In yet another legal setback for the producer and film financier, a judge has ruled that David Bergstein cannot sue the employers of his former lawyer Susan Tregub even if she did switch sides against him. “The fact that it is alleged that defendants aided and abetted Tregub does not change this into an action by a client against its attorney,” wrote Judge Michael Linfield (read ruling here) last Wednesday. As he has previously in other aspects of this case, Judge Linfield last week also agreed with Aramid that their interaction and discussions with Bergstein’s former in-house counsel were protected by litigation privilege. ”It’s a technical pleading issue, the case is not dismissed and we have no expectation that the case will be dismissed,” Bergstein lawyer Alex Weingarten told Deadline today. “We will file an amended complaint.” Bergstein has 30 days to file a newly amended complaint in the matter. While not unexpected due to a tentative decision the judge released earlier last week along the same lines, this is the latest in a series of twists in defendant Aramid Entertainment and plaintiff Bergstein’s various lawsuits related to the producer’s 2010 bankruptcy.
Earlier this year, it seemed things were going the producer’s way legally. In late August, a jury awarded Bergstein $50 million in damages in his suit against Tregub herself. However that victory was short lived. Nearly two weeks ago, Judge Linfield dismissed Bergstein’s $100 Million suit against law firms Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and Levene Neale Bender Yoo & Brill. The firms represented Aramid’s David Molner in bankruptcy proceedings against Bergstein. The Whole Ten Yards producer had sued them in April. Bergstein claimed that they aided Tregeb in leaving his employment and allegedly using information she had garnered while working for him against him and his companies. That dismissal came almost on top of Judge Alan Rosenfield tossing out Bergstein’s legal malpractice lawsuit against Terri Zimon, another former lawyer of his, in early September. Alex Weingarten, Eric Bakewell and Leslie Eggers of LA’s Weingarten Brown LLP represent Bergstein.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.