It's not so funny when it ends up in court. An all-comedy radio network has sued its former founder over financial problems, claiming he left to start a new business and negotiate a venture with National Lampoon Inc.


All Comedy Networks Inc., operator of All Comedy Radio, a programming service that provides comedy acts for radio stations, has sued Kent Emmons, a long-time radio executive who founded the company with business partner Howard Levine in 2003.


In Los Angeles Superior Court suit, the company claims that Emmons, who had been on the board, was negotiating in 2004 with National Lampoon Networks to use the "National Lampoon" name for new ventures while still associated with All Comedy Networks.


Emmons also is accused of taking most of All Comedy's employees, advertisers, investors and customers to start his own radio network, called National Lampoon Radio Networks.


"This is a nuisance suit," said Emmons.


Emmons said he and Levine still own 35 percent to 40 percent of All Comedy and offered to buy the company two months ago. He said that offer was refused by senior executives.


Ric Lippincott, director and executive vice president of All Comedy, declined to discuss specifics of the lawsuit.


Reed Right
Former state appellate judge Margaret Grignon has joined Reed Smith LLP's Los Angeles office to serve of counsel to the firm. Grignon recently retired after serving 14 years as a 2nd Appellate District judge.


"I needed to make a decision whether to stay on the appellate court and just do that or take charge of my life and look for something that would be new and challenging," she said. "I decided, at 54, I wanted a new challenge."


Grignon was appointed as a judge to the Antelope Valley Municipal Court in 1984 and elevated to the Los Angeles Superior Court three years later. She was appointed to the appellate court in 1990.


Comings and Goings
Quateman & Zidell LLP hired two attorneys: Michael Cowan, former general counsel of Sundance Group LLP, which runs the Sundance Film Festival, and Michael Connell, former associate director of the corporate finance division of legal affairs for the Securities & Exchange Commission. Cowan joins the firm's Los Angeles office as a partner; Connell will be senior counsel.


*Staff reporter Amanda Bronstad can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 225, or at abronstad@labusinessjournal.com .

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