Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Duke Ellington's Grandson Backs out of Concert Deal

Court FightAtlanticPacific Entertainment had a contract deal with the grandson of Duke Ellington, Paul Ellington, for a concert tour and coffee table book. Unfortunately, the grandson decided to back out of the concert after the company had already compensated him for his future efforts. In exchange for his services the company paid Ellington $10,000. To promote the concert, the company received permission from Ellington to use his grandfather's name and likeness, and he had supplied photographs to coincide with the release of the coffee table book. 

Now, AtlanticPacific Entertainment and Alan Flanzer have brought suit against Paul Ellington for backing out of the contract. The parties claim that they have "devoted much time and energy on both the book and the event." The plaintiffs argue that the reason that Ellington even entered this arrangement was because he needed the money. Atlantic stated that not only did they pay Ellington "'the monies due under the above listed agreements, but advance him sums against monies that might later be due under those same agreements.'" In contrast, Ellington claims that he was never paid for his services. The parties here also claim that Ellington also gave the pictures to an additional third party who is working on a different but similar coffee table book. Altogether, the plaintiffs are seeking more than $150,000 in compensatory damages.

See Darryl Greer, Duke Ellington's Son Botched Concert Deal, Promoter Says, Courthouse News Service, Entertainment Law Digest, Oct. 26, 2012.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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