February 7, 2007
Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell v. Charney
There has been much press, commentary and blog coverage about Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, wherein a (now former) associate alleges that he suffered discrimination based on his sexual orientation. It makes for good legal drama (gossip?) for quite a few reasons-- for example, all of the high-powered lawyering and, with that, the posturing and strategizing.
Much of the frenzy was spurred by Charney's initial PR campaign, which began with a posting of portions of the complaint to the "Greedy Associates" message board, and a link to his own personal website, which contained a copy of the entire complaint.
What does contract law have to do with this? Well, not much until yesterday.
Sullivan & Cromwell has countersued, asserting that Charney's complaint contains "confidential and non-public information" about the firm and its clients. (Among other things, Charney attached a purported copy of S&C's partnership agreement as an exhibit to the complaint). S&C claims that, by disseminating this information, Charney, among other things, breached the Confidentiality Agreement he signed (presumably as part of the HR paperwork when he commenced employment with the firm).
[Meredith R. Miller]
Charlize Theron Caught "Two-Timing"
Weil says in court papers the South African-born actress, who won a best actress Oscar for 2003's Monster, signed an endorsement deal saying that from October 2005 through December 2006 she would only wear Weil's high-end watches.
That deal allowed Weil to use Theron's photographs in its advertisements in exchange for "substantial funds", court papers say.
Meanwhile, says Weil's lawsuit, the 31-year-old Theron, who also starred in North Country, Mighty Joe Young and The Legend Of Bagger Vance, had an endorsement deal to promote a Dior perfume.
At a news conference on March 14, 2006, at a film festival in Austin, Texas, court papers say, Theron "was actually photographed wearing a watch from the Christian Dior line". A photo of her wearing the watch is included as an exhibit.
The court papers also say: "Although the agreement clearly prohibits (Theron) from appearing in any advertisement for any jewellery, even for charity, she appeared wearing a necklace in an advertisement benefiting an Aids charity, violating the agreement, from February 2006 to December 2006."
"Plaintiffs were led to believe and had a right to believe by their written agreement that (Theron) would not promote jewellery or watches," court papers say.
The lawsuit does not say how much Weil is seeking in damages, but the watchmaker's lawyer, David Jaroslawicz, says his client spent more than $20-million on the Theron advertising campaign.
A spokesperson for Theron did not immediately return a call for comment.
[Meredith R. Miller]
February 5, 2007
Limerick of the Week
Park 100 Investors v. Kartes
The Karteses signed the "lease papers,"
A guaranty hidden in vapors.
The court found this coarse
And would not enforce
A contract procured through such capers.
February 4, 2007
Barry Bonds' $15.8 Million Agreement not to Agree
Well, on a slow sports news day like today, there's always Barry Bonds. . . .
Last week, Major League Baseball's commissioner rejected a one-year, $15,8 million agreement between Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants. Although nobody is yet coming forth with details, anonymous sources indicate that the commissioner rejected the contract because of a personal-appearance provision, which is impermissible under an agreement between the commissioner and the players' union.
Now, there is another stumbling block: language permitting the Giants to void the agreement if Bonds should be indicted in the on-going federal investigation into steroid use by major league ballplayers. While it had been reported previously that Bonds was refusing to sign the agreement unless the language was expunged, it now appears that Bonds has signed or will sign but is claiming that the language is unenforceable. Bonds' agent is reported to believe that the language in question is inconsistent with the players' collective bargaining agreement and therefore "meaningless."