Saatchi & Saatchi New York's former director on the $550 million (€428.62m; £290.7m) General Mills account, Michael P Burns, has filed a motion to dismiss the $3 million civil lawsuit filed against him by the agency in March.

The legal move came in the wake of his abrupt departure in February which, in turn, was followed by a mass emigration of seventeen Saatchi staff to Interpublic Group where they were hired en masse [WAMN: 18-Feb-05]. Burns, however, was not among their number and remains unemployed.

The Saatchi action against Burns claims breaches of contract, fiduciary duty and loyalty. It seeks to prevent his soliciting or hiring Saatchi employees or individuals employed by the agency during the year prior to March 15, 2005.

Says Burns of his application for dismissal: "I am quite certain that the court will see through the sophistry presented in Saatchi's suit and that this matter will ultimately be resolved in my favor,"

And while Burns remains out in the cold, the so-called 'Saatchi Seventeen' remain busily beavering away within IPG providing unspecified 'consulting services' to unidentified Interpublic agencies on behalf of unknown clients.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff