ILNews

COA sides with Live Nation in naming dispute

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the Murat Temple Association’s claim that Live Nation Worldwide violated terms of its lease agreement.

MTA claims that Live Nation, which leases the MTA’s Indianapolis 1909 Murat Theatre Building and 1922 Mosque Building, breached its contract when it sold naming rights for those spaces to Old National Bank. But according to terms of the lease, Live Nation is entitled to the rights “enjoyed by the owner of the building,” and therefore is entitled to publicly rename the premises, the appeals court held.

The dispute began in January 2010 when MTA learned that Live Nation was planning to sell naming rights to part or all of the Shrine Center. On January 28, 2010, MTA delivered a letter to Live Nation stating that MTA’s approval was required for any name change of the leased premises.

On March 16, 2010, Live Nation announced that it had entered into a naming rights agreement with Old National. On that same day, MTA sent a letter to Live Nation and Old National objecting to any name change to the leased premises and asserting that Live Nation lacked the right to rename the leased premises. Nevertheless, Live Nation placed a marquee on the Mosque Building bearing the name “Old National Centre.”

Subsequently, MTA filed a complaint against Live Nation and Old National. MTA accused Live Nation of breach of contract and conversion. MTA accused Old National of conversion, tortious interference with a contractual relationship, and tortious interference with a business relationship.

MTA maintains that by placing a new marquee on the building bearing the name “Old National Centre” and by using the name “Old National Centre” in advertising, Live Nation has effectively and inappropriately renamed the entire Shrine Center, rather than just the leased premises. The appeals court held that according to Article XII of the lease, Live Nation was authorized to place “signs and advertising matter” “upon any part of the leased premises.” The public may perceive the Shrine Center differently due to the installation of the marquee and Live Nation’s use of the Old National Centre name in advertising, but regardless of the public’s perception, Live Nation has not exceeded the scope of its rights under the lease, the appeals court held.

The appeals court stated that in any conversion action, criminal intent is an essential element that must be proven. In Murat Temple Association, Inc. v. Live Nation Worldwide, et al., No. 49A02-1008-PL-952, the MTA alleged that Live Nation and Old National both knew that MTA had objected to their negotiations and had told them that Live Nation had no authority to sell naming rights for the Shrine Center in whole or in part. MTA further alleged that despite that knowledge of MTA’s objection, Live Nation and Old National intentionally and knowingly executed a naming rights agreement, thereby exerting unauthorized control over MTA’s right to publicly name the Shrine Center. However, because the lease authorizes Live Nation to rename the leased premises, MTA’s conversion claim fails, because neither Live Nation nor Old National exerted unauthorized control over MTA’s property, the appeals court held.

The appeals court stated that Section 1.01 of the lease agreement provides a broad grant of authority to Live Nation, including naming rights, and the parties negotiated only one limitation on naming rights, in Section 3.02, which states that Live Nation must retain the phrase “Murat Theatre” in the name of the 1909 Theatre Building. But that clause applies only to “theatre business within the leased premises,” not the entire leased premises.

“Presumably, if MTA had intended to further restrict Live Nation’s authority to rename all or part of the Leased Premises, the parties would have added additional limitations,” the COA wrote in its opinion.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

ADVERTISEMENT