Judge For Scarlett Johansson / Disney Case Removes Himself Over Conflict of Interest

It appears the legal drama between Scarlett Johannson and Disney has gotten even more interesting. In late July the MCU actress filed a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company for breach of contract over the split release of ‘Black Widow’ to theaters and Disney+. Disney fired back and then filed with the courts to push the suit to arbitration, which would allow them to keep it more confidential and away from the prying eyes of the media and public.

Now the case has taken yet another turn as the judge has removed himself due to a potential conflict of interest.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert S. Draper removed himself on Monday due to the fact that he was a partner at O’Melveny & Meyers LLP until he left in 2005, but he still receives over $100k a year in monthly pensions from the firm. O’Melveny & Meyers have legally represented Disney in many cases including the lawsuit with Michael Jackson’s estate over an ABC special and the Zootopia Copyright lawsuit.

One of Disney’s lawyers on the Scarlett Johansson case is Daniel Petrocelli, who “is the Chair of O’Melveny’s Trial Practice and a Vice Chair of the firm.” So one can see where it could be argued that this is a conflict of interest.

Judge Draper’s removal can be waived if both sides agree to his return via a joint agreement by September 10th.  Otherwise the case will be reassigned to someone else. Given the circumstances that could be for the best.  Even if Judge Draper was completely fair some would still argue that his connections to Disney made him biased in some way.

The soap opera continues.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

Source: Spectrum News 1


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