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Osteen v. Johnson

Colorado Court of Appeals
473 P.2d 184 (1970)

Osteen v. Johnson


Emmett and Mildred Osteen (plaintiffs) paid Ritchie Johnson (defendant) $2,500, and Johnson orally agreed to promote the Osteens’ daughter, Linda, as a singer and songwriter for a one-year period. Specifically, Johnson agreed to mail promotional flyers, prepare two records of Linda’s songs, distribute the first record to disc jockeys nationwide, and, if the first was successful, similarly distribute the second record. Johnson sent various promotional mailings and produced and distributed a record, sending 340 copies to disc jockeys. On the record, Johnson listed a co-author for one of the songs, hoping to make it more appealing to the disc jockeys. The record was well-received, but Johnson failed to produce and distribute a second record. The Osteens filed suit against Johnson, claiming that he breached the parties’ oral contract by failing to sufficiently promote Linda, listing a co-author on a song, and failing to distribute a second record. The trial court, finding that Johnson breached the contract by including a co-author but that he had substantially performed his contractual obligations, entered judgment for the Osteens but awarded only nominal damages. The Colorado Court of Appeals heard the Osteens’ appeal.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Dufford, J.)

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