Nicollette Sheridan, watermark

I'm obsessed with the Nicollette Sheridan trial! How are her chances going into Round 2, the retrial?
—Go Nicolette, via the inbox

You speak of the onetime-Desperate Housewife-turned-leggy-courtroom-fixture, who is suing her former employers over her eviction from Wisteria Lane. The real winner in that first trial was us, because the show spoilers we got were righteous. (Hint: They killed off that guy. I know! That guy!)

So will Sheridan have better luck the second time around, now that a new trial date has been set? I found out:

And the answer is a big yes.

According to expert attorneys who have faced just these types of scenarios, Sheridan is sitting pretty no matter what happens next.

Now that there will be a second trial featuring Sheridan vs. ABC Entertainment, Sheridan's case still looks good, despite the fact that she didn't all-out win the first time around, says Travis Gemoets, partner at Jeffer Mangels.

After all, he points out, "we know that the jury was split 8 to 4 in favor of Nicollette," which gives her confidence moving forward, if nothing else. Another bonus: Sheridan now knows all of the defense's bombshells and tricks—and the defense relied more on that element of surprise than Sheridan's team did. Now all of ABC's one-time secrets are as about fresh and daring as an episode of Family Guy.

"So she's going to be in a pretty strong position," Gemoets tells me.

All this said, don't be shocked if Sheridan never appears in a courtroom again. (After this, I wouldn't blame her if she even avoids courtroom dramas from now on.) Her clear favor with her first jury may prove compelling enough for ABC to offer a generous settlement.

And at this hour, that's exactly what the judge in the case really wants to happen.

"The jury count indicates that some money needs to be paid to Nicollette to make this go away," Gemoets says.

How much? Well, Sheridan has said she wants about $5 million.

So, Gemoets says, "I think you're talking about a multimillion-dollar sum, something in the $2 million to $3.5 million range wouldn't shock me."

Know what did shock him? When they killed that guy.


(Originally published March 20, 2012, at 6:15 a.m. PT)

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