The final calendar for the Superman case has been set.
The judge has divided the remaining issues into two separate trials. Because of the specific legal questions involved, neither will be a jury trial. Instead, the judge will issue the final determinations on his own.
On Jan. 12, 2009, the issue at stake will be the Siegels’ claim that DC Comics, Warner Bros., Time Warner and other companies connected to the Superman properties are alter egos. That is, the Siegels are arguing that these companies are so intertwined that they are essentially one and the same. The primary reason a plaintiff files an alter-ego claim is to reach the assets of separate entities that would otherwise not be required to pay. For example, if DC could not pay the full amount of its debt and the court deemed Warner Bros. and Time Warner to be its alter egos, the Siegels could collect the remaining amount from those other companies.
As for any amounts the Siegels may be owed from exploitation of the material in Action Comics #1, the date set for trial in regard to accounting of profits is March 24, 2009.
Of course, the dispute between the Siegels and DC (et al.) is not necessarily over even after the court issues its decisions, as an appeal is a distinct possibility. In addition, the court might also schedule a trial for any remaining issues in the Superboy case.