Juliana Margulies May Face Malicious Prosecution Lawsuit in Battle with Ex-Manager
Julianna Margulies may hit yet another bump in her upcoming legal battle with her former management company.
The Good Wife star is being sued by her former management company, D/F Management, which she left in April 2011. The suit claims that her ex-manager, Steve Dontanville, is entitled to 10 percent of her continued earnings on The Good Wife, as well as for endorsement deals that they had negotiated when she was with the company, such as L'Oreal cosmetics. In its original July 2012 lawsuit, D/F Management alleged that Margulies owes $420,000 in unpaid commissions. However, after The Good Wife was sold into syndication in March, the company revised the suit to include a 10 percent of her earnings from that deal as well.
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In her counterclaim filed three months after the original suit, Margulies claimed Dontanville had shown a lack of initiative, attention, focus and commitment and that his firm had failed to provide the quality of services that she had expected.
Now, an attorney for D/F tells The Hollywood Reporter that they might file a civil malicious prosecution claim against Margulies. They claim that Margulies has acted in bad faith by filing counterclaims against D/F. Mathew Rosengart, D/F's lead attorney, also told the judge that Margulies had attempted to "obstruct justice" based on a deposition given by Margulies' talent agent in the case. Margulies' attorney, Sheldon Eisenberg, called the allegation "totally false." "There's absolutely no factual basis for it, and if he had uttered those words outside of a courtroom context he would be sued for defamation," Eisenberg told THR.
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Rosengart has not filed a motion seeking to have his accusation taken up by the judge, and there has been no indication that Margulies is facing any formal charge of obstruction. The two sides will meet for a mediation session on Monday. If Margulies and her former managers are unable to find common ground, the case will go to trial in January.
Because of her busy shooting schedule on The Good Wife, which returns for its fifth season next month, Margulies' team originally tried to get the trial pushed back six months from its original October start date. However, the judge only granted her half that time.
Margulies also sought an emergency appeal, which was denied by the judge earlier this month, as well as her request for a summary judgment back in June.