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Corbin Bernsen lawsuit highlights need to carefully follow contract terms


While the negotiation and signing of a contract is important, a recent lawsuit filed by actor Corbin Bernsen highlights the need for business owners to know what they are allowed to do after terminating a contract.

Bernsen, who himself played an attoney on "L.A. Law," is suing a marketing company for more than $600,000, saying he's still owned that money as part of a five-year $1 million deal to be the group's spokesman.

He originally signed with the firm in 2009 to make public appearances and take part in film and photography promotions. He received regular payments until the firm ended the contract in June, because the firm said the campaign wasn't successful and wanted to drop it.

However, it continued to use the promotional materials using Bernsen's image, which prompted the suit.

By the same token, small business owners who choose to end a relationship with a particular vendor should be sure to review whether they will still be allowed to use the application or any materials or products created during the relationship.