Publisher in contract dispute with Sturgis biker bar


New Jersey businesses with vendor or licensing agreements may be interested in a business law case brewing in Sturgis, the home of a popular motorcycle rally. The contract dispute is between the publisher of Easyriders magazine and the owner of a saloon of the same name.

At the end of May, the bar sent the publisher notice that it intended to terminate the vendor agreement it had with the publisher alleging material breach for failure to sell enough vendor space for the upcoming motorcycle rally in August.

Easyriders magazine -- who wants to enforce the contract -- countered by filing a breach-of-contract suit for more than $2 million against the saloon because the bar stopped using the Easyriders name. The publisher has asked for injunctive relief that would require the bar to continue using the publisher's name, Easyriders.

Currently the bar has covered up the Easyriders logo with tarps, created a new website and re-directed traffic from the old website with the name Easyriders to the new website.

In addition to injunctive relief, the publisher claims the bar owes royalties for food, beverage and merchandise sales as well as claiming that it is the exclusive agent for selling vendor space next to the bar during the August motorcycle rally.

When one party breaches a contract, the non-breaching party has three main remedies: damages, specific performance or cancellation and restitution.

Damages are payment, usually in the form of money, paid by the breaching party to the non-breaching party. Many different forms of damages exist such as compensatory, nominal and liquidated.

Where damages are not an adequate remedy, the non-breaching party may seek specific performance. Specific performance is essentially when a court orders the breaching party to perform his duties under the contract.

Cancellation and restitution is when the non-breaching party cancels the contract and then sues the breaching party. Restitution aims to put the non-breaching party back in the position he or she was in prior to the breach.

New Jersey bikers are sure to be among the thousands who attend the Sturgis rally in August .

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Publisher sues Sturgis bar in contract dispute," Dirk Lammers, June 25, 2012