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Contract dispute between Ashton Kutcher and DMV settled

People enter into contracts every day for a variety of reasons, from real estate purchases to business operating agreements. In so doing they agree to be committed to the terms outlined in the contract. Unfortunately, sometimes things go awry.

That is the case in a recent contract dispute between Katalyst Media, a production company owned by actor Ashton Kutcher, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Purportedly, Katalyst and the DMV struck a deal to film a reality television series featuring the daily operations of a DMV field office and its employees. However, the DMV backed out of the deal and Katalyst sued for over $1 million in damages for breach of contract.

The DMV countered by throwing doubt on the existence of the contract. They suggested the lack of specifics about which field office and during what hours shooting would be permitted removed Katalyst's right to sue. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge stepped in and halted DMV's tactics.

Though the case was intended to go to litigation this summer, it appears the DMV has now decided to pay up and move on. However, some believe Katalyst and the DMV might have something up their sleeve since dismissal of the case is still pending. Exactly what that might be is anyone's guess.

This situation shows the importance of working out any details before entering into a contract or agreement. Regardless of the type of contract-real estate, construction, sale, business operations-participants should consider their actions carefully to avoid potential contract disputes.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Ashton Kutcher Company Settles Lawsuit with DMV (Exclusive)," Eriq Gardner, May 1, 2013

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