Why Siegel & Shuster's attorney wants DC Superman suit thrown out

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Feb 7, 2013, 10:34 AM EST (Updated)

Nope, the fight for the rights to the Man of Tomorrow definitely isn't over yet.

Last month, DC Comics and its parent company, Warner Bros., won a major victory in the case when a Court of Appeals judge ruled that several previous legal actions by the heirs of Superman's creators -- Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster -- were invalid. For the last three years, DC has alleged that the heirs' attorney, Marc Toberoff, meddled in several prior copyright agreements between the comics company and the Siegel and Shuster families, and that he was even drafting agreements that would position him and his company to benefit more financially from Superman than the families would. So last month, a judge sided with DC and threw out most of the copyright work -- including a 2003 copyright termination notice from the families -- done by Toberoff on behalf of the heirs. That basically left the Siegel and Shuster estates dead in the water.

But Toberoff's not done fighting. He's just filed a motion claiming that DC waited too long to contest the validity of the agreements he helped to draft, and that therefore their 2010 lawsuit and all the rulings that came from it are invalid.

“The record shows that DC was on notice of this supposedly tortious conduct by no later than 2006. And yet DC did not file suit that year. Nor did it file in 2007, 2008, or even 2009. Instead, DC sat on its alleged rights, and did not file suit until May 2010 — nearly a decade after the supposed torts had occurred and nearly half a decade after it was put on notice. These state-law claims were filed much too late, and are conclusively barred by the statute of limitations,” Toberoff wrote in a motion for partial summary judgement filed this week.

Toberoff and other legal representatives for the families have requested a hearing next month, but Warner Bros. has its own bone to pick with Toberoff in that hearing. Among the motions they've filed that will likely be discussed: a claim that Toberoff has suppressed evidence in the case, and a demand for half a million dollars in attorneys' fees stemming from the case. So, if you're still hanging on to see how this battle will end, we'll see you again in March.

(Via Deadline)