New Villain in Town

Screening litigation

According to a contractual agreement between Disney and Scarlett Johansson, box office ticket sales would largely determine the actress’s salary for her Black Widow performance. Following Disney’s decision to debut the film on the company’s streaming service, Disney+, on the same day as the theatrical release, Johansson filed a lawsuit for breach of contract on July 29. In her argument, Johansson claims a prior agreement to exclusively release the movie to theaters was not honored. She is alleging loss of compensation and financial opportunity. Read more

Estate of Artist Pops Back into Court

Will a museum ever be built?

The reproduction rights for the artwork of deceased artist, Robert Indiana, will be determined in a court of law. Michael McKenzie filed the lawsuit in Portland, Maine this month and claims that he is fully entitled to the reproduction rights.  McKenzie worked with Indiana for many years as an art publisher and collaborator.  Indiana was known for creating pop-style art.  Despite the deal made while Indiana was alive, the executor of the late artist’s estate contends that McKenzie’s rights to reproduce ceased as soon as Indiana died. Read more

NFL Star Goes to Arbitration Over His Position

Tight End or Wide Receiver?

A recent hearing may cause waves in the sports world, and it all comes down to where a player is standing when he takes the field. Jimmy Graham, whose position is listed at Tight End, is one of the best players in the National Football League. A perennial Pro-Bowl starter for the New Orleans Saints, the 6’7″ athletic freak continues to strike fear in the hearts of opposing teams. Under league rules, the Saints have enabled a “franchise tag”, which is a cap-room move designed to essentially pay a player a little less than he’s worth on a 1-year deal, which avoids offering a long-term big money contract. However, Graham recently filed a grievance against the league that has gone to arbitration. Read more

Business v. Class Action

How much are you signing away to get that sweet, sweet 1994 Toyota Tercel?

An article in the New York Times caught my attention today.  It’s about the fallout from the 2011 Supreme Court decision in AT&T v. Concepcion, which stated that corporations can write clauses into contracts to prevent class action lawsuits.  To do this, the clauses require customers to settle disputes through arbitration (instead of in an actual court of law) and to relinquish their right to litigate as a class.  In effect, the contracts waive the customers’ right to due process.  Since that decision, the legal world has changed.  For the better or for worse?

Keep reading the full post to see what’s up with these clauses and to learn a tip on how to get around them.

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