Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend has asked an appeals court to disqualify the Oscar winner's attorneys handling a bitter custody dispute because she consulted with one of their partners in a paternity dispute with another actor.
Attorneys for Oksana Grigorieva asked the California 2nd District Court of Appeal to intervene in the case on Monday. They sought to either disqualify Gibson's attorneys or require a judge hearing the case to review records of the Russian musician's dealings with the firm.
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Grigorieva met with a partner in the firm of Kolodny and Anteau in 2008 at Gibson's suggestion, while she was dealing with custody issues involving her son with British actor Timothy Dalton, according to court filings.
The appeal said Gibson's attorneys sought records of the dispute with Dalton, including emails, text messages and other correspondence between the former couple. Dalton played James Bond in two films in the late 1980s.
Stephen Kolodny, one of the Gibson's attorneys handling his dispute with Grigorieva over their infant daughter, said in an email that he would not comment on Grigorieva's appeal.
His partner, Ronald Anteau, has not appeared in the case, but Grigorieva's filing named her discussion with him as important to her current fight with Gibson.
"The matters discussed with Mr. Anteau concerned the same subject matter that has been inquired into in the present case by Stephen Kolodny both in open courtand at deposition," her filing said.
Grigorieva asked the court to issue a ruling before a key hearing this month.
Last month, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon ruled that Grigorieva waited too long to raise the issue of a potential conflict with Kolodny's representation of Gibson. She claimed she did not make the connection between her consultation with Anteau and Gibson's attorneys until recently.
Grigorieva wants the appellate court to require the judge to review Anteau's notes of his meeting with her and reconsider the ruling or disqualify Kolodny and Anteau's firm outright.
Gibson and Grigorieva's custody case is by law confidential, as would be any case she had involving Dalton. Her efforts to disqualify Gibson's attorneys have been heard in open court.
The case has spanned 65 hearings and the judge had issued more than 100 rulings. There were thousands of pages of pleadings in the case, and most of Gibson's filings were handled by Kolodny's firm, Gordon said.
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