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WME and WGA Postpone Trial to February 2022 as Talks Continue

The Writers Guild of America and William Morris Endeavor have agreed to postpone a federal trial till February 2022, as the 2 sides proceed to work towards a settlement.

Attorneys for each side filed a request on Tuesday in federal court docket to push again the trial, which is presently set for Aug. 24.

WME mentioned on Monday that it’s engaged in substantive negotiations with the guild, and that it’s working to resolve the dispute as shortly as potential.

WME is the only real remaining company that doesn’t have a franchise settlement with the WGA. The WGA declared a boycott practically two years in the past that has succeeded in getting all different main businesses to surrender on packaging charges and affiliated manufacturing, which the guild considers an impermissible battle of curiosity. WME has made it clear that it, too, would love to attain an settlement, however that it wants extra time to divest its possession of Endeavor Content material, its manufacturing affiliate.

WME, CAA and UTA sued the guild in 2019, accusing it of participating in an unlawful group boycott in violation of antitrust legal guidelines. CAA and UTA have dropped out of the case, leaving solely WME nonetheless arguing that the boycott is illegitimate.

It seems unlikely that the case will proceed to trial. At a listening to in December, Decide Andre Birotte urged each side to attain a deal as shortly as potential, citing actual harms to brokers and shoppers who can’t work collectively so lengthy as the boycott continues. Birotte refused WME’s request to order an finish to the boycott, nonetheless, citing federal legislation that prohibits judicial intervention in non-violent labor disputes.

The six-month delay may also prolong deadlines for pre-trial discovery and motions, probably permitting the 2 sides extra respiratory room as they search a decision. The court docket system has additionally suffered from delays and a case backlog due to the pandemic, which additionally made it unlikely that the case may very well be heard in August.

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