Firm Secures Second Circuit Reversal of $54 Million Judgment

July 11, 2005

As reported in Billboard magazine, on June 14, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a $54 million judgment against our client, Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJ), a division of Universal Music Group, a defendant in a lawsuit filed by TVT, an independent music label. A jury had found IDJ's former CEO and IDJ liable for fraud, tortious interference, breach of contract and copyright infringement and awarded TVT $25 million in compensatory damages and $107 million in punitive damages, which the trial judge later reduced to $54 million. IDJ appealed. The article notes that in the appellate argument, our partner Paul Gardephe"persuaded the court to throw out the punitive damages, arguing that they may only be awarded when the wrongful conduct was directed toward harming the public at large rather than individual parties like TVT."