Dear readers, if it feels like I’m posting frequent de Havilland trial updates, you are quite correct. Such is the nature of a court case, even before it begins. Here I am with another update, which I will keep succinct and to the point while giving you all the information I have.
The hearing of Olivia de Havilland vs. FX, for which I was planning to be in Los Angeles this week, is now in the appellate court. It was scheduled to begin on November 27, but just before Thanksgiving, FX filed an appeal to Judge Holly Kendig’s denial of FX’s request to throw the case out. This is staying the hearing until approximately February.
I’m not a lawyer, but I have been following the court documents closely. In the original motion to dismiss, Judge Kendig found that FX’s defense is indeed based on protected speech. Because of this, de Havilland’s side had to prove that their defense had enough merits to override FX’s First Amendment protections. Upon review of these merits, she found that de Havilland’s side had succeeded in meeting all their burdens showing that they would be successful in overriding those protections should the case go to court.
As a layperson, I would cautiously venture to say that it is unlikely that an appellate court would reverse a decision that found all burdens met. If I’m correct, we will see the case go to trial in early February.
What we are expecting now:
FX brief to be filed: December 4
Counsel to Olivia de Havilland’s brief to be filed: December 18
Appellate court decision: Late January
If appellate court denies appeal, trial to start: Early February. I will continue to follow the court documents closely and will attend the trial when it happens.
De Havilland has been granted expedited treatment due to her advanced age, so we can be confident that the court will work as quickly as possible to get the matter resolved.