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Locke v. Warner Bros., Inc.

California Court of Appeal
66 Cal. Rptr. 2d 921 (1997)


Facts

Locke (plaintiff) entered into an agreement with Warner Bros., Inc. (Warner), which included a “non-exclusive first look deal.” This deal required Locke to submit to Warner any picture she was interested in developing. Warner had 30 days to approve or reject the picture. Clint Eastwood, with whom Locke had previously been involved, fostered the deal. He fostered the deal as part of his settlement agreement with Locke. Warner never hired Locke to direct any films and never developed any of her projects. Regarding Locke, a Warner executive had stated in a telephone conversation, “…we’re not going to work with her.” Another Warner employee had additionally stated that Warner would not make a movie with Locke. Locke filed suit. Warner filed a motion for summary judgment. The trial court granted Warner’s motion, dismissing Locke’s claims that Warner was required to act in good faith and that Warner’s actions constituted fraud. Locke appealed to the California Court of Appeal.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Klein, 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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