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Business disputes may deal with the enforcement of contracts

Many business transactions in Oregon and elsewhere are evidenced by a contract between the parties. A contract can be a formal, single document called a contract or an agreement, which has been written up by one or more attorneys. In commercial transactions, the contract can consist of a group of writings, emails and other communications that collectively comprise the agreement. Lawsuits over the meaning and enforcement of contracts is a common subject matter in business litigation.

The types of contract disputes are endless. One that is fresh in the news regards two morning radio hosts, John Walton and Steve Johnson, who are located in another state. The two work together on a morning drive-time show that has been broadcast on Guaranty Broadcasting. In Dec. 2016, Guaranty sued the two broadcasters for moving their show from Guaranty to iHeart Media, in breach of their contract.

The suit is being litigated in the United States District Court in New Orleans. Guaranty alleges that the contract, initially signed in 2006, automatically renews by its terms every two years. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants moved their show to another broadcaster without first giving advance notice as is required in the written contract terms. The defendants filed counterclaims to the complaint, alleging that Guaranty failed to pay them the bonuses that they were contractually entitled to receive.

As happens most of the time in such litigation of contracts, the parties announced a settlement of the litigation for undisclosed terms. In the world of business litigation in Oregon and in other states, it is common for the parties, through their attorneys, to continue negotiating while the case continues through the civil procedural process. It is also common for the parties to decline to share the details of the settlement with the public.

Source:, "Walton and Johnson, Guaranty Broadcasting settle breach of contract lawsuit", Stephanie Riegel, Oct. 3, 2017

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