Why Is Daryl Hall Suing John Oates? Here’s What We Know About the Surprising Lawsuit

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Daryl Hall and John Oates deliver a live performance well before their legal battle. Photo Credit: Raph_PH

“Say It Isn’t So” – over 50 years after the formation of Hall & Oates, Daryl Hall is officially suing John Oates. Here’s what we know about the legal battle.

Earlier this week, Philadelphia revealed that the professionals behind the Philly-based duo were going “Mano A Mano” in a Nashville chancery court. But the case’s records were (and, for the most part, are) sealed – a point that’s rendered meaningful details about the showdown few and far between.

However, the available documents show that 77-year-old Hall is suing in his official capacity as trustee of The Daryl Hall Revocable Trust, with a listed filing date of November 16th. Per his LinkedIn profile, Hall’s attorney has experience in a number of intellectual property and entertainment cases.

Additionally, the attorney’s law firm helped the Mechanical Licensing Collective negotiate the lease agreement for its Nashville headquarters, the firm’s website shows.

Named as defendants in the suit are 75-year-old Oates and, in their capacity as co-executors of his own trust, his wife Aimee as well as business manager Richard Flynn, according to the docket. Hall and his legal team also submitted on the 16th a motion for a temporary restraining order, which was approved the following day, per the docket once again.

Beyond this concrete evidence, the Associated Press today attributed the disagreement to Oates’ plans to sell to Primary Wave a stake in a joint venture, allegedly in violation of a prior agreement with Hall.

Should this be the actual cause of the dust up, suffice to say that there are “A Lot of Changes Comin,’” presumably all bad, for the veteran musicians’ professional relationship.

Although none of the involved parties had commented publicly on the subject at the time of this writing, it’s worth highlighting in conclusion a couple pieces of supplemental information that provide potentially significant context.

It was just over a year back that Hall in a podcast discussion with Bill Maher indicated that he and Oates were “brothers” – while emphasizing his position that their partnership extended only to business as opposed to the creative side. Bearing in mind the point and the insinuation of a possible underlying rift, Oates earlier in 2023 released a reggae version of 1982’s “Maneater.”

Hall and Oates are both credited as writers and producers on the latter, which has racked up north of half a billion streams on Spotify. Lastly, Hall yesterday, perhaps not coincidentally, performed a concert in Japan “with a setlist filled with Hall & Oates classics,” according to Variety.