“HBO urges Ninth Circuit to stop its Leaving Neverland dispute with the Jackson estate from going to arbitration”

This article by Chris Cooke, available through Complete Business Update (CMU), discusses a Ninth Circuit dispute between HBO and the Michael Jackson estate regarding the duration of a non-disparagement provision contained in a 1992 contract between HBO and Jackson. The estate contends the provision endures forever, as well as a requirement that disputes arising under that provision be arbitrated. HBO argues that free speech rights, together with the “absurdity” of the notion that HBO would forever surrender the ability to seek judicial vindication of those rights, require a determination that the dispute is not arbitrable.

The lower court held the non-disparagement provision and arbitration requirement remain effective, but stayed its order pending Ninth Circuit review.

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