A new judge has been assigned to the WGAs civil suit against the Big 4 talent agencies after the guild used its peremptory challenge to boot the previous one off the case after accusing him of being “prejudiced.” A case management conference isnt scheduled until October 21.

The new judge, Craig D. Karlan, replaces Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Marc Gross, who the guild accused of being “prejudiced” because his wife once worked for Endeavor before its 2009 merger with the William Morris Agency. That merger created WME, which is a defendant in the suit along with CAA, UTA and ICM Partners. The guild also noted that the Gross wife previously had worked at two production companies – Turner Network Television and GK-tv – that might have paid packaging fees to talent agencies.

“If those companies paid packaging fees to employee representatives,” a WGA attorney said in a letter to Gross requesting that he recuse himself, “the payments would arguably constitute a violation” of the plaintiffs theory that challenges “the defendant agencies practice of receiving substantial packaging fees from the production companies that employ their clients.”

Scales Of Justice GavelA CAA attorney scoffed at the guilds legal theory for recusal. “That would require the recusal of a significant portion of the bench in the Los Angeles Superior Court,” the attorney told Judge Gross. “Perhaps that is the WRead More – Source