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I'm only going by what I learned in college.

Ron M. said:

I think we all knew they wouldn't take up the case. They avoid anything controversial.


The Supreme Court doesn't "avoid" anything controversial. It exists to settle controversies. (How well it does that is another matter altogether ....)

Richard Willis said:

When the Supreme Court decides not to take a case they are implicitly saying that the lower court was correct. When they do take a case they are saying it might be right or it might not.

Also, much of the time, when the Supreme Court takes a case, two or more lower courts have reached different findings on the question of law, and the Court weighs in on what it thinks the correct answer is.

With rare exception, the Supreme Court of the United States grants a hearing only in such cases that meet at least one of the following three criteria:

1.  The case involves a Constitutional issue.

2.  The case involves a Federal statutory issue.

3.  The case involves a flagrant departure from normal, accepted judicial proceedings.

This is specified in Rule 10 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States.

My best educated guess is the Siegel family lawsuit did not meet any of those three criteria; hence, the SCOTUS refused to hear it.  Contrary to what many believe, a plaintiff does not have a right to have his case heard by the Supreme Court.

Seems the only way they could have been heard would have been if they could have proved Jerry Siegel got ripped off in 1938 then.

Ron M. said:

Seems the only way they could have been heard would have been if they could have proved Jerry Siegel got ripped off in 1938 then.

Well, no -- not unless the Siegels could persuade a court to grant a new trial. That's where questions of fact ("Was Jerry Siegel ripped off?") are litigated. Appeals -- including the ultimate appeal, at the Supreme Court -- are about questions of law ("Did Jerry Siegel get a fair trial?" "Was the law applied properly?"). Appeals don't delve into questions fact all over again; it is assumed those were fully and properly aired at the first trial.

So they'd have to prove something was wrong with the first trial that would make it invalid.

Basically, the short answer is yes.

The longer answer is quite convoluted, as is the history of this case, which we've linked to at various points in this thread.

Sadly with all the participants deceased, I doubt that it will go any farther. Obviously DC and Marvel owe their talent compensation and credit but they will never concede ownership. Never. These lawsuits only drain the accounts of the plaintiffs while their lawyers hope for a substantial settlement that benefit them more than their clients.

The Siegel and Schuster estates will never "own" Superman and the Kirby estate will never "own" his myriad of characters. Anyone promising them otherwise is lying to them.

Unless the estates strike it rich somehow and buy Marvel or DC one day. Unlikely, but then Walt had to sell his car to get the money to finish Steamboat Willie so you can never tell.

Another turn of the screw in the case of the Siegels vs. Warner/DC -- and it turns against the Siegels: "Warner Bros. Superman Rights Confirmed by Appeals Court"

Another version from Comic Book Resources: "Appeals Court Upholds Warner Bros.’ Superman Rights"

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