The Grammys Sue Their Program Printer for $86,000, Federal Judge Tosses the Case

2019 Grammys program

Earlier this month, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) decided to sue the longtime printer of its Grammy Awards programs — for $86,000.

Sometimes, only the lawyers end up winning.

After firing its longtime printing partner, FX Group, LLC, Grammys organizer NARAS (aka the Recording Academy) decided to file a lawsuit for $86,000 in damages. According to the complaint, FX failed to pay an $86,000 bill to NARAS as part of a complicated printing agreement that broke down.

Of course, $86,000 isn’t nothing… though when it comes to pricey lawyers, it’s pretty close.  At the time, we joked that NARAS was probably going to end up paying its attorneys at Proskauer Rose LLP $87,000 to win the case.  Now, that snide observation is probably close to the reality of the situation — if not a whole lot worse.

According to a legal filing shared with Digital Music News this week, a federal judge has quickly tossed the entire lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds.

Perhaps Proskauer Rose tossed this case to its first-year law school grads for practice, though the blunt dismissal only took four days.  “The Court dismisses Plaintiff’s Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction,” U.S. District Court judge for the Central District of California curtly opined.

“A district court may, and should, grant leave to amend when it appears that subject matter jurisdiction may exist, even though the complaint inadequately alleges jurisdiction.”

Whether NARAS decides to soldier onward with an amended complaint, or in a completely different jurisdiction remains unclear.  Of course, this stuff costs lots of money, regardless of who’s right, though FX Group now faces possible reputation damage following the filing and resulting press.  Assuming FX has a sound defense and reason for not paying NARAS the $86,000 bill, that could provoke a countersuit or spirited defense.

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All of which carries a price tag that soars far beyond the $86,000-mark.

(If you’re interested in checking out FX’s last Grammys program, here’s a fun virtual tour of it).

 

 

 

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