Supreme Court Gives New Life to ‘Raging Bull’ Rights Case

May 19, 2014Article

The Supreme Court has given new life to a woman’s claim that her father’s collaboration with Jake LaMotta produced the story that became MGM’s “Raging Bull,” the 1980 classic starring Robert DeNiro.

Paula Petrella will be able to proceed with her case after the Supreme Court ruled that lower courts should not have dismissed the suit on the basis that she waited too long to file it in 2009.

The question before the Supreme Court was not about Petrella’s rights to “Raging Bull,” but over her claim that a three-year statute of limitations on copyright cases should have kept her litigation alive. Instead, a district court and the 9th Circuit said that she waited too long to file, and dismissed it under the doctrine of laches. That’s the legal standard that bars plaintiffs from filing cases if they have had unnecessary delay.

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