Update: Court Agrees to Postpone McGraw/Curb Trial
Tim's camp says he's free to record for Big Machine; Curb reps say he's not.
And the saga continues . . .
In the latest development in the ongoing legal dispute between Curb Records and Tim McGraw, a Nashville court today granted Curb's request to postpone the breach of contract trial, according to billboard.biz.
The case basically centers around whether Tim has fulfilled his contractual obligations to Curb. A press release from the Curb side of the equation states the label's belief that he is still a Curb recording artist. Tim believes he is not, and announced that he has signed with Big Machine Records on May 21.
Curb has asked the court to postpone the trial "until it has the opportunity to take additional evidence surrounding Big Machine Records' signing of McGraw."
Last November, the court denied Curb Records' request for a preliminary injunction that would prevent Tim from signing with any other record company until their legal dispute is decided, and, six months later, the Tim/Big Machine deal was announced—as was the news that he had cut 20 sides for Big Machine. But the November decision, important as it was to Tim's camp, did not close the door on the legal tussle. Curb contends that Tim is still under contract and owes the label another album.
The Court granted Curb's request to postpone the trial until it has the opportunity to "take additional evidence surrounding Big Machine Records' signing of Tim and when the 20 recordings Big Machine says it will release were made." Meanwhile, the Court of Appeals will "soon" hear the appeal of the November ruling, according to the release from Webster & Associates, Curb's publicist.
Asked for a comment on the developments, Tim's publicist provided CountryWeekly.com this statement: "Tim McGraw and his counsel have received several requests for comment concerning a recent press release issued by Curb Records regarding the lawsuit between Tim McGraw and Curb Records. Rule 3.6 of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct makes clear that it is not proper for attorneys to make such out-of-court statements that will be disseminated to the public. It is proper, however, for Mr. McGraw and his counsel to clarify the record in light of Curb's press release. The Court's only ruling was to postpone, at the request of Curb, the trial as to damages claimed by Mr. McGraw and by Curb.
"There was no ruling about anything else, and specifically there was no ruling regarding the substance of either party's claims in the lawsuit. The Court's ruling did not affect, in any way, Mr. McGraw's relationship with Big Machine Records. The Court's Order on the postponement and its prior ruling issued on December 8, 2011 are public documents and are available on the web site of the Davidson County Chancery Court Clerk. Mr. McGraw and his counsel believe that the rulings speak for themselves, and that it is not proper for either of the parties to issue a press release regarding these matters."
Curb asserts those aforementioned 20 tracks belong to Curb, as they were recorded during the term of Curb's contract with Tim.
The label further believes, as stated through its publicist, that "Tim McGraw is still an artist on Curb Records' label; Big Machine had no right to sign Tim McGraw until his contract with Curb Records is over; the new music advertised by Tim McGraw and Big Machine, or that Big Machine may choose to release before the Court ruling, is still owned by Curb Records; and when the Court does rule, it will agree that Tim McGraw has breached his Recording Agreement with Curb Records."
Big Machine has released Tim's "Truck Yeah" from a forthcoming album to country radio, while Curb is promoting "Right Back Atcha Babe" from his Emotional Traffic album, which was released earlier this year on Curb.