Fox Searchlight said it was going to try to get the June 11 judgment against it and for a class action in the Black Swan Interns case reversed, and today it started that effort. Aiming to carve up the order, the company filed a motion of partial reconsideration (read it here) Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New York. A motion that said the court didn’t really know what it was talking about. “The Court’s Order adopted plaintiff’s proposed class and collective definitions, without apparent consideration of the undisputed facts that Fox Group and Fox Interactive Media (‘FIM’) are not and never have been subsidiaries or divisions of FEG or Searchlight,” said the memorandum of support accompanying the motion. Primary plaintiffs Alex Footman and Eric Glatt first launched their civil action case back in September 2011 on behalf of themselves and more than 100 Fox Searchlight interns.
With this procedural move, Fox Searchlight and Fox Entertainment Group took a strategic swipe at Judge William Paley III’s order earlier this month granting Footman and Glatt a summary judgment that they were treated as Fox employees in their internship under the definitions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. At the time, the judge also certified a class action that will look at the way the intern programs at Fox really work and whether they actually provide educational experience. The Fox entities today also want to limit the time period in which potential class action participants can be considered qualified to join the suit.“Defendants respectfully request that the Court reconsider and vacate its June 11, 2013, Order with respect to the Rule 23 class and FLSA collective definitions by striking the two non-FEG entities, and modifying the time period to commence from June 11, 2010, until September 1, 2010, in accordance with defendants’ factual and legal arguments outlined in its opposition papers and herein,” said the memorandum. The court had given September 28, 2011, as the end date bookend. Expect today’s filings to be the first of many moves against the June 11 summary judgement, which has already started to spawn similar suits against other media companies. Fox Searchlight and Fox Entertainment Group are represented by Elise Bloom and Amy Melican of NYC firm Proskauer Rose LLP.
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