A Miami-Dade County judge has set Nov. 8 as the trial date in the ongoing contract dispute between Paulo Londra and record label Big Ligas.
The Sept. 30 order set the stage for a jury trial in Londra’s two-year-legal battle with Cristian Salazar and producer Daniel Oviedo (Ovy on the Drums), with whom he co-found Big Ligas 2018. The label claims the Argentine trap artist breached of his contract, while Londra has countersued to accuse Salazar and Oviedo of fraud.
Londra says that Salazar and Oviedo “defrauded” him when they had him sign a three-year term joint venture agreement deal memo, which — according to legal documents — was then extended without Londra’s consent.
After Londra asked the court to affirm that the joint venture deal has been “properly” terminated, in Sept., Judge William Thomas ruled in a 13-page order that the deal memo’s term expired Feb. 20, 2021. “Even if the language of the relevant contracts supported Big Ligas’ proffered interpretation of the Deal Memo’s term (which it plainly does not), the Deal Memo could not be enforced because it would constitute an illegal restraint of trade and lead to absurd results,” the judge wrote.
In the wake of that order, Big Ligas has filed an opening appellant brief requesting the court of appeals to overturn the order issued by the trial judge that, according to the documents, “It reached outside the four-corners of the unambiguous agreements and relied on parol evidence. Reversal is warranted because the plain and unambiguous language of the contracts establishes that the “Term” of the “Deal Memorandum” expires no sooner than November 23, 2024.”
But because Big Ligas’ appeal is what’s known as an “interlocutory appeal” that occurs midway through a case, a trial will also be held back in the lower court to resolve the remaining portions of the case focusing on if the deal memo is a valid and enforceable agreement, Londra’s accusations of fraud against the label and the repercussions of it, and when the deal memo actually expired, among other things.
At the root of the dispute is a deal memo Londra signed early on in his career, when he was 19, thinking it was a “prop” for a video shoot directed by Salazar. The initial term was three years, but if Big Ligas entered a recording or publishing agreement with a “major label” — it would modify the contract’s initial three-year term. During the course of the term, Big Ligas entered a $3 million licensing deal with Warner Music in January 2019 for Londra’s Homerun album.
Big Ligas argues in the appeal that the, “‘Term’ of the Warner Agreement — both the ‘recording period’ and ‘license period’ — was to run until May 23, 2024. And, accordingly, the deal memo’s ‘term’ was extended until November 23, 2024, or ‘(6) moths [sic] following the expiration of the ‘term’ of the such recording agreement.”
“We look forward to trying the case and presenting the jury with evidence about Mr. Londra’s broken promises and inaccurate statements. We are confident that the truth and justice will prevail,” said Big Ligas’ counsel Jesus E.Cuza, Holland & Knight, LLP.
In previous interview with Billboard, Londra argued that while he was already “unhappy” with his Big Ligas contract because he didn’t have the opportunity to read it and had “no choice” but to enter the deal with Warner Music.
Under Big Ligas, Londra released his debut album, Homerun, with Warner Music Latina in May 2019. The album debuted at No. 12 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart and No. 10 on the Latin Rhythm Albums chart. He scored a best new artist nomination at the 2019 Latin Grammys.