Articles Posted in Short Takes

GOVERNOR SCHWARZENAGGER NOMINATES JUSTICE TANI CANTIL-SAKAUYE TO BECOME FIRST FILIPINO-AMERICAN ON STATE SUPREME COURT

July 22, 2010 is an historic day for the Filipino-American legal community. Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye of the California Court of Appeal has been tapped to become California’s first Filipino-American Supreme Court justice and the first Asian American woman to head any state supreme court. As the President and Chief Executive Officer of the PABA Foundation — the fundraising arm of the Philippine American Bar Association — it’s a proud day for me and the entire Filipino-American legal community.

View the Governor’s press conference here.You can read PABA’s press release celebrating Governor Schwarzenagger’s historic announcement here. You can also read the press release of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) about Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s nomination here.

WORLD CHAMPION BOXER AND THE PRIDE OF THE PHILIPPINES TO BE HONORED

The Philippine American Bar Association of Los Angeles (PABA) and the PABA Foundation have confirmed that Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao will be attending the organizations’ annual installation dinner and personally accept the PABA Foundation’s 2009 Kababayan Award. The Kababayan Award honors those Filipinos who inspire others through their accomplishments and service to the Filipino community. Manny’s success in the ring, as well as his lesser known philanthropic efforts, have inspired millions of Filipinos and others worldwide.

Also receiving awards from PABA will be California State Bar President Holly Fujie (Distinguished Advocate for Diversity Award), Assemblyman Warren Furutani (Distinguished Community Service Award) and Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley (Distinguished Leadership Award).

I am the President and CEO of the PABA Foundation and on the Board of Governors of the Philippine American Bar Association. This is a fun evening in which we pay homage to our heritage while honoring leaders of our community. We need and welcome your support. Please RSVP by downloading the formal invitation here. Hope to see you there.

A good friend from UCLA, Michael J. O’Gara, was enrobed as a Los Angeles Superior Court judge earlier this week. Judge O’Gara was elected to the bench after a distinguished career with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. I am confident that Judge O’Gara will continue to distinguish himself on the bench. Here’s a picture of some of our college friends at Judge O’Gara’s robing ceremony.

Governor Schwarzenagger announced the appointment of 17 new judges to the Los Angeles Superior Court. His office’s press release can be found here.

Among the Governor’s appointees is my friend and colleague, Bernie C. LaFortenza. Judge LaFortenza has served with me on the Board of Governors of the Philippine American Bar Association. He is a good man with a long record of public service. I am proud to call him my friend and colleague. He will make an exceptional jurist. Congratulations Bernie!!

Writers on both coasts officially ratified the WGA’s new pact with the major studios. The agreement, accepted by the WGA’s ruling board over two weeks ago on February 10, provides writers with concessions on issues that fueled their strike. These concessions include provisions governing writing for “new media” and a compensation structure for content re-used in new media. The three year deal runs through 2011. The writers ratified this new deal with over 90% in favor of the new agreement.

With the writers’ new deal, the focus now shifts to the Screen Actors Guild, whose contract with the studios is set to expire on June 30. Talks between the actors and the studios are set to begin shortly.

NBC filed a lawsuit on Friday, January 25, 2008 against the creator and executive producer of its three “Law & Order” series, Dick Wolf. The lawsuit reveals a dispute between Wolf and NBC over the terms of his contracts for the three highly successful programs and seeks the court’s intervention to interpret — or reform — the agreement between the parties.

According to NBC’s complaint, Wolf takes the position that the parties agreed that the 2 season guarantee means that, should NBC terminate any of the Law & Order series, he is entitled to 2 years of producing fees, essentially as a severance or “kill fee.” NBC disputes that interpretation. NBC claims that the parties agreed that NBC’s promise of a 2 season guarantee means that, if NBC decides not to order an additional season of episodes, NBC would be on the hook only for the remaining year on the prior 2 year order.

The parties were unable to resolve their differences during pre-lawsuit negotiations — and rumors abound that one or more of the Law & Order series are in trouble and could be cut from NBC’s lineup.

The Directors Guild announced a tentative collective bargaining agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The DGA’s description of their tentative deal can be found here. The directors received concessions on issues relating to jurisdiction over new media as well as on compensation for internet downloads and other new media.

The widely anticipated agreement now increases the pressure on the writers, who are entering the third month of their work stoppage. Whether the writers think the directors’ agreement is sufficient remains to be seen.

The Writers Guild of America strike is now entering its third month. Production on film and television projects have ground to a halt. Yet, as my JMBM colleague, E. Barry Haldeman, suggests in his Malibu Times op-ed piece, the end may be in sight.

The WGA has signed “interim” agreements with independent production companies and smaller studios, which could signal a break in the ranks of the studios which have held firm against the writers’ demands. The Weinstein Company, the newly revamped United Artists and David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants Production Company are among the companies who have reportedly signed such interim agreements with the WGA. Those companies are now free to resume production on their projects.

In addition, the Directors Guild reportedly has achieved some progress in its “pre-negotiations” with the AMPTP. Reports suggest that the directors can reach agreement with the AMPTP in a matter of a couple of weeks.As Barry writes, these recent events give some hope that the writers’ strike can also be resolved in short order.