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David Chase in court over ''Sopranos'' plot

A former municipal judge accuses the HBO series’ creator of owing compensation for help developing the show’s plot

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David Chase
Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage.com

(FROM AP) – A federal jury heard arguments on Wednesday (Dec. 12) in the case involving a dispute over whether The Sopranos creator David Chase received help developing the plot for his Emmy-winning HBO series. Chase was in court with his lawyers to defend himself against allegations levied by Robert Baer, a former New Jersey municipal judge, who claims he is owed compensation for providing assistance with the show’s plot. Baer claims Chase’s ideas came after the former judge arranged meetings with police detectives and other experts in 1995 and escorted Chase around mob sites in New Jersey’s Newark-Elizabeth area. In court filings, Chase said Baer provided a ”modest service,” helping connect him with people experienced in organized crime. Chase’s attorney argued in court on Wednesday that compensation was discussed between the two, but that Baer declined payment. The attorney also said that when Chase’s original script was rejected by Fox Broadcasting, he sought help from mafia expert Dan Castleman, who was not paid for his help during the writing of a pilot script. The suit against Chase was filed in 2002 but had been rejected twice before finally getting overturned and heading to a courtroom this year. (AP via USA Today)