February 24, 1999 12:00 AM

Lawyers for Walt Disney Co. called Jeffrey Katzenberg’s claim that he may be owed up to $580 million in unpaid bonuses “pipe dreams” as the valuation phase of the former Disney executive’s claims against his former bosses began in a Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday. Disney financial experts say the bonuses are worth about $140 million. Katzenberg’s team, led by attorney Bert Fields, accused Disney of having one goal: “to knock down the amount of money Mr. Katzenberg gets.” In his opening statement before the judicial referee in the civil court case, Fields said Disney’s claims were “hokum” and “low ball.”

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