“So, do we have a deal?” Since the days of Gable and Lombard, that question has routinely been answered with the “Hollywood handshake” — a tacit understanding that a deal not only had just been struck but would also be honored. Sometimes the paperwork followed. Then again, sometimes even that formality was dispensed with.
A person’s word, however, may be on its way out as the venerable gold standard in Tinseltown. Recent court decisions are forcing today’s entertainment lawyers to re-choreograph the Hollywood deal-making tango. “I’m telling my clients you don’t have a deal until you have a signed document that contains or refers to every key deal point,” says Edward Vaill, an entertainment partner at Brentwood’s Shaub & Williams. He ought to know. One of his clients, Spanish government-owned Radio Television Espanola (RTVE), was slammed last month when the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals effectively said “no deal” to a television licensing agreement his client thought it had clinched with New World Entertainment, a division of Fox Television.
This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.
To view this content, please continue to their sites.
LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.
For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]