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Entries in Zooey Deschanel (2)

Wednesday
Jun272012

Lawyers for Kohl’s Sue Retailer over Zooey Deschanel Lawsuit

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Lawyers for Kohl’s Department Stores have turned the tables on their client by filing a lawsuit against the national retailer, demanding more than $600,000 in attorney fees after settling a lawsuit with actress Zooey Deschanel for $100,000.

Deschanel, star of the Fox show, New Girl, had filed a lawsuit in December 2010, claiming she had an oral contract with the shoemaker Steve Madden to use her name and likeness for a “Zooey” line of shoes. She claims the shoemaker repudiated the contract with her agent but it was later discovered that Steve Madden had an agreement with shoemaker Candie’s to distribute “Candie’s Zooey shoes” at Kohl’s.

The actress said she was never paid for the endorsement deal.

Kohl’s retained the law firm, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, in August 2011, replacing prior counsel because Sheppard Mullin “would be better qualified to handle” the prospect of depositions of senior executives, “substantial exposure to additional lawsuits for the similar use of celebrity names, such as Cher and Madonna, for Kohl’s shoe lines,” among other issues, the suit claims.

Unfortunately, the lawyers didn’t learn from their own lawsuit and proceeded without a written agreement from Kohl’s.

“Due to these pending issues at the time of Sheppard Mullin’s substitution, immediate action was necessary and there was no time to wait to act until after obtaining a written engagement agreement,” the suit states. But Sheppard Mullin claims they sent their hourly rates to Kohl’s in a letter, and that the rates were “discussed and orally agreed to by Kohl’s.”

The law firm filed a lawsuit against Kohl’s in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, claiming Kohl’s isn’t paying up as they orally promised and suing Kohl’s for breach of contract among other complaints.

Kohl’s and Sheppard Mullin did not immediately return a request for comment.

Kohl’s refused to pay Sheppard Mullins “on the grounds that the fees incurred were disproportionate to the value of the case, which Kohl’s valued based on the amount of the settlement, ignoring the facts that [Deschanel] demanded $1.7 million in damages, that a loss in the case would mean significant exposure to additional similar lawsuits, and that Kohl’s faced potential sanctions.”

In early October 2011, Deschanel demanded $1.7 million “and it did not appear that settlement would be possible,” the suit claims.

“Through Sheppard Mullin’s diligent efforts in October 2011, particularly in resolving discovery battles and identifying experts, the tide turned in Kohl’s favor,” the lawsuit claims.

At the end of October 2011, Deschanel agreed to settle with Kohl’s for $100,000 in damages, according to the court filing.

Meanwhile, the law firm racked up $608,694.67 in legal fees from August to November 2011.

Kohl’s rejected the invoices submitted by Sheppard Mullin and disputed the amount of fees owed, the suit states. The retailer “criticized Sheppard Mullin for preparing for trial and undertaking tasks it thought its prior counsel was doing,” the suit states.

On May 16, 2012, the law firm sent Kohl’s a formal demand of $628,589.59 which includes interest of 10 percent per year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec202011

Ryan Gosling, Other Celebs on McDonald's Egg Suppliers: I'm Hatin' It

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Hollywood stars Ryan Gosling, Zooey Deschanel and Steve-O are urging McDonald's to improve animal welfare and do away with farming chickens in battery cages at their egg suppliers, saying of the practice, "I'm Hatin' It."

In a letter, which takes a swipe at McDonald's famous "I'm Lovin' It" tagline, the celebrities criticize McDonald's for receiving eggs from egg factory farms "that confine hens to most of their lives in cages," and call on the company to recognize its "moral responsibility" and switch to cage-free suppliers.

"On behalf of compassionate people everywhere, I implore you to help end the needless suffering of these animals by adopting strict and meaningful animal welfare policies worldwide, including the commitment to prohibit the purchase of eggs produced by hens who spend their miserable lives crammed into tiny wire cages," says the letter, which is addressed to McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner and is also signed by celebrities Alicia Silverstone and Maria Menounos. "While McDonald's brags about the 'billions and billions served,' millions of hens exploited for your restaurants are being grossly underserved."

The letter, dated Monday, follows an ABC News 20/20 report in November that showed undercover video shot by the animal rights group Mercy for Animals of one of McDonald's former largest egg suppliers, Sparboe Farms, that showed purportedly cruel conditions including hundreds of chickens packed into small battery cages, sometimes apparently living on top of the remains of other trampled birds.

McDonald's, which dropped Sparboe as a supplier after the ABC News report, said that Skinner had not yet received the letter, but the company has been looking into cage-free options already.

"McDonald's cares about how our food is sourced and we have a long history of action and commitment to improve the welfare of animals in our supply chain around the world," the company said in response to news reports on the letter. "In the United States, we are a founding member of the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply (CSES) and are participating in an unprecedented three-year study that compares traditional, cage-free, and enriched laying hen housing systems on a commercial scale. For our customers, that means we're working with scientists and suppliers to determine the most optimal hen housing method considering impacts on hen health [and] welfare, food safety, environment, and other important factors. As a result of the study, McDonald's USA is purchasing approximately 1 million eggs per month from each of the housing systems, including cage-free."

"Scott," the activist who shot the undercover video at Sparboe Farms, said that five to seven birds were kept in each small cage, with their beaks cut at an early stage so they wouldn't peck each other, and that each bird lived its life in an area smaller than a standard sheet of paper.

"There were [dead] birds that were left in the cages that were decomposing for weeks or months at a time," Scott said. "[They] had just been left there . . . in the battery cages with birds who were still alive and laying eggs for human consumption."

The videos also showed workers apparently breaking chicks' necks and swinging birds around by their necks. The investigation, according to Mercy for Animals executive director Nathan Runkle, "illustrates that McDonald's lacks the basic policies and oversight to prevent blatant animal abuse at its egg suppliers."

Battery cages are "the model of efficiency but they place an emphasis on profit over animal welfare," Runkle said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio