Jenner & Block

Firm Wins in "Hardball" TRO Dispute

Jenner & Block successfully fended off a proposed temporary restraining order (TRO) that would have delayed the nationwide theatrical release of the major motion picture "Hardball," starring Keanu Reeves. Representing client Paramount Pictures, the Firm's team -- led by Partners Debbie Berman, David Greenwald and David Sanders, and aided by Associates Mike Doornweerd and Jennifer Hasch -- argued against the motion for a TRO on the basis that the First Amendment precludes prior restraint of speech. In late August, Paramount Pictures was sued by Robert Muzikowski who claimed that he would be defamed by the Sept. 14 nationwide release of the feature film, which is a fictional story of an inner city youth baseball league. After a lengthy argument, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Kocoras denied the motion. Issuing his opinion from the bench, Judge Kocoras ruled that the First Amendment precluded such a prior restraint of speech. He further ruled that Mr. Muzikowski had failed to demonstrate either a likelihood of success on his underlying defamation action or lack of an adequate legal remedy, and that the balance of hardships titled considerably in favor of defendants. Judge Kocoras said that the issuance of a TRO would be a disservice to the public.