Right of publicity case against grape grower returns to state court
June 17, 2015 – Partners Nick Carlin and David Given prevailed upon federal district court judge Lucy H. Koh today to return to state court model/actress Cyndra Busch’s case against grape grower Jakov Dulcich and Sons and its distributor for claims arising from the unauthorized use of her likeness in their “Pretty Lady” brand of grapes. Defendants contended that Ms. Busch’s claims belonged in federal court under the federal Copyright Act. Judge Koh easily dispatched those and other contentions in her 12-page decision, agreeing with the firm that removing the case from state court was untimely and therefore improper. The firm has since moved for an award of costs and fees for defendants’ improper removal of the action; Judge Koh will hear that motion in October. Meanwhile, the state court judge originally assigned the case in Marin County Superior Court has set a hearing in the action for next month.