Friday, April 10, 2009

Will the Second Circuit Upset Borat's 10-0 Winning Streak?

Borat Lovers and Haters Alike Await Higher Court Review

Borat Participants have appealed the New York Federal Court's GOTCHA! ruling.

Links at left provide the release signed by Borat plaintiffs/participants and their respective appeals of decisions tossing them out of court based on that release.

The release included a merger clause acknowledging non-reliance upon "any statements made by anyone about the nature of the film or any other Participants involved in the Film."

Based on such language, the court ruled that the fraud claim of the Dinner Party plaintiffs (Streit, et al.) and the Driver's Ed plaintiff (Psenicska) was barred as a matter of law. The trial court also ruled that the release was unambiguous in describing a "documentary-style" film intended to reach "a young adult audience" through "entertaining content and formats."

The appellants seek reversal of the New York Federal District Court's dismissal of their lawsuits at the pleading stage.

Unlike the California lawsuits, the dismissals in these cases were based on the validity of the release, and not on plaintiffs' failure to satisfy the burden-shifting "likely to prevail" requirement of California's unique anti-slapp law.

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