California residents should know that if a contract is signed and one of the parties is no longer following the terms of the agreement, a lawsuit may have to be filed in order to compel it to do so. An example of this is the breach of contract lawsuit that was filed by actress Gabrielle Union against BET and the producers of "Being Mary Jane", the show in which she stars.
The actress was seeking financial damages of at least $3 million and a statement that each season of the show would extend no more than 13 episodes. She has since reached a multimillion dollar settlement with the network.
Her attorneys for the actress claims that the network and the producers of the show purposely altered the terms of the contract in order to reduce expenses. Specifically, the producers allegedly eliminated the break between the 10-episode fourth and fifth seasons, a provision to which all parties had agreed.
According to her contract, the actress is to be compensated $150,000 for each episode in the fourth season and $165,000 per episode of the fifth season. Her attorneys assert that her movie career was a main consideration when the contract was drafted and that the network promised she would not be required to appear in no more than 13 episodes a season. It was with this stipulation that the actress agreed to sign the contract. The actress was notified on the first week of principal photography for the fourth season that the agreement was amended and there was to be 20 episodes for the fourth season.
As this shows, many contract disputes can be settled out of court. Attorneys will often attempt to do in order when such a dispute threatens to disrupt their clients' situations.