Press Releases

SEATTLE, Wash. (May 17, 2018) – Perkins Coie secured a significant jury victory on Thursday, May 10, 2018 in California Superior Court in Santa Monica on behalf of Flagship Theatres of Palm Desert, LLC (Flagship). The suit (case number B211597), filed in 2006 by Flagship, an independent movie theater, against Cinemark Holdings (NYSE:CNK) and its Century Theatres subsidiary, the third-largest movie theater exhibitor in the United States, alleged circuit dealing violations of California’s antitrust statute, the Cartwright Act. Circuit dealing is a film-booking practice whereby large theater circuits use their size and power to obtain preference over smaller competitors in competition for licenses to show desirable films.

After a five-week trial presided over by the Honorable Lisa Hart Cole and three full days of jury deliberations, Flagship was awarded $1.25 million in damages, which will be trebled. In addition, attorney’s fees and costs will be sought. The case potentially called into question business practices by major theater chains, who operate nearly half of all the screens in the United States.

The Perkins Coie trial team representing Flagship was led by partners Thomas Boeder (Seattle) and Don Kula (Los Angeles), counsel Elvira Castillo (Seattle) and associate Cara Wallace (Seattle). The team also received support from counsel Sunita Bali (San Francisco), discovery attorney Chini Lin (Seattle), and associates Alisha Burgin and Tyler Anthony (both Los Angeles).

“Importantly,” said Thomas Boeder, “the jury verdict strongly signals that circuit dealing film licensing practices in the movie industry that eliminate film-by-film, theater-by-theater film negotiation must change.”

Perkins Coie is a leading international law firm that is known for providing high-value, strategic solutions and extraordinary client service on matters vital to our clients’ success. With 21 offices in the United States, Asia, and Europe—and a network of law firms around the world—Perkins Coie assists clients anywhere and everywhere they do business.

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