'Avatar' Theft Claims Near End In Calif. Appeals Court

Law360, Los Angeles (January 27, 2016, 10:29 PM EST) -- A California appeals court on Wednesday tentatively affirmed a lower court’s decision tossing a writer’s claims that movie maker James Cameron’s production company Lightstorm Entertainment Inc. backtracked on a development promise and stole his ideas to make “Avatar.”

The appellate panel indicated before Wednesday’s proceedings it would back a 2013 decision by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason finding that Cameron independently created the film, but writer Eric Ryder’s attorney, Gregory Albright of Rincon Venture Law Group, argued there was a triable issue of whether an “express contract” was formed between Ryder and Lightstorm.

Albright also maintained that there were...

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