Friday, July 6, 2007

SF Weekly owner tries to stop pricing trial

The chain that owns the SF Weekly, Village Voice Media, has filed a motion attempting to stop a trial in which a jury of San Francisco residents would determine whether it sold ads at below cost in order to run Bruce Brugmann's (pictured) Bay Guardian out of business.

The SF Weekly, which has rarely written about lawsuit, now has printed a 2,700-word story about its motion to dismiss with the headline: "Unfair Lawsuit Act: SF Weekly moves to dismiss the Guardian's lawsuit, which is light on witnesses and evidence." The chain's motion claims the Guardian hasn't produced enough evidence to justify a trial.

The Guardian filed the suit in October 2004. Since then, the Guardian has frequently written about the lawsuit, and, in its most recent issue, reports that Village Voice Media is refusing to provide records it needs. The trial had been scheduled to start July 16 in the courtroom of San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer. But Kramer has now rescheduled the trial to Oct. 15, the Guardian says. As for Village Voice Media's motion to dismiss, the Guardian says, "This type of motion is common at this point in civil suits, and most of them are denied."

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