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Beatty deposition battle in Dick Tracy case

Last March I posted news that actor Warren Beatty and Tribune Media Services were in a legal scrap over the movie rights of the Dick Tracy character. Beatty had the rights and made the 1990 Dick Tracy movie in which he starred, however TMS says that the rights were lost after a decade. The latest battle in the case is over whether Beatty would be videotaped in a court deposition. He maintains his celebrity status would make the tape highly prized to be posted online thereby violating his privacy. The judge ruled against Beatty.

Community Comments

#1 Ben Carlsen
@ 10:05 am

“He maintains his celebrity status would make the tape highly prized to be posted online thereby violating his privacy.”

Heh, right. If I was the judge, I’d rule the same, if only on grounds that any statement like that is extremely arrogant.

#2 Wiley Miller
@ 10:51 am

I don’t quite understand the judge’s ruling. Does that mean the judge would prefer a taped deposition over having Warren Beatty in court to testify? I would have thought such a fight would be the other way around, where the judge would be insisting on having him in court rather than a taped testimony.

#3 Phil Tography
@ 11:08 am

Beatty hasn’t made a decent movie in years, this might get him an oscar nod, I’m just saying …

#4 henry Clausner
@ 1:43 pm

they’ll work out of court on this one…he’s looking for $$$

@ 2:40 pm

Regarding Wiley’s question:

A deposition isn’t the same as testifying in court. It’s a sworn Q&A session made prior to the actual trial, in which the attorneys have a chance to get an idea what the eventual trial testimony will be. Since ther’s no judge, questions can be asked that might not be allowed in court. It also allows the attorneys to craft their trial strategies based on the statements made during the depositions.

@ 2:44 pm

One other point re Wiley’s question:

Depositions are often taped precisely so the attorneys can review them prior to the trial when they’re crafting their strategy.

And, as others have pointed out, depending on what comes out during the Q&A, the depositions might have the effect of keeping the case from ever getting to court, of muscling one party or the other into a settlement, thus saving court time.

#7 Ted Rall
@ 7:14 pm

What’s at issue here is the taping of a deposition during the so-called discovery phase of pre-trial preparations. Before trial, each side is permitted access to opposing witnesses and participants in order to depose them and determine what sort of testimony they may expect, so they can prepare cross-examination.

Were a trial to ensue, Beatty’s taped deposition would not preclude him from being called as a witness, hostile or otherwise.

#8 Tom Heintjes
@ 7:52 am

In related news, Beatty knocked up the court reporter during a break in the proceedings, and a pickpocket stole his two-way wrist radio during the security check. It’s such a dumb suit on so many levels…TMS treats the property like garbage and obviously holds it in appallingly low regard. Why so prideful now?

#9 henry clausner
@ 8:15 am

soundz like Beatty has his hands full…knocking up the court reporter and all. ewww…

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