judy’ Producers Beat Lawsuit Around Star’s $47 Million Pay out

The makers of television’s “Judge Judy” did not breach their deal with a talent agency by increasing the salary of Judy Sheindlin, the show’s star, to $47 million and managing it as a output price, a California appellate courtroom claimed Friday.

The predecessor of Rebel Entertainment Companions Inc. sold a courtroom-oriented demonstrate featuring Sheindlin, a former New York family courtroom decide, to producers Massive Ticket Tv Inc. and distributor CBS Corp. in 1995. As portion of the transaction, CBS agreed to pay Rebel 5% of the show’s “defined proceeds,” calculated by gross receipts minus creation fees.

In 2009, CBS doubled Sheindlin’s wage to $45 million, and afterwards greater it to $47 million, making her the best-paid host on tv, and substantially lessening the total Rebel received.

Rebel sued CBS in Los Angeles Top-quality Courtroom, asserting statements for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of great religion and truthful working. It alleged the improve in pay back need to have been handled as a sort of gain participation, rather than a generation price.

The demo court docket rejected that argument, finding CBS appropriately allocated the salary as a output expense. It granted summary judgment for CBS.

The California Courtroom of Appeal, 2nd District, affirmed the ruling. Sheindlin testified that she offered non-negotiable wage requires to CBS each three many years, and would have terminated the show’s relationship with CBS if her needs weren’t satisfied, Justice Gerrard Chaney wrote in the unpublished belief.

An professional at trial testified that Sheindlin’s salary was appreciably higher than other tv personalities, such as David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Conan O’Brien, who all received no a lot more than $28 million every year at the time Sheindlin was producing $47 million.

But CBS was forced to accept Sheindlin’s requires, because failing to do so would jeopardize the display, Chaney explained. Payments to her, consequently, constituted expenditures of generation.

Rebel dropped money below the settlement due to the fact Sheindlin demanded a large income, not simply because of any action by CBS, Chaney reported. The arrangement said that the wage of a performer constituted expense of generation, and Rebel unsuccessful to determine a expression that essential CBS to allocate costs of generation in very good faith.

Justices Frances Rothschild and Helen I. Bendix joined the belief.

Freedman & Taitelman and Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland signify Rebel Enjoyment. Loeb & Loeb signifies CBS.

The scenario is Rebel Entm’t Associates Inc. v. Big Ticket Tv, Cal. Ct. App., 2d Dist., No. B305862, unpublished 7/30/21.