Motown Record Corp. v. Tina Marie Brockert

160 Cal. App. 3d 123, 207 Cal. Rptr. 574 (1984)

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Motown Record Corp. v. Tina Marie Brockert

California Court of Appeal
160 Cal. App. 3d 123, 207 Cal. Rptr. 574 (1984)

Facts

In 1976 Tina Marie Brockert (defendant) was an unknown singer who signed a recording contract with Motown Record Corp. (Motown) (plaintiff) and a songwriting contract with Motown’s publishing company, Jobete. Brockert had one-year exclusive contracts that gave each company an option to renew the contract six times. After recording four albums, one of which reached gold status, Brockert notified both companies she would not continue to serve under the contracts. The companies sued in August 1982 and then exercised option clauses in the contracts to pay Brockert not less than $6,000 per year in September. This amount was the minimum amount required by California Civil Code § 3423 to receive an injunction to enforce an employee’s negative promise not to work for another under a personal-service contract. In November, both companies sought an injunction. A lower court granted an injunction preventing Brockert from singing for another employer until the end of the seven-year period under the contracts. Although the parties reached a settlement, the appellate court analyzed the case on the merits.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Johnson, J.)

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