December 22, 2012

Dana Loesch sues to escape from the "indentured servitude" that is Breitbart.com.

"The internal disputes roiling the website founded by the late conservative provocateur Andrew Breitbart broke out into the open Friday, when a star blogger sued to be freed from her contractual obligations to the site."
Loesch is seeking her freedom from the company and at least $75,000 in damages.

Breitbart.com is "binding Loesch to what amounts to an indentured servitude in limbo," she charges in the suit....
Mixed metaphor: Limbo is a place you can never get out of. Indentured servitude is marked by a specific period of time. Come on, lawsuit drafters. Sharpen up.

17 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Great news: Lawyers making money just in time for Christmas.

Quaestor said...

Indentured servitude is marked by a specific period of time.

Indentured servitude is also intended to discharge a debt. How did Loesch borrow, and why can't she pay it back?

Some lawyers do their clients more harm than good.

Quaestor said...

Loesch's legal team seems to want to portray her as the victim of some form of antiquated legal exploitation. Unfortunately their grasp of history is too sketchy to make a coherent case.

Dana Loesch is not an indentured servant. She's a runaway apprentice who hasn't fulfilled her seven year obligation to her late master.

Of course it may be the case that Loesch's master made no clear provision for her in his will. In such cases it is customary under the Common Law to refer her case to the local guild chapter.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"As a colloquialism

Differing slightly from the original meaning, in colloquial speech, "limbo" is any status where a person or project is held up, and nothing can be done until another action happens. For example, a construction project might be described as "in limbo" if political considerations delay its permit."

You know, sometimes words have two meanings?

In the tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings...

edutcher said...

Reminiscent of Olivia DeHavilland's and Clint Walker's adventures with Jack Warner.

Darcy said...

Geez, I'm sick of her. She is one drop dead gorgeous woman. I've met her, and I mean that. Stunningly beautiful. But her nasty, sarcastic style is winning nobody over. I know, I know, she bucks up the troops. A lot of good that did us last election.

Loesch. Malkin. Even Coulter, whom I really adore. Shut up.

Oop. There I go being all lovely myself. Grace is hard.

rhhardin said...

Servitude with teeth.

Darcy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

"Good morning, Squire," said Breibart.

"And good morning to you, Master Blogger," replied Squire Allworthy.

"Beggin' your honor's pardon, but might I have a word with ye? It seems I be havin' a bit of a problem with me apprentice, young Dana Loesch. Do ye mind her, Squire, 'bout so high and dark?"

"Why yes, yes I do," said the kindly gentleman.

"Well, she's a bad choice for the bloggin' trade, if I might say so. She's just got no head fer words or language. She's been a-struggling with anastrophe and chiasmus these many years with no signal success, and I do fear the day she puts her hand to ekphrasis.

I sent her to old Jim Chipper to see whether she might be a better fit for the joiner's trade. But alas, the poor thing knows not the sharp end of the chisel from the dull."

Squire Allworthy put his hand to his chin in contemplation. "I see you do have a dilemma, Master Breitbart. How can I be of service?" he asked.

"Perhaps she could be taken into service..."

"Ah, yes. I think a place can be found for her in the scullery."

"Thank you, your honor. We folk of the manor know we can always rely on your probity," said Breitbart, tugging his forelock submissively.

somefeller said...

The fact that these lawyers don't know the proper definitions of limbo and indentured servitude is proof of the attack on Christianity and American history by lie-berals, I tells ya! The attack!

Sorry, just channeling Andrew Breitbart, minus the froth and flop-sweat. Seemed appropriate, given the website in question.

timkb4cq said...

If you read the actual complaint (keeping in mind that it will offer a version of events most favorable to the plaintiff) it looks like Ms. Loesch abided by the contract as written and that the heirs to the Breitbart empire, having failed to properly exercise their right to extend the contract on time, are trying to pressure her into accepting the extension they delivered to her *after* her letter of termination. I think she has a case.

The silly hyperbole released to the press is of course open to ridicule.

Badger Pundit said...

Having also looked at the complaint, I agree with the 10:07 a.m. comment.

Loesch's claim seems simple:

(1) Breitbart.com allowed its initial one-year contract with her to go month-to-month starting in October, 2010 (failing to give notice to extend it another full year); and

(2) she gave her 30-day notice to end the month-to-month arrangement, on 9/13/2011.

Apparently Breitbart.com then tried to invoke an option on the third of three years, starting in October, 2012.

I'm unfamiliar with the specific Missouri (or possibly California) law applying to the contract, but it seems odd that after allowing a contract to go month-to-month, a party could later try to resurrect a full-year option. But possibly there was some sort of understanding or side deal on that, or there's some sort of industry practice to support Breitbart.com's position.

I'm unsure why this is in court. The contract calls to mind a football or basketball coach contract. If, somehow, Breitbart.com, it has a right to Loesch's services through October, 2013, then isn't she like the coach who wants to leave to coach for another team?

In such situations, the coach simply stops coaching for the first team, signs a contract with the second team -- even though that risks a breach-of-contract suit -- and the second team negotiates with the first team a settlement of any contract breach (and of course a settlement of any claim that it tortiously interfered with the original situation). That is, a buyout of the coach's contract with the first team. Often the whole deal is done up front.

When John Calipari moved to Kentucky in 2009, Kentucky bought out his contract with Memphis for $200,000. USA Today recently had a story on how successful college athletics programs make tidy profits collecting buyout money when their coaching stars switch to other schools: http://usat.ly/Sdu2zD.

You don't see the coach file suit against the first team complaining that being held to the full term of the contract is "indentured servitude in limbo." (Second page of complaint -- note to complaint-writer: it helps to use page-numbering).

The "indentured servitude" reference seems dicey (as others here have noted). It hardly seems like peonage if Loesch in fact signed a contract binding her through October 2013. I better understand the "limbo" part, as apparently she's not being assigned any duties. But if Breitbart.com's still paying her, while not assigning her to do anything, what to hard-working Loesch is "limbo" might seem to others a paid vacation.

As to Breibart.com telling prospective employers it currently has a contract with her through October, 2013, I don't see why that's a problem as long as it has a good-faith basis to believe it validly triggered a third year on her contract.

As a business decision it seems fine if Breitbart.com uses a basketball-coach model for its contracts, so that if some other media organization wants to pick off one of its stars, it has to buy out the contract. A gig with a high-profile site like Breitbart.com can quickly turn a talented, initially obscure, person into a star, just as a gig on "American Idol" can turn an unknown into a star, an opportunity that carries with it long-term contracts entered into up front.

But if Breitbart.com is going to continue to press its contract claim rather than just let Loesch go and wish her luck, to avoid brand damage won't it need to explain, at internet speed, the legal and factual basis for its view that Loesch is contractually bound to it through October 2013? One can quibble with some of the asides added to the complaint, but it tells a pretty simple story that Loesch terminated her contract, fair and square, months ago. Loesch is a justly popular and respected figure. It's hard to root for an organization not dominated by a single, popular and respected person, especially if the organization doesn't explicitly and promptly set out a competing narrative.

James said...

Geez, it's almost like she's stuck in a position of indentured servitude but without a specified duration--i.e., a kind of limbo.

Playing dumb to criticize someone's word choice is fucking retarded, Ms. Althouse.

EDH said...

"Come on, lawsuit drafters. Sharpen up."

James said...
Playing dumb to criticize someone's word choice is fucking retarded, Ms. Althouse.

"Lighten up, James."

Alex said...

What Dana wants, Dana gets. Yowzers, what a hot mama!

Astro said...

Actually, Limbo is not permanent. (One can split hairs about the types of Limbo, but even the 'most permanent' form does permit the attainment of Heaven when the world ends.)
Purgatory would have been a better term, though, to use for the metaphor.
[/Ex-Catholic, recalling my grade school catechism.]

Milhouse said...

Geez, it's almost like she's stuck in a position of indentured servitude but without a specified duration--i.e., a kind of limbo.

What on earth are you talking about? Come October she can do whatever she likes.