ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Friday, May 15, 2009

Plaudits for (Living) Contracts Professors

Ktesty Brian Leiter's Law School Reports, a reliable source of information about moving and shaking in legal academia, reported yesterday that Contracts professor and current dean of the Seattle University School of Law Kellye Testy will become the new dean at the University of Washington School of Law.  I met Kellye at the 1999 AALS Conference on Contracts in Washington, DC and have had several opportunities to talk and correspond with her since then.  She's terrific.  Congratulations, Kellye!


This also affords me the opportunity for long overdue acclaim for our friend Tadas Klimas, who has made the trip from Lithuania to the International Contracts Conference and the AALS Contracts Mid-Year in Montreal.  Some of you may recall that Tadas was the dean for several years of the Vyatus Magnus University School of Law in Vilnius and actively sought to Westernize legal education in his country.  He has also taught as a visiting professor at Stetson, as well as at universities in Spain and Brazil.  Earlier this year, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus decreed Tadas a Cavalier of the Lithuanian Order of Merit.  Sveikiname, Tadas!

[Keith A. Rowley]

May 15, 2009 in Contract Profs, In the News, Law Schools | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Lesson in Contract Drafting to Trump All Others

Trumpbuildings What is the drafting lesson to trump all others?  The usual: one size does not fit all.  

AmLaw Daily reports that Trump Corporation leases space in one of the co-op buildings it constructed in New York in the 1980's.  The co-op board of that building (Trump Plaza Owners, Inc.) is looking to evict Trump Corporation, alleging it is nearly $87,000 in arrears.  

At the helm of the effort to remove Trump from the building is the president of the co-op, Andrew Perel (his day job is as an environmental law partner at Steptoe & Johnson).  And here's where Mr. Perel provides the lesson

"The funny part of it is what one of his internal lawyers must have done years ago," Perel says. "Normally Trump is the landlord, not the tenant. So what they did is they took one of their leases and just changed the names. And so it's not a very favorable lease if you're the tenant."

* * * The co-op gave notice of default to Trump Corporation on April 10, but the company still didn't pay its rent. The lease terminated May 6, five days past the deadline required to pay the rent and avoid termination.

"If you don't pay the rent when Donald Trump is your landlord, he comes down on you like a hammer," Perel says. "Well lo and behold, he signed a lease that was his own lease and he's the tenant. And he missed April and May.

Maybe the other lesson is: what's good for the goose, is good for the gander.

[Meredith R. Miller]

May 14, 2009 in In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Is Miss California in Breach of Contract?

Miss California - Carrie Prejean - has been getting a lot of press play lately.  Just recently, at the Miss USA pageant, she got into a little bit of a jam when responding to Perez Hilton's question about same-sex marriage.  Now, in a story written for ContractsProf Blog, the LA Times reports that she may lose her crown for breach of contract:

Officials with the Miss California USA Pageant said today in Beverly Hills that title-holder Carrie Prejean is in breach of contract and "entered the contest under false pretenses." Donald Trump, who owns the Miss USA pageant, will decide tomorrow whether she will keep her crown.

Prejean didn't inform contest officials about her involvement with anti-gay marriage organizations and failed to show up for public appearances as required under her contract with the Miss USA organization, said Keith Lewis and Shannon Moakler, co-executive directors of Miss California USA.

Prejean's brief reign has been clouded by controversy over semi-nude photos and her comments on gay marriage. She made national headlines last month when during the Miss USA pageant she said that marriage should be between a man and woman.

She said in later interviews that she does not support gay marriage (California voters voted to prohibit gay marriage last November). Some have questioned whether her comments cost her the Miss USA title, and she's been the subject of much criticism from pro-gay-marriage activists. Her supporters believe she is being singled out because of her views on gay marriage, which they say are the same as President Barack Obama's.

Now, Miss California officials say they are looking into whether Prejean violated rules by working for a group opposed to gay marriage and by posing semi-nude. It's unclear whether she could lose her California crown if officials determine that she broke the rules. Prejean has said she did nothing wrong.

Donald Trump, who runs Miss USA, told KIIS-FM (102.7) radio last week that he would review the photos. California pageant officials said they first thought that there was only one racy photo but have since discovered there are four. “This completely changes things for us,” Keith Lewis, co-director of the Miss California USA pageant, said last Wednesday in a statement. “Yesterday, we thought she had explained things accurately. We need to revisit this issue with her."

The Donald loves a controversy -- suddenly people are actually paying attention to his Miss USA enterprise (for other examples see this and this).  I think he'll tell Miss California: "You breached the contract.  You're fired."   

[Meredith R. Miller]

May 12, 2009 in In the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)