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Loeb Secures Defendants’ Renewed Motion to Dismiss Claims in Dispute Between the Heirs of Jay Livingston

Loeb & Loeb successfully represented defendants, including the publisher of approximately 800 musical compositions written or co-written by Jay Livingston, such as “Que Sera, Sera” and the themes from Bonanza and Mr. Ed, and a co-trustee of trusts established by Jay Livingston, regarding the exploitation of those compositions.  The dispute between the heirs of popular songwriter Jay Livingston arose from agreements containing arbitration clauses.

Since the 1980s, Jay received royalty payments from Jay Livingston Music, Inc. (JLM) publication of songs pursuant to copyright agreements. Copyright interests in over 800 songs were assigned to JLM and “with respect to each musical composition assigned, writer royalties are paid solely in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Popular Songwriters Agreements (PSA).” Each PSA includes identical language requiring the arbitration of disputes. 
Beneficiary Tammy Livingston filed suit in federal court in Nashville challenging the authenticity of documents transferring the individual compositions from Jay Livingston to Jay Livingston Music and alleging Travilyn Livingston, a co-trustee, had breached her fiduciary duty to the beneficiary.

The Loeb legal team was able to demonstrate that Tammy directly contradicted her amended complaint, failed to show a genuine issue of material fact as to the validity of the agreement(s) to arbitrate and her remaining challenges to the validity of the PSAs are matters to be resolved by the arbitrators, not the federal courts.
Finally, Chief United States District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr.  in the United States District Court Middle District of Tennessee Nashville Division, concluded that all of Tammy’s claims are subject to arbitration clauses and warrant dismissal without prejudice.

The Loeb legal team that represented the defendants in the case was led by Litigation partner Tim Warnock and included associate Keane Barger.