Maybe the movie should have been called ‘No Courtroom For Old Men’. WME has pulled the plug on its legal efforts to get Tommy Lee Jones to pay up nearly $2 million in owed commissions. The California State Labor Commissioner ruled last October that Jones owes the agency $1.95 million from his role in No Country For Old Men. Money that WME was actively pursing through the courts. However, earlier this month, WME filed a request for dismissal with prejudice (read it here) of its October 31 petition to get the money from the Oscar winner. Though this kind of legal maneuver indicates a deal was struck, no details of a settlement between the parties were made available. The LA Superior Court approved WME’s request on Tuesday, effectively ending the matter.
This case actually started out several years ago as a battle against Paramount over Jones’ back-end compensation for No Country. The actor was eventually awarded $15 million in that action. The $1.95 million is WME’s 10% commission on that award plus interest. Part of the October 1 ruling by the Labor Commissioner was to deny the actor’s request to bar the agency’s recovery of those commissions as well to affirm that WME did support Jones in his multi-million-dollar battle with Paramount. Jones appealed the Labor Commissioner’s October 1 ruling on October 10, with an amendment eight days later. In its October 31 petition, WME claimed it could push for the $1.95 million quickly because the actor did not follow procedure and post a bond during his appeal. Tommy Lee Jones is represented by attorneys Martin Singer and Andrew Brettler of Los Angeles firm Lavely & Singer. WME are represented by Patricia Glaser, Kerry Garvis Wright and Amin H. Al-Sarraf of Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiro.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.