Appeal in John Steinbeck lawsuit heard in court

Legal Events

Both sides had another day in court Tuesday in a family battle that has been waged for decades over who controls the works of iconic author John Steinbeck.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments to an appeal by the estate of Steinbeck’s late son, Thomas Steinbeck. The panel was in Anchorage to hear various cases.

Thomas Steinbeck’s estate is contesting a 2017 federal jury verdict in California that awarded more than $13 million to the author’s stepdaughter, Waverly Scott Kaffaga, whose mother was John Steinbeck’s third wife. The lawsuit said Thomas Steinbeck and his wife, Gail Steinbeck, impeded film adaptations of the classic works. A judge earlier ruled in the same case that the couple breached an agreement between Kaffaga’s late mother and Thomas Steinbeck and his late brother, John Steinbeck IV.

Neither Gail Steinbeck nor Waverly Kaffaga attended Tuesday’s proceeding.

Attorney Matthew Dowd, representing the Thomas Steinbeck estate, told the circuit judges the appeal contends the 1983 agreement was in violation of a 1976 change to copyright law that gave artists or their blood relatives the right to terminate copyright deals. The appeal also disputes the award handed up by the jury, maintaining it was not supported by substantial evidence of Gail Steinbeck’s ability to pay.

Kaffaga’s attorney, Susan Kohlmann, told the circuit judges multiple courts, including an earlier Ninth Circuit decision, have already upheld the agreement as binding and valid, and deemed it enforceable. She called the contract argument a “complete red herring.”

Related listings

  • Supreme Court rebuffs Alabama officer charged with murder

    Supreme Court rebuffs Alabama officer charged with murder

    Legal Events 08/07/2019

    The Alabama Supreme Court refused Friday to intervene on behalf of a Huntsville police officer charged with murder in a 2018 shooting, sending the case back to circuit court for a potential trial.The justices turned away an appeal by officer William ...

  • Cyprus police frees 5 Israelis, 7 held in hotel rape probe

    Cyprus police frees 5 Israelis, 7 held in hotel rape probe

    Legal Events 07/26/2019

    A Cyprus court on Friday extended the detention of seven of the 12 Israeli teenagers initially arrested as suspects in the rape of a 19-year-old British woman.The court ordered the suspects to remain in police custody for another six days to give inv...

  •  Supreme Court: Trump can use Pentagon funds for border wall

    Supreme Court: Trump can use Pentagon funds for border wall

    Legal Events 07/22/2019

    The Supreme Court cleared the way for the Trump administration to tap billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to build sections of a border wall with Mexico.The court’s five conservative justices gave the administration the green light on Friday ...

Illinois Work Injury Lawyers – Krol, Bongiorno & Given, LTD.

Accidents in the workplace are often caused by unsafe work conditions arising from ignoring safety rules, overlooking maintenance or other negligence of those in management. While we are one of the largest firms in Illinois dedicated solely to the representation of injured workers, we pride ourselves on the personal, one-on-one approach we deliver to each client.

Work accidents can cause serious injuries and sometimes permanent damage. Some extremely serious work injuries can permanently hinder a person’s ability to get around and continue their daily duties. Factors that affect one’s quality of life such as place of work, relationships with friends and family, and social standing can all be taken away quickly by a work injury. Although, you may not be able to recover all of your losses, you may be entitled to compensation as a result of your work injury. Krol, Bongiorno & Given, LTD. provides informed advocacy in all kinds of workers’ compensation claims, including:

• Injuries to the back and neck, including severe spinal cord injuries
• Serious head injuries
• Heart problems resulting from workplace activities
• Injuries to the knees, elbows, shoulders and other joints
• Injuries caused by repetitive movements

For Illinois Workers’ Compensation claims, you will ALWAYS cheat yourself if you do not hire an experienced attorney. When you hire Krol, Bongiorno & Given, Ltd, you will have someone to guide you through the process, and when it is time to settle, we will add value to your case IN EXCESS of our fee. In the last few years, employers and insurance carriers have sought to advance the argument that when you settle a case without an attorney, your already low settlement should be further reduced by 20% so that you do not get a “windfall.” Representing yourself in Illinois is a lose-lose proposition.

Business News

New York Adoption and Family Law Attorneys Our attorneys have represented adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoption agencies. >> read
DuPage IL worker's comp lawyers Since 1962, the law firm of Krol, Bongiorno & Given, Ltd. has been a leader in the field of workers’ compensation law in DuPage, Illinois. >> read