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Evening News Association v. Peterson

United States District Court for the District of Columbia
477 F. Supp. 77 (D.D.C. 1979)


Facts

Gordon Peterson (defendant) was a news anchorman for WDVM-TV (Channel 9), under contract with Channel 9’s owner, Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc. (Post-Newsweek). The contract did not contain a clause authorizing or prohibiting assignment of the contract. The contract did, however, contain a merger clause stating that the entire agreement of the parties was contained in the contract. Post-Newsweek sold Channel 9 to Evening News Association (Evening News) (plaintiff) while Peterson was still under contract. Subsequently, Peterson resigned from Channel 9—now owned by Evening News—while he was still under the same contract. Evening News brought suit, seeking a declaration that Peterson’s contract with Post-Newsweek was assignable by Post-Newsweek without Peterson’s consent. Peterson argued that the contract was for his personal services and thus not assignable.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Parker, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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