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No public trial for Charlie Sheen's lawsuit over firing

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Charlie Sheen won't get quite the audience he wanted for his $100 million lawsuit over his firing from "Two and
a Half Men" - a judge on Wednesday ruled his case should be
handled through private arbitration rather than in a public
courtroom.
Sheen's contract with Warner Bros. Television has a valid
arbitration clause, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Allan Goodman
wrote in a 21-page ruling. The decision will dampen publicity about
the case, which Sheen filed on March 10 - days after he was fired
from his starring role on television's top-rated comedy.
The ruling applies to Sheen's allegations against "Men"
executive producer Chuck Lorre, whose contract with Warner Bros.
also has an arbitration clause.
Sheen had requested the case be heard in public court, and a
judge heard arguments on the issue in April.
But Goodman said in his ruling that Sheen was represented by
competent attorneys when he signed his contract requiring any
disputes to be handled through private arbitration.
The studio cited Sheen's bizarre behavior in interviews and his
criticism of Lorre as reasons for the actor's firing.
Sheen's role has been eliminated from the show and Ashton
Kutcher will appear next season.
Sheen's spokesman Larry Solters declined comment in an email. A
phone message to Sheen's attorney, Marty Singer, was not
immediately returned.
"We're very gratified by the court's ruling enforcing the
parties' arbitration agreement," Warner Bros. said in a statement.
Lorre's attorney, Howard Weitzman, also welcomed the ruling.
"This matter will now proceed in an orderly fashion as the
parties agreed to," Weitzman wrote in an email.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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