ContractsProf Blog

Editor: D. A. Jeremy Telman
Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Contracts and Pension Reform

I'm a little late with this post but I'm going to open up a political can of worms here on the blog and talk about pension reform.  In California, two cities (including my hometown, San Diego) have voted to approve changes to their city's pension plans. The San Jose measure seems to make changes to plans for retired workers. I can understand how changes to plans for new employees might be legal, but I'm not sure how changes to existing plans and vested benefits can be considered legal.  The contract law issues boggle the mind.  Not surprisingly, the proposed changes to the San Jose plan are being legally challenged.  It's going to get messy....

 

[Nancy Kim]

 

 

 

June 20, 2012 in Current Affairs, Labor Contracts, Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New in Print

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Former Napster CEO Sues Best Buy in Connection with Sale to Rhapsody

As reported in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, former CEO of Napster, Christopher Gorog, filed suit May 31, 2012 against Best Buy in the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment and breach of good faith and fair dealing, claiming the electronics chain has failed to honor his 2008 employment agreement.  Gorog claims that Best Buy did not honor the terms of his severance agreement and short-changed him when it sold off Napster to Rhapsody in 2011.

Gorog was chief executive of Roxio when it acquired the music sharing service, Napster, which the Business Journal characterizes as "copyright violating" until Gorog turned it into a "legitimiate business" with annual music sales of over $100 million (we are shocked, shocked to learn that there were copyright violations associated with Napster). 

Best Buy bought Roxio/Napster in 2008 for $121 million, and Gorog became a Best Buy employee. Gorog now alleges that he was to be paid up to $5.8 million if Best Buy sold or shuttered Napster before March 2012.   Gorog left the company in 2009 after unsuccessfully trying to convince execs to continue investing in Napster. He now claims that the sale of Napster to Rhapsody was designed to prevent him from getting his fair share from the deal.

We have not been able to locate the complaint, but we think it looks something like this:

 

[JT & Christina Phillips]

 

June 19, 2012 in Music, Recent Cases | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Weekly Top Tens from the Social Science Research Network

RECENT HITS (for all papers announced in the last 60 days) 
TOP 10 Papers for Journal of Contracts & Commercial Law eJournal 

April 19, 2012 to June 18, 2012

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 190 The Common European Sales Law (CESL) Beyond Party Choice 
Jan M. Smits
Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI)
2 180

Reforming the Short-Term Funding Markets 
Morgan Ricks
Harvard University Law School

3 169 The Irony of Privacy Class Action Litigation 
Eric Goldman
Santa Clara University - School of Law
4 149 A Minor Problem with Arbitration: A Proposal for Arbitration Agreements Contained in Employment Contracts of Minors 
Matthew Miller-NovakRichard A. Bales
Unaffiliated Authors - affiliation not provided to SSRN, Northern Kentucky University - Salmon P. Chase College of Law
5 142 Transaction Simplicity 
Stephen J. Lubben
Seton Hall University - School of Law
6 140 The Litigation Finance Contract 
Maya Steinitz
University of Iowa - College of Law
7 114 Conceptualizing Contractual Interpretation 
Alan SchwartzJoel Watson
Yale Law School, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics
8 86 An Empirical Study of Predispute Mandatory Arbitration Clauses in Social Media Terms of Service Agreements 
Michael L. RustadRichard BuckinghamDiane D'AngeloKatherine Durlacher
Suffolk University Law School, Suffolk University - Law School, Suffolk University - Law School, Suffolk University - Law School
9 82 Legal Epistemology in the Restatement (3d) of Restitution and Unjust Enrichment 
Lionel Smith
McGill University - Faculty of Law - Quebec Research Centre of Private and Comparative Law
10 82 How Many Systems of Private Law are There in Europe? On Plural Legal Sources, Multiple Identities and the Unity of Law 
Martijn W. Hesselink
University of Amsterdam - Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL)

RECENT HITS (for all papers announced in the last 60 days) 
TOP 10 Papers for Journal of LSN: Contracts (Topic)  

April 19, 2012 to June 18, 2012

RankDownloadsPaper Title
1 213 The Questionable Basis of the Common European Sales Law: The Role of an Optional Instrument in Jurisdictional Competition 
Eric A. Posner
University of Chicago - Law School
2 166 Modern Chinese Real Estate Law: Property Development in an Evolving Legal System (Chapter 1) 
Gregory M. Stein
University of Tennessee College of Law
3 86 An Empirical Study of Predispute Mandatory Arbitration Clauses in Social Media Terms of Service Agreements 
Michael L. RustadRichard BuckinghamDiane D'AngeloKatherine Durlacher
Suffolk University Law School, Suffolk University - Law School, Suffolk University - Law School, Suffolk University - Law School
4 83 A Tea Party at the Hague? 
Stephen B. Burbank
University of Pennsylvania Law School
5 82 How Many Systems of Private Law are There in Europe? On Plural Legal Sources, Multiple Identities and the Unity of Law 
Martijn W. Hesselink
University of Amsterdam - Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL)
6 78 Market Conditions and Contract Design: Variations in Debt Covenants and Collateral 
George G. TriantisAlbert H. Choi
Stanford University - Law School, University of Virginia School of Law,
7 70 Remedial Consilience 
Marco Jimenez
Stetson University College of Law
8 63 Mandatory Arbitration of Internal Trust Disputes: Improving Arbitrability and Enforceability Through Proper Procedural Choices 
S.I. Strong
University of Missouri School of Law
9 47 Letting Go of Binary Thinking and Too-Big-To-Fail: Preserving a Continuum Approach to Systemic Risk 
Cheryl D. Block
Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law
10 46 Navigating the Borders Between International Commercial Arbitration and U.S. Federal Courts: A Jurisprudential GPS 
S.I. Strong
University of Missouri School of Law

[JT]

June 19, 2012 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Terrell Owens' Threatens to Sue His Former Indoor Football League Team

Terrell_OwensAccording to this article on tmz.com, Terrell Owens (pictured) has given the Indoor Football League Allen Wranglers an ultimatum—issue a public apology and pay him the $160,000 that he claims they owe him (for four games) plus his 50% share of merchandise, tickest and concessions from his time with the team.  

The team claimed that Owens was cut on May 29, 2012 for not intending to play in two upcoming road games with playoff implications and for missing a team event at a local children’s hospital.  He is asking the Allen Wranglers for a public retraction of the statement that he intentionally missed the visit. As reported by Yahoo!sports, Owens claims his contract stated he did not have to play in away games and that the team privately acknowledged that an Allen Wranglers publicist gave him the wrong date concerning the hospital visit.  

TMZ.com had earlier reported that Owens was not only cut, he was evicted from the house provided for him by the team, was ordered to turn over the keys to the 2012 Jeep Chrokee that the team had loaned him, and he was given $50 in payment for his stake in the team.  According to TMZ.com's latest report on the subject, the Allen Wranglers are standing firm, reportedly telling Owens, "You ain't getting a penny."

[JT and Christina Phillips]

June 18, 2012 in Celebrity Contracts, In the News, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)