The family suing Walt Disney Co. in a decade-old case over marketing rights to children’s book character Winnie the Pooh has hired a new team of attorneys, including a former state appeals court judge, it said in a statement on Friday.
Stephen Slesinger Inc., the corporation that represents the Slesinger family’s interests, said it had hired Elwood Lui and Rick McKnight of the firm Jones Day.
Lui was an associate justice of the California Court of Appeals, Slesinger said, while McKnight is the partner in charge of the firm’s Los Angeles office.
The family of the literary agent who purchased U.S. marketing rights to the honey-loving bear from British author A.A. Milne in 1930 claims Disney has shortchanged it on royalties.
Billions of dollars in merchandise, video cassettes and movies based on Pooh and other characters from Pooh stories are sold each year.
Slesinger’s prior attorney, noted Los Angeles lawyer Bert Fields, withdrew from the case in June. The family had said in late June that it expected to hire a new attorney within a week.