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DEC
9
3 YEARS

EXCLUSIVE: Carly Simon Loses In Court To Starbucks (Again)

Carly Simon
Getty Images

A federal judge has rejected singer Carly Simon's lawsuit against Starbucks for a second time.

In late 2009, Simon sued the coffee chain after it decided to end its relationship with a music label, Hear Music, just five days before her latest album was scheduled to be released on that label in its stores. She argued that Starbucks had a duty to disclose material decision-making that would have a big impact on the marketing and sales of her album. In response, Starbucks said that it never had any deal with Simon herself and had no obligation to give the singer a heads-up that it would be getting out of such direct participation in the music business by terminating its relationship with an intermediate record distributor.

In April, Los Angeles District Court Judge George Wu took Starbucks' side in the dispute, but gave Simon another opportunity to file an amended complaint.

On the second try, Simon went into slightly more specifics about the alleged misrepresentations by Starbucks executives, including a series of phone calls and in-person meetings with Alan Mintz, vp of content development at Starbucks, who told her that if she signed with Hear Music, Starbucks would aggressively promote and distribute her albums.

But Judge Wu has again accepted Starbucks' contention that it had no obligation to Simon and that she waived her rights to hold Starbucks liable for alleged shortcomings of Hear Music. Last Friday, the judge officially dismissed Simon's complaint.

Both sides brought high-powered lawyers to the table. Representing Starbucks was Orin Snyder at Gibson Dunn and Crutcher. Representing Simon was David Boies at Boies Schiller & Flexner,