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‘Sopranos’ claim thrown out

Judge wanted compensation for show idea
/ Source: The Associated Press

A federal judge has thrown out a claim by a municipal judge in New Jersey to proceeds from the HBO mob drama “The Sopranos,” saying a verbal agreement with the show’s producer was not a legal contract.

Prospect Park Municipal Judge Robert Baer claimed in a 2002 lawsuit he deserved a share of the show’s profits because he suggested the idea of the show and provided ideas and access to underworld contacts.

Baer said he received verbal promises from series creator David Chase that he would be compensated.

But in a written decision released Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Joel Pisano dismissed the case, saying there was no binding legal agreement that would entitle Baer to money.

Chase claims he had the idea for the show five years before he had a lunch meeting with Baer. He acknowledges sending Baer a copy of a draft pilot script for the show “as a courtesy,” but says he used none of Baer’s suggestions.