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Pop singer, record label file counterclaims against one another

In a relatively short period of time, what was once a solid relationship between Michigan residents can quickly turn sour. This is true not only of personal relationships, but when it comes to business relationships as well. A promising business deal can fall apart for any number of reasons, with both sides to the agreement blaming the other for the fallout.

For instance, pop singer Rita Ora recently filed a lawsuit against Jay Z's company Roc Nation, the record company that had signed her when she was 18 years old. Roc Nation responded by filing a counterclaim against the singer, alleging that she breached the parties' contract by failing to produce the five albums she was required to under the contract.

According to the company, it invested millions in promoting Ora, and she only made one of the five albums she agreed to. The company is seeking to recover the money it spent on promoting her current unreleased album, among other costs, which exceed $2 million dollars.

The case illustrates how business contracts that are entered into with the best of intentions by both parties can quickly turn into contract disputes when the desired result is not achieved. In these cases, parties may dispute what was intended by a particular contract provision, especially if the contract is silent or ambiguous on the issue in dispute.

Parties may also dispute whether particular contract provisions are enforceable under the law. For example, a statute may make certain provisions void. Accordingly, even if a contract is clear as day on a certain provision, the other party might argue the provision is invalid under state law. Thus, it is essential to know not only what the contract says, but what state law provides, and how the contract is likely to be interpreted and enforced by the court.

Source: Rolling Stone, "Roc Nation sues Rita Ora for breach of contract," Kory Grow, Feb. 1, 2016

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