Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Psenicska v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
2008 WL 4185752 (2008)


Facts

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (Fox) (defendant) developed and produced the film BORAT: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The plot of the movie involved the incredibly offensive actions of a fictional character played by Sacha Baron Cohen (defendant), as well as the strange and offensive reactions of unknowing members of the American public to Cohen’s character. Michael Psenicska, Cindy Streit, Sarah Moseley, Ben McKinnon, Michael Jared, Lynn Jared, and Katie Martin (plaintiffs) all participated in the filming of the movie and appeared in the movie. Psenicska owned a driving school and was approached by Todd Schulman (defendant) to participate in a documentary about the integration of foreign people into the American way of life. Psenicska agreed to participate and was asked to teach a driving class to a foreign citizen. Just before filming, Psenicska was asked to sign a standard consent agreement in exchange for $500. Streit was asked by Schulman to teach an etiquette-training class and arrange a dinner party for a Belarus dignitary. The other guests at the dinner party were Moseley, McKinnon, and the Jareds. Just before filming, all of the participants were asked to sign the standard consent agreement. Martin owned an etiquette-training business and was asked to provide etiquette training to a foreign reporter. Martin was also presented with the standard consent agreement just before filming. Martin was given $350 for participation in the film. In each instance of filming, Cohen appeared in character and acted offensively. The reactions of each of the plaintiffs were captured on film. The standard consent agreement signed by each plaintiff specifically waived all claims related to participation in the film, including any fraud claims based on alleged deception or surprise about the movie or the agreement. The agreement also stated that the signing participant was not relying on any representations about the nature of the movie or the identity of any other participant in the movie. Each of the plaintiffs sued Fox, Schulman, and Cohen for damages related to their appearances in the movie. Fox, Schulman, and Cohen moved to dismiss the claims based on the standard consent agreement.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Preska, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.