‘Higher Name Saul’ creators search finish of Liberty Tax’s defamation lawsuit

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, Jan 24 (Reuters) – The creators of “Higher Name Saul” on Tuesday requested a U.S. decide to dismiss Liberty Tax Service’s lawsuit objecting to an episode of the hit crime drama, saying the case “stretches the attain of trademark and defamation legal guidelines past their breaking level.”

Liberty Tax had sued AMC Networks Inc and Sony Photos Tv Inc over the depiction of “Candy Liberty Tax Providers” within the April 18, 2022 episode “Carrot and Stick.”

The title character Saul Goodman, a shady lawyer often known as Jimmy McGill, was proven visiting Candy Liberty within the New Mexico desert.

Candy Liberty was housed in a trailer that includes a Statute of Liberty inflatable and American flag motif, and utilized by former Goodman shoppers Craig and Betsy Kettleman to skim tax refunds.

Liberty Tax mentioned the depiction misled viewers into considering Candy Liberty was one among its greater than 2,500 workplaces.

However AMC and Sony mentioned the episode was “totally protected” by the U.S. Structure’s First Modification, and that it was implausible for viewers to imagine Liberty Tax engaged in tax fraud or had something to do with the Kettlemans.

“If plaintiff’s allegations are to be believed that the episode by some means defames plaintiff by portraying it as a prison enterprise, no viewer would assume that plaintiff would ever endorse or approve such a portrayal,” the defendants’ attorneys wrote.

Legal professionals for Liberty Tax, which relies in Virginia Seaside, Virginia, didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive and triple damages.

“Higher Name Saul” starred Bob Odenkirk because the title character, and was a prequel to the collection “Breaking Dangerous.” It completed its six-season run final August.

The case is JTX Tax LLC v AMC Networks Inc, U.S. District Court docket, Southern District of New York, No. 22-06526. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Enhancing by Aurora Ellis)

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