Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,300+ case briefs...

B. Lewis Productions, Inc. v. Angelou

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
2005 WL 1138474 (2005)


B. Lewis Productions, Inc. (BLP) (plaintiff) and Maya Angelou (defendant) signed a “letter agreement” establishing a joint venture under which BLP would seek licensing agreements with greeting card companies for use of parts of Angelou’s literary works. The agreement stated that Angelou will “exclusively contribute original literary works (Property) to the Venture and BLP will seek to exploit the rights for publishing of said Property in all media forms including, but not limited to greeting cards, stationery and calendars, etc.” The agreement also stated that Angelou “will contribute, on an exclusive basis, original literary works to the Venture after consultations with and mutual agreement of Butch Lewis, who will be the managing partner of the Venture.” The agreement stated that BLP would supply all the necessary capital for the venture, and it specified how revenues would be divided. The agreement did not contain a provision for its duration, but contained the following clause: “This Agreement shall be binding upon the parties until a more formal detailed agreement is signed.” Pursuant to the agreement, BLP negotiated a licensing agreement with Hallmark Cards, Inc. (Hallmark). BLP presented the agreement to Angelou, but she had soured on the idea of working with BLP and did not sign the licensing agreement. In time, Angelou informed BLP that any business relationship they had was officially terminated. Subsequently, Angelou signed a separate licensing agreement with Hallmark, without the participation or influence of BLP. BLP brought suit against Angelou for breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing. Angelou moved for summary judgment, claiming that no contract ever existed between her and BLP because the letter agreement was vague, indefinite, and lacking in essential terms.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Mukasey, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 487,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 487,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,300 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial