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SAG legal battle set for a second round in court tomorrow

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Battling parties in the Screen Actors Guild are scheduled to go before a Los Angeles Superior Court judge again tomorrow. Yesterday, the judge ruled a lawsuit filed by SAG President Alan Rosenberg and three others was defective. Rosenberg , SAG First V.P. Anne-Marie Johnson, National Board member Diane Ladd, and National Board member Kent McCord were scheduled to re-file their suit tomorrow.

The Rosenberg group wants to reinstate ousted National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Doug Allen. Last night, Interim National Executive Director David White sent out an e-mail to members explaining the situation. That statement from White is posted on the SAG website as well.

Here’s that e-mail White sent out last night.

Dear Screen Actors Guild member,

As you know, the Guild was scheduled to resume negotiations today regarding the expired TV/Theatrical contract.  However, that meeting had to be postponed due to a legal matter that has been brought against the Guild, which is now before a state court in Los Angeles.  I am writing to present you with information about this development. 

Yesterday, the Guild received notice that President Alan Rosenberg, 1st Vice President Anne-Marie Johnson and National Board members Kent McCord and Diane Ladd filed a lawsuit against the Guild challenging the January 26, 2009 “written assent” presented by a majority of the National Board of Directors.  As you know, that written assent terminated the Guild’s relationship with its then-National Executive Director; created and appointed a national task force to advise the Chief Negotiator and the Board on the TV/Theatrical negotiations; named John T. McGuire as Chief Negotiator; and named me as Interim National Executive Director. If successful, this legal action could impact or even reverse those board actions.

As a result, attorneys for Screen Actors Guild appeared this morning in Los Angeles Superior Court to respond to the lawsuit. After hearing from attorneys representing the plaintiffs, as well as the response from SAG counsel, the Court ruled that the lawsuit was procedurally defective and refused to issue the requested injunction.

 The Plaintiffs’ counsel then stated that they intend to amend their documents and resubmit them this Thursday morning, February 5, 2009. The Guild will present a vigorous defense.

 The Guild understands the importance of concluding negotiations and securing a fair contract for SAG members and looks forward to re-engaging with the AMPTP as soon as possible.  In the meantime, the Guild continues to work in the service of its members, with focus, dedication and commitment.

David White

Interim National Executive Director 

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