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Parker v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

118 Cal. App. 3d 895, 173 Cal. Rptr. 639 (1981)

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Parker v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

California Court of Appeal

118 Cal. App. 3d 895, 173 Cal. Rptr. 639 (1981)

Facts

Fess Parker (plaintiff), a well-known actor, entered into a joint-venture agreement with Arcola Pictures Corporation (Arcola) (plaintiff) and Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation (Fox) (defendant) to produce, distribute, and promote the film television series Daniel Boone. Fox was to provide financing for the project. The net profits split by the parties were to be calculated and distributed by Fox. The agreement provided that if any accounting issue arose related to the distribution of profits, the matter would be resolved by certified public accountants and subsequently submitted to arbitration if the parties could not agree to the recommendation of the accountants. The arbitration clause only related to controversies arising between the parties with respect to the receipts and proceeds from the distribution of the television series. After issues arose regarding the Daniel Boone series, Parker and Arcola filed a multiple count complaint against Fox for usury, declaratory relief, fraud by a fiduciary, breach of contract, imposition of a constructive trust, recission and restitution, dissolution of the joint venture, and accounting of the net profits, as well as other claims. Fox moved to compel arbitration on all counts, which the trial court denied. Fox appealed. On appeal, Parker and Arcola argued that the key issues that predominated the numerous causes of action must be decided by a court of law. Fox argued that the arbitration clause vested the accountants with the power to determine which issues were subject to arbitration.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hastings, J.)

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