Articles Posted in Contract

photo - Jones and Jackson lawsuitIt’s been nearly seven years since Michael Jackson’s death but that passed time hasn’t put an end to the lawsuits involving his music. The latest lawsuit in the news involves his former producer and the production and sales of Jackson’s music after his death.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michal Stern ruled in February that a lawsuit over breach of contract claims filed by Jackson’s former producer Quincy Jones against MJJ Productions (controlled by Jackson’s estate) and record company, Sony Music Entertainment, involving royalties on some of the biggest hits Jones produced for Jackson can go to trial, reports the Orange County Register. He said it would be up to a jury to decide the numerous factual disputes about whether Jones is owed any money.

He sued MJJ Productions and Sony Music Entertainment in 2013 for at least $10 million. Jones claims the defendants edited songs for the “This Is It” film featuring footage of Jackson rehearsing for a concert tour, a pair of Cirque du Soleil shows featuring Jackson’s music and the 25th anniversary edition of Jackson’s album “Bad” to deprive him of royalties and production fees. He also seeks a credit on the film. Jackson’s estate and Sony Music have tried to have the case dismissed.

photo - texting a contractTexting has become a common form of communication. Smart phones are used less and less as phones and more and more as devices to text and email from. You may see texting as an informal, short hand way to communicate but a Massachusetts case shows you need to be careful with texting because the messages you send may be interpreted by a court as creating a binding contract.

The Massachusetts Land Court ruled in April that a series of text messages between two real estate brokers concerning the purchase and sale of a commercial building may be enough to constitute a “writing” meeting the requirements of the Massachusetts Statute of Frauds. In the St. John’s Holdings, LLC v. Two Electronics, LLC, case the court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss arguing the communications at issue were insufficient to be a contract for sale of real estate. The judge found the communications between the parties,

  • Identified the subject of the alleged agreement,
  • Showed they made a contract,
  • Stated the essential terms of the alleged contract with reasonable certainty,
  • Included a form of a signature, and
  • May be the legal equivalent of a written document signed by the parties.

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