As anyone paying attention to the ongoing series of lawsuits that pit DC Comics and Warner Bros. against the heirs of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, co-creators of Superman knows it's a mess. In fact, it's a mess that we, a humble entertainment site with minimal understanding of copyright law, wouldn't presume to try to explain, even if we thought to understand it. But we do know what it looks like when ugly turns to uglier. And so does Deadline.com Nikke Finke who has a breathless item with this headline: Warner Bros Now Suing 'Superman' Copyright Lawyer. And so the sue-ee becomes the sued.
Let's back up: Siegel and Shuster pretty much got screwed out of money they should have received from all the Uncle Scrooge-like mounds of cash that Superman has reaped in over the years from comics, TV shows, movies, and merchandising. Various lawsuits have followed concerning various aspects of the Superman universe, the most recent putting the heat on Warner Bros. to come up with a new Superman sequel before rights to Superman—well, rights to some aspects of Superman—revert back to the Siegel and Shuster family, assuming everything holds up in court.
So what's the deal with the latest? Warners has sued pitbull lawyer Marc Toberoff due to, per Finke, "questions about his alleged role as a financial participant in the Superman copyright and not as the attorney for the Shuster and Siegel families fighting their Superman cases." What does that mean? Well, who knows? But it partly hinges on documents from Toberoff's office that mysteriously found their way to Warners' hands. Clearly this has taken on aspects beyond truth, justice, the American way and so on.