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Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Nugent v. Muskegon: Day 2

The second day of Ted Nugent’s battle with the city of Muskegon focused on one of the critical issues in the case: Did a contract between the parties exist although the written agreement had not yet been signed.

Nugent’s lawyers put on expert witness testimony from his own entertainment lawyer, Mike Novak, who also represents acts like Kid Rock and Bob Seger.  John Hausman of the Muskegon Chronicle, who is doing a far better job than most big-city reporters would do on a complicated contract dispute, reports on Novak’s testimony:

Nugent representatives contend they had an oral contract as of April 24, when the two sides agreed to Nugent's appearance at Heritage Landing for a fee of $80,000. Nugent's appearance was announced publicly May 2, and tickets went on sale May 3.

The start of ticket sales is "the point of no return," Novak testified. "Very, very few events are canceled" after that. He said the Nugent cancellation was shocking, the first time he had seen such a thing in 25 years.

"A contract is a contract," Novak said. "It's a huge misconception (to think a signed paper is needed). There may not have been a signed paper, but there was a contract."

The city backed out of the agreement on May 15.  Trial is expected to go through most of next week.

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