Judge sends ‘Rings’ case to jury

June 3, 2009Article

A state court judge has ruled — for now — that a jury should decide on the claims in the suit by heirs of “Lord of the Rings” creator J.R.R. Tolkien against New Line Cinema over profits from the “Rings” film trilogy.

In a ruling Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ann I. Jones turned down a defense motion that she, instead of a jury, should consider the lawsuit’s claims. She also denied a defense motion asking that she hear and decide some of the claims before letting the rest go before a jury, noting that said she did not want witnesses to be called twice.

Bonnie E. Eskenazi, an attorney for the Tolkien trust, told Daily Variety that the rulings mean the case remains on track to go to trial Oct. 19.

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