Reier Broadcasting Co. v. Kramer

72 P.3d 944 (2003)

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Reier Broadcasting Co. v. Kramer

Montana Supreme Court
72 P.3d 944 (2003)

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Facts

Montana State University (MSU) contracted with Reier Broadcasting Company (Reier) (plaintiff), granting Reier the exclusive right to air radio broadcasts of MSU sporting events until 2002. Michael Kramer (defendant), MSU’s head football coach, entered an employment contract with Reier, agreeing to serve as an announcer and content contributor. The agreement contained an exclusivity provision that prohibited Kramer from working with or permitting his name to be used by any other radio or television stations or programs. In 2002, when Reier’s exclusive rights to air MSU events expired, MSU sought bids from several broadcasting companies, including Reier, by sending out a request-for-proposal form. Reier informed MSU that certain provisions in the request potentially conflicted with Reier’s contract with Kramer. MSU declined to amend the form and disqualified Reier as a potential bidder. MSU awarded broadcast rights to Clear Channel Communications (Clear Channel). MSU then told Kramer that he was to provide interviews to Clear Channel, regardless of his exclusivity provision with Reier. Reier sued Kramer, seeking an injunction preventing Kramer from providing services to other broadcasters until his exclusivity provision expired. The trial court held in Kramer’s favor, concluding that Montana law did not permit injunctions as a means of enforcing exclusivity provisions in personal-services contracts. Reier appealed to the Montana Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Leaphart, J.)

Dissent (Cotter, J.)

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