Judge Rejects Move to Reinstate SAG Leader

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A California judge on Thursday rejected a request to reinstate the ousted executive director of the Screen Actors Guild, a decision that ends a round of infighting and paves the way for renewed talks with movie studios.

Guild President Alan Rosenberg had sought to overturn a written decision by a majority on the board to fire its executive director and lead negotiator, Doug Allen, last week.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant said the plaintiffs had no probability of success on the merits of their case.

Interim National Executive Director David White applauded the outcome.

"I'm pleased that we can put this matter behind us," White said in a statement. "There's a lot of work ahead of us."

The studios, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, declined to comment.

Guild actors have been working since June on movies and prime-time TV shows without a new contract.

Start-and-stop talks between the guild and the Hollywood studios began last April, but they broke down for good in November when mediated talks failed and guild leadership pressed for a strike vote.

After the vote was delayed several times, a coalition of moderate members of the guild's 71-member national board removed Allen in a document signed by members representing 52.5 percent of the voting rights on the board.

White was named interim executive director and longtime guild staffer John McGuire was appointed lead negotiator.

The move to remove Allen with a written document followed a 28-hour meeting last month in which a minority of members, led by Rosenberg, filibustered to prevent Allen's ouster.

The guild is set to have another board meeting Sunday.

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