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Neville L. Johnson (SBN 66329)
Douglas L. Johnson (SBN 209216)
AlysonC. Decker (SBN252384)
JOHNSON & JOHNSON LLP
439 North Canon Drive, Suite 200
Beverly Hills, California 90210
Telephone: (310)975-1080
Facsimile: (310)975-1095
Email: njohnson@jjllplaw.com
djohnson@jj llplaw.com
adecker@jj llplaw.com
SEP 2 2 20H
Cristina GriiaWa
By
Attorneys for Plaintiffs Jerry Kupcinet -
and JerryKupcinet Productions, Inc.
$)-72 QkjJM IfW VW>a
SUPERIOR COURT FOR THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES
JERRY KUPCINET, an
individual; JERRY KUPCINET
PRODUCTIONS, INC., a
California corporation,
Plaintiffs,
vs.
Case No, gQ 82 ^2
COMPLAINT FOR:
(1) BREACH OF ORALCONTRACT;
(2) FRAUD);
(3) PROMISSORY ESTOPPEL;
BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY;
RESTITUTION FOR UNJUST
ENRICHMENT;
INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE
WITH A CONTRACTUAL
RELATIONSHIP; AND
RESCISSION OF A WRITTEN
CONTRACT
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
HANK COHEN, an individual;
TRIFECTA ENTERTAINMENT,
LLC, a California limited liability
company; MICHAEL EISNER, an
individual; THE TORNANTE
COMPANY LLC, a Delaware
limited liabilitycompany; and
DOES 1-10, inclusive,
Defendants.
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Plaintiffs Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions, Inc., by and
through counsel, complain and allege on infonnation and belief as follows:
1. All allegations in this Complaint are based on information and belief.
Plaintiffs' information and beliefs are based upon, inter alia, the investigation
conducted to date by Plaintiffs and their counsel. Each allegation in this Complaint
has evidentiary support or is likely to upon further investigation and discovery.
PARTIES
2. Plaintiff Jerry Kupcinet is an individual residing and doing business in
the County ofLos Angeles, State ofCalifornia.
3. Plaintiff Jerry Kupcinet Productions, Inc., ("Jerry Kupcinet
Productions"), is aCalifornia corporation whose principal place ofbusiness is
located in the County of Los Angeles, State of California.
4. Defendant Hank Cohen ("Defendant Cohen"), on information and
belief, is, and at all relevant times was, an individual residing and doing business in
the County of Los Angeles, State of California.
5. Defendant Trifecta Entertainment, LLC ("Defendant Trifecta
Entertainment"), on information and belief, is aCalifornia limited liability company
whose principal place of business is located in the County of Los Angeles, State of
California. On information and belief, Defendant Cohen is an owner and/or
member of Defendant Trifecta Entertainment. Defendant Cohen knew of the
material facts and ratified the acts of Defendant Trifecta Entertainment and
voluntarily accepted the benefits ofthe acts ofDefendant Trifecta Entertainment.
6. Defendant Michael Eisner ("Defendant Eisner"), oninformation and
belief, is, and at all relevant times was, an individual residing and doing business in
the County of Los Angeles, State of California.
7. Defendant Tornante Company LLC ("Defendant Tomante Company"),
is a Delaware limited liability company whose principal place ofbusiness is located
in the County ofLos Angeles, State ofCalifornia. On information and belief,
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Defendant Eisner is the President andChiefOperating Officer of Defendant
Tornante Company. Defendant Eisner knew ofthe material facts and ratified the
acts of Defendant Tornante Company and voluntarily accepted the benefits ofthe
acts of Defendant Tornante Company.
8. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thereupon allege, that the
substantial acts of Defendants, as herein alleged, were performed or occurred inthe
County of Los Angeles, State of California.
9. Plaintiffs are ignorant of the true names and capacities of the
Defendants sued herein asDoes 1through 10, inclusive, and therefore sue such
Defendants by fictitious names. Plaintiffs will seek leave ofthe Court to amend
this complaint to allege their true names and capacities when they have been
ascertained. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, andthereon allege, that eachof the
fictitiously named Defendants was responsible in some manner for the occurrences
herein alleged, and that Plaintiffs' damages, as herein alleged, were proximately
caused by such conduct.
ALLEGATIONS COMMON TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION
10. Jerry Kupcinet is an experienced and well-respected five-time Emmy
award-winning director and producer oftelevision shows. His resume includes two
ofthe most popular and well-known judge television showsJudge Judy and
Judge Joe Brown.
11. Jerry Kupcinet Productions is an entertainment and media production
company. Jerry Kupcinet is the founder and principal ofJerry Kupcinet
Productions.
12. Defendant Cohen and Jerry Kupcinet had a long-standing friendship
and industry relationship when in October of 2013 Defendant Cohen approached
Jerry Kupcinet, on behalf ofDefendant Trifecta Entertainment, and asked him to
produce and direct the pilot ofa newjudge television show entitled "Judge Faith".
Jerry Kupcinet, on behalf ofhimself and Jerry Kupcinet Productions, entered into
COMPLAINT
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1 an oral agreement to produce and direct the pilot and in return, Defendant Cohen
2 promised, on behalf ofDefendant Trifecta Entertainment, that Jerry Kupcinet
3 would be an executive producer and director ofJudge Faith ifany further episodes
4 were ordered.
5 13. On October 31,2013, Jerry Kupcinet Productions, Jerry Kupcinet,
6 Defendant Tornante Company, and Defendant Trifecta Entertainment purportedly
7 entered into a written agreement regarding Judge Faith. The agreement, attached
8 hereto as Exhibit 1, discusses only the pilot, does not provide any compensation for
9 Jerry Kupcinet Productions orJerry Kupcinet, places all ofthe responsibility on
Io Jerry Kupcinet Productions to produce the pilot, and removes all rights either Jerry
II Kupcinet Productions or Jerry Kupcinet had in Judge Faith. Jerry Kupcinet was
12 fraudulently induced to enter into and execute the written agreement when he was
13 presented with acopy ofthe agreement by Defendant Trifecta Entertainment while
14 at the office signing checks on behalf ofall involved for the production ofthe pilot
15 for Judge Faith. When he was presented with the written agreement, Defendant
16 Trifecta Entertainment told him that thenew agreement was only to show that
17 Defendant Trifecta Entertainment owned Judge Faith. It was understood, at the
18 time, that this was needed so that the show couldbe sold.
19 14. Based onhis longstanding relationship of trust with Defendant Cohen,
20 Jerry Kupcinet believed the misrepresentations made tohim by Defendant Trifecta
21 Entertainment regarding the nature of the written agreement. Inaddition, because
22 of the joint venture relationship between Jerry Kupcinet, Jerry Kupcinet
23 Productions, Defendant Cohen, and Defendant Trifecta Entertainment, Jerry
24 Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions believed that the written agreement would
25 only transfer ownership of Judge Faith and not extinguish the rights they had
26 pursuant tothe oral agreement they had previously entered into. Defendant Trifecta
27 Entertainment owed a duty, includinga fiduciary duty, to Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry
28 Kupcinet Productions totell them that executing the written agreement would
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extinguish the rights they had pursuant to the oral agreement they had previously
entered into when it misinformed them that the new agreement was only to show
that Defendant Trifecta Entertainment owned Judge Faith.
15. Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions folly performed under
the oral agreement with Defendants Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment and the
written agreement with Defendants and, without any compensation, produced and
directed the pilot. In fact, all of the costs incurred and arrangements with third
party vendors for the production ofthe pilot, including the insurance, were run
though Jerry Kupcinet Productions as Defendant Trifecta Entertainment had
minimal experience producing television shows ofits own and it had no
relationships with any vendors or unions.
16. Defendants Cohen, Trifecta Entertainment, Eisner, and Tornante
Company had no previous experience with judge television shows prior to their
limitedinvolvement withJudge Faith.
17. In addition, and in reliance on his promised position as adirector and
executive producer of Judge Faith, Jerry Kupcinet called in favor after favor to
ensure that the pilot was made inexpensively and made well. Jerry Kupcinet even
obtained a waiver for the first year ofresiduals for himself under the Directors
Guild of America ("DGA") agreement so that the show could still be made under
the DGA's aegis with reduced costs. This waiver was pursued with the knowledge
and approval ofDefendants Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment.
18. Based on the strength ofthe pilot that Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry
Kupcinet Productions produced and directed, Defendant Tornante Company
committed to fond 150 episodes ofJudge Faith. After ameeting with Defendants
Cohen and Eisner, attending on behalf ofDefendants Trifecta Entertainment and
Tornante Company respectively, Jerry Kupcinet, with the understanding that he
would direct and produce the 150 episodes that had been committed to, used his
various connections tosecure beneficial agreements for Judge Faith for the
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location, lighting, and craft services. He also created the shooting schedule and the
budget for the 150 episodes, which was approved by Defendant Cohen and which
specifically listed Jerry Kupcinet as not only the director but also as an executive
producer of Judge Faith.
19. Throughout this time period, Defendants Cohen and Trifecta
Entertainment continually affirmed Jerry Kupcinet's integral role in Judge Faith's
development. It was only on May 29, 2014 that Jerry Kupcinet was told by
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Defendant Cohen that he would no longer be a part of Judge Faith because
Defendant Eisner, (and therefore Defendant Tornante Company), wanted him out.
Based on information andbelief, Defendants Eisner andTornante Company
insisted that Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions be excluded from
participating as either adirector or executive producer in any further episodes of
Judge Faith.
20. In response, Jerry Kupcinet reminded Defendant Cohen that
Defendants had taken advantage ofhis work, talents, and industry relationships to
bring Judge Faith to fruition and that he had agreed to be apart of the show and
work on the pilot without any compensation based solely on the promise of
receiving the credits and compensation of both an executive producer and director
on future episodes.
21. Since these communications, Judge Faith has been sold nationwide
and Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions have been completely excluded
from participating inthe television show.
22. Had Defendants not breached their contract withJerryKupcinet, he
would have received substantial fees as bothan executive producer and director of
Judge Faith. Furthermore, neither Jerry Kupcinet nor Jerry Kupcinet Productions
has received any compensation for their three months ofwork on the pilot or for the
beneficial agreements that Jerry Kupcinet put together for Judge Faith. In addition,
Jerry Kupcinet suffered additional damages, in an amount to be determined at trial,
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3 FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
4 BREACH OF ORAL CONTRACT
5 (Jerry Kupcinet andJerry Kupcinet Productions Against Defendants Cohen,
6 Trifecta Entertainment, and Does 1-10)
7 23. All allegations previously alleged in paragraphs 1-22 are re-alleged
8 and incorporated herein by reference as though setout folly herein.
9 24. Jerry Kupcinet, on behalf ofhimself and Jerry Kupcinet Productions,
Io and Defendant Cohen, on behalf ofDefendant Trifecta Entertainment, entered into
II an oral contract in October of 2013.
12 25. Pursuant tothe oral contract, Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet
13 Productions were toproduce and direct the pilot ofJudge Faith and inreturn, Jerry
14 Kupcinet would be an executive producer and director ofJudge Faith ifany further
15 episodes were ordered.
16 26. Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions have performed all the
17 terms and conditions required of them under the terms of the oral contract by
18 producing and directing the pilot, or such performance was excused because of
19 Defendants'material breaches.
20 27. Defendants Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment have materially
21 breached the oral contract by:
22 a. Excluding Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions from
23 participating inthe additional episodes of Judge Faith that were
24 ordered;
25 b. Failing to give Jerry Kupcinet the screen credit of Executive
26 Producer on Judge Faith;
27 c. Failing to compensate JerryKupcinet as an Executive Producer Of
28 JudgeFaith;
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d. Failing to give Jerry Kupcinet the screen credit ofDirector on
Judge Faith; and
e. Failing to compensate Jerry Kupcinet as the Director ofJudge
Faith.
28. As adirect and proximate cause ofDefendants' actions, Jerry Kupcinet
and Jerry Kupcinet Productions have been damaged in an amount to be determined.
29. In addition to the foregoing damages, Defendants Cohen and Trifecta
Entertainment have been unjustly enriched as a result ofthe foregoing and,
therefore, Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions pray for the Court to
impose aconstructive trust on all monies wrongfolly obtained and to be obtained by
Defendants Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment.
SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
FRAUD
(Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions Against Defendants Cohen,
Trifecta Entertainment, and Does 1-10)
30. All allegations previously alleged in paragraphs 1-22 are re-alleged
and incorporated herein by reference as though set out folly herein.
31. In October of 2013, Defendants Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment
approached Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions and promised them that
ifthey produced and directed the pilot ofJudge Faith that Jerry Kupcinet would be
an executive producer and director ofJudge Faith ifany further episodes were
ordered. These promises were false when made and Defendants' either knew they
were false or madethemwith a reckless disregard for the truth.
32. Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions relied on this promise
and directed and produced the pilot for Judge Faith without any compensation.
33. Jerry Kupcinet's and Jerry Kupcinet Productions' reliance on
Defendants' promise was reasonable given Defendants' repeated encouragement
and assurances regarding their work and Jerry Kupcinet's pre-existing relationship
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of trust with Defendant Cohen.
34. And while Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions were
induced to produce and direct the pilot for Judge Faith based on Defendants'
promises, Defendants Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment had no intention of
performing on the promises they had made to Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet
Productions. In fact, to date, Defendants have not performed on any of the
promises they have madeto Jerry Kupcinet or JerryKupcinet Productions.
35. Neither Jerry Kupcinet nor Jerry Kupcinet Productions would have
agreed to produceand direct the pilot for Judge Faith had they knownthe truth.
36. As a direct and proximate cause of Defendants' actions, Jerry Kupcinet
and Jerry Kupcinet Productions have beendamaged in an amount to be determined.
Moreover, Defendants' conduct was a direct and substantial factor in causing the
damage suffered by Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions.
37. In addition to the foregoing damages, Defendants Cohenand Trifecta
Entertainment have beenunjustly enriched because of the foregoing and, therefore,
Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions pray for the Court to impose a
constructive trust on all monies wrongfully obtained and to be obtained by
Defendants Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment.
38. Defendants' conduct as described herein was done with a conscious
disregard of the rights of Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions and with
the intent to vex, annoy, and/or harass JerryKupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet
Productions and to unjustly profit from the exclusion of Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry
Kupcinet Productions. Such conduct was unauthorized and constitutes oppression,
fraud, and/or malice under California Civil Code 3294, entitling Jerry Kupcinet
and Jerry Kupcinet Productions to an award of punitive damages in an amount
appropriate to punish or set an example of the Defendants and in an amount to be
determined at trial.
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THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
PROMISSORY ESTOPPEL
(Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions Against Defendants Cohen,
Trifecta Entertainment, and Does 1-10)
39. All allegations previously alleged in paragraphs 1-22 are re-alleged
and incorporated herein by reference as though set out folly herein.
40. In October of 2013, Defendants Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment
approached JerryKupcinet andJerry Kupcinet Productions andpromised them that
if theyproduced anddirected the pilot of Judge Faith that JerryKupcinet would be
an executiveproducer and director of Judge Faith if any further episodeswere
ordered.
41. JerryKupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions reliedon this promise
and directed and produced the pilot for JudgeFaith without any compensation.
42. JerryKupcinet's andJerry Kupcinet Productions' reliance on
Defendants' promise was reasonable given Defendants' repeated encouragement
and assurances regarding their workand Jerry Kupcinet's pre-existing relationship
of trust with Defendant Cohen.
43. And while Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions were
induced to produce and direct the pilot for Judge Faithbased on Defendants'
promises, Defendants Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment have not performed on the
promises of consideration they made to Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet
Productions.
44. As a direct and proximate cause of Defendants' actions, Jerry Kupcinet
and Jerry Kupcinet Productions have been damaged in an amount to be determined.
45. In addition to the foregoing damages, Defendants Cohen and Trifecta
Entertainment have been unjustly enriched because of the foregoing and, therefore,
Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions pray for the Court to impose a
constructive trust on all monies wrongfolly obtained and to be obtained by
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Defendants Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment.
FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION
BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY
(Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions Against Defendants Cohen,
Trifecta Entertainment, and Does 1-10)
46. All allegations previously alleged in paragraphs 1-22 are re-alleged
and incorporated herein by reference as though set out folly herein.
47. Jerry Kupcinet, Jerry Kupcinet Productions, Defendant Cohen, and
Defendant Trifecta Entertainment were business partners by virtue of their oral
agreement. In addition, Jerry Kupcinet and Defendant Cohen had arelationship of
trust dating backseveral years.
48. Consequently, Defendants Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment owed
duties to Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions because oftheir pre
existing relationship and as his business partners, including (1) to act as a
reasonably carefol partner would have acted under the same or similar
circumstances, (2) to refrain from misappropriating partnership opportunities, (3)
toavoid secret dealings to the exclusion oftheir other co-venturer, (4) not to
engage in self-dealing, and (5) not to intentionally withhold information from their
co-venturer.
49. Defendants Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment breachedthese
fiduciary duties owed to Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions by, among
other things:
a. Misinforming Jerry Kupcinet regarding the effect of the written
agreement they induced Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet
Productions to enter into and execute;
b. Entering into a business relationship with Defendants Eisner and
Tornante Company that effectively extinguished the rights of Jerry
Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions in Judge Faith;
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c. Excluding Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions from
participating in the additional episodes ofJudge Faith that were
ordered;
d. Producing additional episodes ofJudge Faith without Jerry
Kupcinet or Jerry Kupcinet Productions and without giving Jerry
Kupcinet orJerry Kupcinet Productions the promised screen
credits and compensation; and
e. Knowingly acting against Jerry Kupcinet's and Jerry Kupcinet
Productions' joint venture interests.
50. These actions were taken without Jerry Kupcinet's or Jerry Kupcinet
Productions' consent and were a substantial factor incausing Jerry Kupcinet's and
Jerry Kupcinet Productions' harm.
51. As a direct and proximate cause of Defendants' actions, Jerry
Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions have been damaged in an amount to be
determined.
52. Defendants' conduct as described herein was done with a conscious
disregard of the rights of Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions and with
the intent to vex, annoy, and/or harass Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet
Productions and to unjustly profit from the exclusion ofJerry Kupcinet and Jerry
Kupcinet Productions. Such conduct was unauthorized and constitutes oppression,
fraud, and/or malice under California Civil Code 3294, entitling Jerry Kupcinet
and Jerry Kupcinet Productions to an award of punitive damages in an amount
appropriate to punish or set an example of the Defendants and in an amount to be
determined at trial.
FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION
RESTITUTION FOR UNJUST ENRICHMENT
(Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions Against All Defendants)
53. All allegations previously alleged in paragraphs 1-22 are re-alleged
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and incorporated herein by reference as though set out folly herein.
54. Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions are entitled toreceive
compensation for and credit as an executive producer and director ofJudge Faith
based on the promises made to Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions by
Defendants Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment, for their direction and production of
the pilot for Judge Faith without any compensation, and for Jerry Kupcinet's
development of various beneficial agreements for Judge Faith.
55. Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions, and on information
and belief, the Defendants were aware that Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet
Productions provided their services, from which Defendants directly benefited, with
the reasonable expectation that they would be compensated for their work as is
evidenced by the acceptance ofabudget that listed Jerry Kupcinet as adirector and
executive producer ofJudge Faith and his obtaining awaiver for the first year of
residuals for himself under the DGA. All parties are also aware that it is abnormal,
within the industry, for an Emmy award winning director and producer to receive
nocompensation for his work.
56. Defendants have wrongfolly obtained and/or retained compensation,
credit, and other rights with respect toJudge Faith.
57. Defendants have acquired an unjust benefit from their receipt and
retention ofcompensation, credit, and other rights with respect to Judge Faith that
are owed to Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions. In addition, Defendants
have received an unjust benefit in being able to use the pilot for Judge Faith to
successfully sell the television show without providing any compensation to Jerry
Kupcinet orJerry Kupcinet Productions for their work on the pilot.
58. Defendants' wrongful retention of compensation, credit, and other
rights with respect to Judge Faith is unjust because ithas deprived Jerry Kupcinet
and JerryKupcinet Productions of the same.
59. On information andbelief, Defendants have beenunjustly enriched by
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1 wrongfolly obtaining, retaining, and continuing toretain compensation, credit, and
2 other rights withrespect to Judge Faith.
3 60. Therefore, Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions seek

4 restitution, disgorgement of monies wrongfolly withheld byDefendants, and that a


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5 constructive trust be imposed onall monies wrongfully withheld and to bewithheld
6 byDefendants, inaccordance with common law and California Civil Code 2223-
7 2224, for the benefit of Jerry Kupcinet, Jerry Kupcinet Productions, and their
8 interests.
9 SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION
Io INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE WITH A CONTRACTUAL
II RELATIONSHIP
12 (Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions Against Defendants Eisner,
13 Tornante Company, and Does 1-10)
14 61. All allegations previously alleged inparagraphs 1-22 are re-alleged
15 and incorporated herein by reference as though set out folly herein.
16 62. Jerry Kupcinet, on behalf ofhimself and Jerry Kupcinet Productions,
17 andDefendant Cohen, on behalfof Defendant Trifecta Entertainment, entered into
18 an oral contract in October of 2013.
19 63. Pursuant to the oral contract, JerryKupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet

20 Productions were to produce and direct thepilot of Judge Faith and in return, Jerry
21 Kupcinet would be an executive producer and director ofJudge Faith if any forther
22 episodes were ordered.
23 64. Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions have performed all
24 terms and conditions required of them under the terms of the oral contract or such
25 performance was excused because of Defendants' material breaches.
26 65. Defendants Eisner and Tornante Company were aware of the oral
27 contract betweenJerry Kupcinet, Jerry Kupcinet Productions, Defendant Cohen,
28 and Defendant Trifecta Entertainment.
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66. Defendants Eisner and Tornante Company interferedwith the oral
contract between Jerry Kupcinet, Jerry Kupcinet Productions, Defendant Cohen,
and Defendant Trifecta Entertainment by insisting, after they had committedto
funding 150episodes of Judge Faith, that JerryKupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet
Productions be excludedfromparticipating in any forther episodes of Judge Faith.
67. Because of Defendants' interference with the oral contract between
Jerry Kupcinet, Jerry Kupcinet Productions, Defendant Cohen, and Defendant
Trifecta Entertainment, Jerry Kupcinet and JerryKupcinet Productions were
excluded from participating in any forther episodes of Judge Faith.
68. Defendants' actions were a substantial factor in causing Jerry
Kupcinet's and Jerry Kupcinet Productions' harm and as a direct and proximate
cause of their actions, Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions have been
damaged in an amount to be determined.
69. Defendants' conduct as described herein was done with a conscious
disregard ofthe rights ofJerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions and with
the intent to vex, annoy, and/or harass Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet
Productions and to unjustly profit from the exclusion of Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry
Kupcinet Productions. Such conduct was unauthorized and constitutes oppression,
fraud, and/or malice under California Civil Code 3294, entitling Jerry Kupcinet
and JerryKupcinet Productions to an award of punitive damages in an amount
appropriate topunish or setanexample of the Defendants and in an amount tobe
determined at trial.
SEVENTH CAUSE OF ACTION
RESCISSION OF A WRITTEN CONTRACT
(Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions Against Defendants Trifecta
Entertainment, Tornante Company, and Does 1-10)
70. Ail allegations previouslyalleged in paragraphs 1-22are re-alleged
and incorporatedherein by reference as though set out folly herein.
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COMPLAINT
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71. On October 31,2013, JerryKupcinet Productions, JerryKupcinet,
Defendant Tornante Company, and Defendant Trifecta Entertainment purportedly
entered into a writtenagreement whichdiscusses only the pilot forjudge Faith,
does not provide any clear cut compensation for Jerry Kupcinet Productions or
Jerry Kupcinet, places all of the responsibility on Jerry Kupcinet Productionsto
produce the pilot, and removes all rights either Jerry Kupcinet Productions or Jerry
Kupcinet might have in Judge Faith.
72. Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions were fraudulently
inducedto enter into and execute the written agreement when Defendant Trifecta
Entertainment told himthat the new agreement was only to showthat Defendant
Trifecta Entertainment ownedJudge Faith. It was understood, at the time, that this
was needed so that the show could be sold.
73. . Basedon his longstanding relationship of trust with Defendant Cohen,
JerryKupcinet believed the misrepresentations made to him by Defendant Trifecta
Entertainment regarding the nature of the written agreement. In addition, because
of thejoint venture relationship between Jerry Kupcinet, Jerry Kupcinet
Productions, Defendant Cohen, and Defendant Trifecta Entertainment, Jerry
Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions believed that the written agreement would
only transfer ownership ofJudge Faith and not extinguish the rights they had
pursuant to the oral agreement they had previously entered into. Defendant Trifecta
Entertainment owed a duty, including a fiduciary duty, to Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry
Kupcinet Productions to tell them that executing the written agreement would
extinguish the rights they had pursuant to the oral agreement they had previously
entered into when it misinformed them that the new agreement was only to show
that Defendant Trifecta Entertainment owned JudgeFaith.
74. Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions have performed all of
the terms and conditions required of them under the terms of the written agreement,
or such performance was excused because of Defendants' material breaches.
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1 75. Neither Jerry Kupcinet nor JerryKupcinet Productions have received
2 any compensation for their performance under this contract andthe lack of any
3 compensation provisions within the agreement render it illusory.
4 76. Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions only discovered, after
5' the fact, the true nature of this agreement when they learned that the agreement they
6 had signed contradicted the terms of Jerry Kupcinet's oral contract with Defendants
7 Cohen and Trifecta Entertainment and that it stripped them of all their rights in the
8 Judge Faith show.
9 77. As a direct andproximate cause of Defendants' actions, JerryKupcinet
10 andJerry Kupcinet Productions have been damaged in an amount to be determined.
11 78. An actual andpresent controversy nowexists between Jerry Kupcinet,
12 Jerry Kupcinet Productions, and Defendantsrelating to the legal rights and duties of
13 the respective parties with respect to the October 31, 2013 written agreement. The
14 resolution of this issue will have an on-going effect on the relationship between the
15 parties, the rights Jerry Kupcinet and JerryKupcinet Productions have in Judge
16 Faith, and the compensation theyare entitledto for their workonJudge Faith.
17 79. Given the existence of the actual and present controversy as alleged,
18 Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions request that the parties' rights be
19 adjudicated. Accordingly. Jerry Kupcinet andJerry Kupcinet Productions seeka
20 judicial determination that the October 31,2013 agreement be rescinded as it is
21 illusory andJerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions were fraudulently
22 induced to enter into andexecute the October 31, 2013 agreement.
23 80. This Complaint and the related summons serve as notice of rescission
24 of the October 31,2013 written agreement between JerryKupcinet Productions,
25 JerryKupcinet, Defendant Tornante Company, and DefendantTrifecta
26 Entertainment. As Jerry Kupcinet and Jerry Kupcinet Productions have not
27 received any consideration under this agreement, restoration is not necessary.
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PRAYER FOR RELIEF
Wherefore, Plaintiffs pray for reliefandjudgment against Defendants, and
each of them, as follows:
1. For damages according to proofandat the election of Plaintiffs;
2. For pre-judgment interest;
3. For costs of suit;
4. For restitution;
5. For disgorgement;
6. For the Court to impose a constructive trust onthe monies wrongfully
obtained;
7. For rescission of the October 31,2013 written agreement;
8. For punitivedamages; and
9. For suchother, forther, or different reliefas the Court find just, properand
equitable under the circumstances.
DATED: September 22,2014
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JOHNSON & JOHNSON LLP
Neville L\Johnson
Johnson
)ecker
attorneys fpr Plaintiffs Jerry Kupcinet
Lupcinet Productions, Inc.
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DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiffs hereby demand a trial byjury.
DATED: September 22,2014 JOHNSON &JOHNSON LLP
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COMPLAINT
Lohnson
jhnson
sker
i^torneys for Ilaintiffs Jerry Kupcinet
rcinet Productions, Inc.
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EXHIBIT 1
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EXHIBIT 1
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October 31,2013
Jerry Kupcinet Productions
5218 Shoshone Avenue
Encino, California 91316
Re: "Judge Faith" Pilot/Sales Presentation - Jerry Kupcinet Productions
Gentlemen;
This shall confirm the principal terms of the negative pick-up agreement ("Agreement")
between The Tornante Company LLC ("Tomante'1) and Trifecta Entertaiiunettt, LLC
("Trifecta") (Tornante and Trifecta shall be referred to collectively as "Owner"), on the
one part, and Jerry Kupcinet Productions ("JKP"), on. the other part, with respect to the
production and financing ofa proposed television pilot/sales presentation ("Pilot") for a
potential half-hour stripped television series with a working title of "Judge Faith"
("Series") based on original concepts, materials, and elements created by Trifecta.
1. Pilot: Owner hereby orders production of the Pilot from JKP pursuant to a
negative pick-up arrangement. Owner shall purchase the Pilot for an amount
equal to the mutually approved budget ("Purchase Price"), which budget shall be
subject to Owner's customary audit rights. The Pilot shall be produced pursuant to
the directions of Owner and JKP shall deliver the Pilot to Owner on such date
designated by Owner, following consultation with JKP. JKP agrees to furnish the
services ofJerry Kupcinet in connection with the production ofthe Pilot.
2- Grant of Rights; Ownership,: JKP shall sell, grant, and assign exclusively to
Owner, inperpetuity throughout the universe, all right, title, and interest in and to
the Pilot produced hereunder, and all elements thereof (including, without
limitation, the copyrights thereof) and the results and proceeds; ofany all services
rendered thereon. Owner shall own and control exclusively all rights ofeach and
every nature in the Pilot and any program based thereon (including, without
limitation, the Series), in all media now known or hereafter devised, throughout
the universe, in perpetuity. The copyright in and to the Pilot and any all materials
related thereto shall beexclusive owned byOwner.
3.
Production Contracts: JKP hereby acknowledges that it shall (be responsible for
entering into all production contracts (including, but not .limited to, talent
agreements, crew deal memos, music licenses, location agreements, clip clearance
agreements, etc.) necessary for the Pilot ordered by Owner hereunder; provided,
however, thatJKP agrees toassign and deliver toOwner allcontracts it enters into
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Judge Faith Pilot
JerryKupcinet Productions
October31,2013
Page2
inconnection with the Pilot. JKP further acknowledges that any and all contracts
involving the production of the Pilot, including, without limitation, the contract
for the services ofJerry Kupcinet, shall be "work-made-for-hire" agreements with
JKP owning all results and proceeds of all services rendered, which agreements
shall be deemed assigned to Owner hereunder immediately upon payment ofthe
Purchase Price.
4- Insurance: JKP shall obtain and maintain any and all insurance policies for the
Pilot which are customary in connection with the production of television pilots,
which policies shall remain in effect for so long as is necessary to cover any
claims arising out ofthe Pilot. Tornante and Trifecta, and each oftheir respective
subsidiary and affiliated companies shall each be designated asadditional insureds
in all policies of insurance obtained by JKP in compliance with this paragraph,
and all of JKP's policies shall beprimary.
5- Additional Terms; Binding Agreement: This Agreement shall be deemed to
incorporate the terms and conditions of Owner's longform negative pick-up
agreement (including, without limitation, Owner's customary takeover rights).
This Agreement shall be fully binding upon, and shall constitute the complete
agreement between, Owner andJKP, and this Agreement shallsupersede all prior
imderstandings and communications between the parties with respect to the
subject matter hereof.
Please confirm your agreement to theforegoing by signing below where indicated.
Accepted and agreed:
Jerry Kupcinet Productions ^^ Acknowledged by;
Its: (piOsri^v^
Accepted and agreed:
The Tornante Company LLC
I PfelfitoA Atoo
Accepted and agreed:
Trifecta Entertainment, LLC
Its: "t&wtitr/t^ ^ '