ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Foreseeable damage?

Four male models who were hired to pose as "abusive husbands" in a series of New York ads are suing, claiming that the city breached its contracts with them by leaving the posters up past the original five-week period promised.

It's an interesting damages question, because the models' claim is that the posters have been up so long that people have started to believe they're actually abusive husbands.  The four were paid between $1,500 and $2,000 to appear in ads that picture them behind bars with legends like "Successful executive. Devoted churchgoer. Abusive husband."

The ads were originally done in 2002, and were supposed to be up only five weeks.  But though the men have been trying to get them taken down for more than two years, some are still on display.  Even acquaintances are now starting to think that the men really are wife-beaters.  One model lost his contract, and the others say they can't get work.

The four are claiming $1 million each in damages as a result of the city's breach.  (Thanks to How Appealing for the link.)

March 29, 2005 in In the News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

News in brief

Trial resumes today in the breach of contract action between rocker Ted Nugent and a festival in Muskegon, Michigan.
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The Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra is becoming the country’s first to move toward a performance-based (no pun intended) wage system, under which some employees will see their pay based on annual performance evaluations.
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Two oil firms are going to court over contract claims in a busted drilling project in Kentucky.
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A Portuguese consortium will today sign a 35-year contract to complete, maintain, and operate Bulgaria’s main southern highway.
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The U.S. State Department says it will limit bidders for its proposed new five-year, $300 million IT service support contract to small businesses.
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U.S. and European bidders are complaining about the terms the Turkish government wants to include in its upcoming contract to buy 30 attack helicopters.
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The Australian Tax Office is backing off on plans to put its computer contract out for bids, because it says it’s too become too dependent on the existing vendor, America’s EDS, to allow for a change.

March 29, 2005 in In the News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Richards to visit at TWU

Clark_richards Clark Richards, of Jackson Walker LLP’s office in Austin, will join Texas Wesleyan School of Law as a visiting associate professor teaching Contracts next fall.

Richards earned his B.A. in economics from Northwestern and his J.D. in 1997 from the University of Texas, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif.  Richards has an international bent; he’s fluent in Japanese and has an LL.M. from the University of London.  Before going into practice he was a law clerk to the Hon. Thomas M. Reavley on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  He has written in the areas of media and technology law and construction litigation.

March 29, 2005 in Contract Profs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Coming home to roost

Contract chicken-raising is a big business.  About 90 percent of U.S. chickens are raised in a system in which big companies like Tyson, Perdue, and Pilgrim’s Pride provide the chicks and the feed and pay farmers to raise them, with the payment formula based on weight.  The farmers are responsible for the chicken houses, labor, electricity, and heat.

It’s a tough business, and the interests and while some farmers flourish, others go bankrupt.  The economics of the business and some of the issues regarding the fairness of the process to farmers are the subject of an interesting article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

March 29, 2005 in In the News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Unilateral offers: No ambiguity in casino’s offer

California_flag_1 Signs around a casino slot machine constituted an offer for a unilateral contract that was accepted when the patron played the game, says the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a new unpublished decision.

The patron pulled the lever and won a $644,000 jackpot.  That created a contract between the parties, said the court.  At issue, however, were the terms.  The patron wanted to be paid the full amount up front.  The casino argued that this amount was to be paid over 25 years, pointing to a placard on the front of the machine, which said "Progressive jackpot paid in equal installments.  First installment paid upon validation of win. Balance paid in 25 annual installments."  The patron pointed to signs advertising the jackpot that made no mention of this.

Nevertheless, summary judgment was appropriate for the casino, said the court. There was no conflict between the jackpot signs and the placard; none of the jackpot signs mentioned how the payout would be made.  Since the casino had tendered the initial payment and offered a $253,000 discounted-value buyout, it was not in breach of the contract.

Semaan v. IGT, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 4081 (9th Cir. March 8, 2005)

March 29, 2005 in Recent Cases | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Today in history—March 29

1638: Under auspices of the New Sweden Company, an expedition under Peter Minuit establishes the first European settlement in what is now Delaware, which the new colonists call Nya Sverige, or "New Sweden."

1790: Virginia lawyer and future President John Tyler is born, the son of Governor John Tyler, at Charles City County, Virginia.  His two vetoes of Henry Clay's proposed national banking act will lead to him becoming the only sitting U.S. president to be expelled from his own political party.

1806: The first U.S. national highway, called the Great National Pike (but better known as the Cumberland Road) is authorized, to run from Cumberland, Maryland, to what is now Vandalia, Illinois.

1867: Queen Victoria gives Royal Assent to the British North America Act, which will establish the Dominion of Canada.

1918: Samuel Moore Walton, who will turn a single Ben Franklin franchise store in Newport, Arkansas, into the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, is born near Kingfisher, Oklahoma.

1955: Future Football Hall of Famer and sausage impresario Earl Campbell is born at Tyler, Texas. His "Earl Campbell Hot Links" are about the best thing you can put on a bun.

1972: Joseph Arthur Rank, the Methodist Sunday School teacher who started his own film company to make "family oriented" films that would compete with "crass" Hollywood Productions and built it into the Rank Organisation, dies at Winchester, Hampshire.

1961: The 23rd amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified.  Who knows which one this is?

1993: Catherine Callbeck becomes the first female premier in Canadian history when she becomes premier of Prince Edward Island.

1999: The Dow Jones Industrial Average crosses the 10,000 mark for the first time.

March 29, 2005 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 28, 2005

News in brief

Supermodel Heidi Klum has lost a contract has her contract with Germany's largest mail order firm terminated because she's pregnant with her second child.

A real estate developer is charging the Canadian government with rigging a bid process to steer a contract to a higher-priced bidder.

Actress Uma (Kill Bill) Thurman has signed a "multi-million dollar contract" to be the "new face" of Louis Vuitton luggage.

Ontario's physicians are voting today on a new contract with the government, and the result seems too close to call.

March 28, 2005 in In the News | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Film Clips

From A League of Their Own (1992):

Jimmy Dugan:   All right, everyone, let's listen up now, listen up.  Something important has just happened.  I was in the toilet reading my contract, and it turns out, I get a bonus when we get to the World Series.  So, let's play hard, let's play smart, use your heads.

March 28, 2005 in Film Clips | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Weekly Top 10 Downloads

The top three slots remain the same, but there are two new entries in the Weekly Top Ten.  Following are the Top Ten Contracts-Related Downloads from the Social Science Research Network, for the 60 days ending March 27, 2005.  Rank last week in parentheses.

1 (1) Emerging Policy and Practice Issues, Steven L. Schooner & Christopher R. Yukins

2 (2) Rawls and Contract Law, Kevin A. Kordana, David H. Tabachnick

3 (3)  Unity and Pluralism in Contract Law, Nathan Oman

Emily_houh 4 (5) The Doctrine of Good Faith in Contract Law: A (Nearly) Empty Vessell? , Emily Houh (lleft)

5  (4)  Allegheny College Revisited: Cardozo, Consideration, and Formalism in Context, Curtis Bridgeman

6 (6)  Private Motive and Perpetual Conditions in Charitable Naming Gifts: When Good Names Go Bad, John K. Eason

7 (8)  The Limits of Lawyering: Legal Opinions in Structured Finance, Steven L. Schwarcz

8  (—)  On the Efficiency of Standard Form Contracts: The Case of Construction, Surajeet Chakravarty & W. Bentley MacLeod

9 (9)  Strict Liability and the Fault Standard in Corrective Justice Accounts of Contract, Curtis Bridgeman

10 (—)  Fairness and the Optimal Allocation of Ownership Rights, Ernst Fehr, Susanne Kremhelmer & Klaus M. Schmidt

March 28, 2005 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Today in history—March 28

845: The Viking raider Ragnar Lodbrok captures Paris; he agrees to leave after he is paid 7,000 pounds of silver.  It's a relative bargain; that's less than $800,000 at today's prices.

1834: The U.S. Congress censures President Andrew Jackson after he withdraws government funds from the Second Bank of the United States, which he opposes.

1910: U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Josiah Brewer (Albany Law 1858) dies at age 73.

1914: Future Senator Edmund Sixtus Muskie (Cornell Law 1939) is born at Rumford, Maine.

1930: After 1,700 years, the city of Constantinople has its name changed to "Istanbul."  The name comes from the signposts on roads to the city; it literally means "To the city."

1947: The last episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century airs on radio, ending a fifteen-year run.

1958: Composer William Christopher ("W.C.") Handy dies at age 84, having seen his St. Louis Blues become the most-recorded American song of the 20th century.

1964: The first offshore ("pirate") British radio station, Radio Caroline, takes to the airwaves, based on a former passenger ferry anchored outside British territorial waters.

1962: The U.S. Congress confirms James Skelly Wright as a judge of the D.C. Circuit.

March 28, 2005 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Today in history—March 27

1350: King Alfonso XI of Castile, who defeated the last major African invasion of Spain at the Battle of Rio Salado in 1340, dies at age 38.

1513: Explorer Juan Ponce de León becomes the first known European to sight Florida.  He names the place not for its vegetation, but for Pascua Florida, the Spanish Easter "Feast of the Flowers."

1794: The U.S. Government lays the foundation for its future navy by ordering six frigates.

1843: The great German legal scholar Karl Salomo Zachariae von Lindenthal, who taught at Heidelberg for more than 30 years, dies at age 73.

1917: Future Secretary of State Cyrus Vance (Yale Law 1942) is born at Clarksburg, West Virginia.

1952: Sam Phillips's Sun Records starts operations in Memphis, Tennessee.  Sun's contract roster will include Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Johnny Cash, Howlin' Wolf, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Charlie Rich.

1996: John Leonard submits an order form, fifteen Pepsi Points, and a check for $700,008.50 to Pepsico to buy a Harrier jet he claims was advertised on a TV commercial.

March 27, 2005 in Today in History | Permalink | TrackBack (0)