BRADENTON, Fla., June 16, 2006 -- In a major setback to the Walt Disney Corp.'s efforts to recapture near-priceless rights to Winnie The Pooh merchandise from the original licensees, the United States Supreme Court refused without comment Monday to hear an appeal of Los Angeles Federal Court Judge Florence Cooper's 2003 decision denying the studio the right to terminate a 1983 agreement with Pooh's licensornand buy future rights from descendants of British children's author A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shephard, The American Reporter has learned.
ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 6, 2003 -- The man who freed O.J. Simpson from the clutches of the law in his celebrated murder case will soon go nose-to-nose with the only man who ever prosecuted Simpson successfully - in civil court - for the murders of his wife Nicole and waiter Ron Goldman - in the mutlibillion-dollar suit over royalties and future rights to Winnie the Pooh.
HOLLYWOOD, Dec. 4, 2002 -- A Beverly Hill heiress to Winnie the Pooh riches charged yesterday she is being "manipulated" and won't pay the remainder of a claim against her for firing Mireya Shea, the wife of American Reporter Editor-in-Chief Joe Shea.
HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 21, 2002 -- A California Court of Appeal dealt a "devastating" setback to the Walt Disney Co. Wednesday when it refused to consider the studio's appeal from harsh sanctions levied by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige for its destruction of thousands of documents in a billion-dollar lawsuit over royalties due to Stephen Slesinger Inc., the owners of Winnie the Pooh commerical rights for the U.S. and Canada.
HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 16, 2002 -- The heiress to a potential billion-dollar fortune generated by royalties from Winnie the Pooh today slammed a new lawsuit over rights to the beloved bear filed Nov. 5 in Federal court by the Walt Disney Co., and a renowned copyright attorney says Disney's claims that it has an agreement to recapture her rights violates copyright law.
HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 5, 2002 -- In a stunning announcement, the Walt Disney Co. Monday declared Monday that it had struck a deal under the 1998 revision of the U.S. Copyright Act with two English heirs of Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shepard to have the two recapture rights to the world's most popular bear from the American heirs of a literary agent who owned them for more than 72 years and then sell them to Disney in 2004.
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 21, 2002 -- As suggested here last February, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige has now ordered a new accounting of royalties paid by the Walt Disney Co. to the owners of commercial rights to Winnie the Pooh, the studio's hottest-selling character. The judge finalized a ruling Friday that accused the accountants appointed by the court of bias against the owners of the Pooh rights.
The Walt Disney Co. came to our house today, not with Mickey Mouse and Pocahontas and a silly grin, but in a dirty T-shirt with a foreign accent, a pile of ancient contracts and old newspaper articles under one arm, all attached to subpoenas for me and my wife.
HOLLYWOOD, Sept. 20, 2002 -- Joe Shea, the Editor-in-Chief of The American Reporter who broke most of the major stories in the epic struggle betwen the Walt Disney Co. and Stephen Slesinger Inc. over rights to Winnie the Pooh, will be subpoenaed to provide a deposition by the Walt Disney Co., a Disney lawyer said Thursday, bringing to two the number of journalists the company has embroiled in the long-running and complex case.
HOLLYWOOD, June 24, 2002 -- An heiress to the multimillion-dollar fortune generated by royalties from Winnie The Pooh has fired her family's longtime maid because the maid's husband, American Reporter Correspondent Joe Shea, refused to change a particular word in a quote, the well-known journalist revealed today.
LOS ANGELES, June 18, 2002, 5:35pm PDT -- In a tentative ruling handed down late today, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ernest M. Hiroshige fired a controversial forensic accounting firm, threw out most of a court-appointed auditor's findings and awarded the owners of commercial rights to children's favorite Winnie The Pooh a 12.5 percent error rate in their Walt Disney Co. royalty payments that may yield as much as $200 million for them, the plaintiffs say.
HOLLYWOOD, April 16, 2002 -- Eight months of settlement talks in the 11-year legal battle between the Walt Disney Co. and Stephen Slesinger, Inc., over royalties from Winnie the Pooh have irretrievably broken down, Hollywood superlawyer Bert Fields told the Los Angeles Superior Court Monday in a faxed letter, The American Reporter has learned.
LOS ANGELES, March 20, 2002 -- Even as lawyers in Los Angeles Superior Court heard their trial in the bitter clash over royalties for Winnie the Pooh set for Feb. 5, 2003 - some 12 years after the case was filed - lawyers for a New York freelancer whose stories on the case enraged Disney executives headed to court in New York Cty to sue Disney and the New York Post after editors at the Post allegedly caved in to pressure from Disney to fire her for her articles on the case.
LOS ANGELES, March 1, 2002 -- The California Supreme Court has decided n ot to review an appeal by the Walt Disney Co. from a lower court's decision to slap the media giant with stiff penalties for willfully destroying documents it had been ordered to preserve, the American Reporter has learned.
HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 25, 2002 -- A lengthy and expensive accounting in the battle over royalties on Winnie The Pooh revenues may be tainted, according to persons familiar with the case and court records.
HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 4, 2002 -- Arthur Andersen & Co., the accounting firm that oversaw the shredding of Enron Corporation records, was hired as the outside accounting expert in the long-running Winnie the Pooh royalties case and worked on it at the Walt Disney Co. from 1994 to at least 1998, a period when thousands of pages of documents related to the case were destroyed in violation of a court order, The American Reporter has learned.
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 24, 2002 -- The Walt Disney Co. destroyed "hundreds of boxes and thousands of pages" of records from its Hong Kong manufacturing arm showing how Winnie The Pooh-related products were made, shipped and licensed, newly-released documents in an 11-year-old lawsuit for hundreds of millions in past due royalties reveal.
HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 19, 2002 -- The Walt Disney Co. paid at least $750,000 in 1983 to the widow and her daughter who own the commercial rights to Winnie the Pooh after lawyers accused the company of cheating them on royalty payments and threatened the studio with a lawsuit, newly-opened documents in a 1991 lawsuit revealed Friday. The suit is only now approaching trial.
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Jan. 18, 2002 -- Call it the case of Bear v Rodent ; call it W. Pooh v M. Mouse; call it one of the biggest lawsuit s that you've never heard of.
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 11, 2001 -- Friday was Day 3,966 in the Hundred-Mile Wood of the Stephen Slesinger Inc. v Walt Disney Co. case. A Superior Court hearing on suppressed documents in the long-running battle over royalties from Winnie the Pooh was confined to the judge's chambers, and its outcome was still more delay in releasing documents made public by Judge Ernest Hiroshige on Dec. 10.
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 10, 2002 -- A lawyer for the Walt Disney Co. said Thursday there is no way the owners of the U.S. and Canadian commercial rights to Winnie the Pooh can get their lucrative rights back under their 1983 contract with the studio.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 12. 2001 -- Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige today moved to unseal tens of thousands of documents in a long-running case that has pitted the Walt Disney Co. against heirs to the U.S. rights to Winnie the Pooh in a dispute over hundreds of millions of dollars in alleged past-due and future royalties.
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 19, 2001 -- The Walt Disney Co. is asking California's Second District Court of Appeal to reverse financial and legal sanctions against the company for the destruction of records in a long-running, high-stakes case that could cost it tens of millions in past-due and future royalties and the right to sell billions of dollars worth of Winnie The Pooh products in the United States and Canada, the American Reporter has learned.
HOLLYWOOD, August 23, 2001 -- A still-secret decision on sanctions against the Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. for "willful destruction" of evidence in a long-running royalties battle is "devastating" to its claim that it owes no royalties on Winnie The Pooh videos, computer software and other commercializations of the world's most popular cartoon character, a plaintiffs' attorney familiar with the sealed opinion said Wednesday.
LOS ANGELES, August 17, 2001 -- The Walt Disney Co., apparently stung by charges that accounting chicanery helped it conceal about $100 million in revenues from one of its most significant royalty participants, asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige Thursday to approve a new "high level audit" of its Winnie The Pooh payments after an $800,000, 5,000-hour audit turned up little in the way of new royalties owed.
LOS ANGELES, August 15, 2001 -- Upping the stakes significantly in the long-running royalties dispute between the Walt Disney Co. and the Tampa-based owners of exclusive U.S. and Canadian rights to the many commercial adventures of Winnie The Pooh, Hollywood superlawyer Bert Fields told The American Reporter today that his clients would elect to take Pooh elsewhere if a judge finds early next year that Disney engaged in breach of contract and fraud in not paying royalties on the popular character, which contributed gross revenues of $5 billion to Disney's $25-billion bottom line last year. Disney spokesperson Michelle Bergman said she had no comment on the issue.
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 15, 2001 -- Final arguments are due today in Los Angeles County Superior Court after a two-day hearing on accounting methods used by the Walt Disney Co. to calculate Winnie The Pooh royalties paid to the heirs of "Red Ryder" producer Stephen A. Slesinger.
LOS ANGELES, August 14, 2001 -- Two of the most famous lawyers in America quietly collided Monday in a California courtroom over royalty payments on one of the most famous and lucrative literary characters ever created, with Hollywood superlawyer Bert Fields saying the owners of U.S. and Canadian rights to exploit Winnie The Pooh are owed hundreds of millions of dollars by the Walt Disney Co. on a contract first negotiated by Walt Disney himself, and the other, O.J. Simpson nemesis Daniel Petrocelli, saying anything owing under an agreement with the man who created Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck has already been paid.
HOLLYWOOD, Aug. 25, 2000 -- The giant law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, one of the largest in the world, will withdraw as a representative of the Walt Disney Corp. in a long-running lawsuit brought against it by Stephen Slesinger Inc., the owners of the merchandise rights to the best-selling Winnie The Pooh characters, after the plaintiffs said they would call Disney's lawyers as witnesses in the evidence destruction, a spokesman for Slesinger told the American Reporter today.
LOS ANGELES, June 19, 2000 -- A Superior Court judge ruled Friday that the Walt Disney Co. destroyed key evidence in a case involving rights and royalties on Winnie The Pooh, a top-selling character Disney licensed from Stephen Slesinger Inc. more than 40 years ago, the American Reporter has learned.