Brief Fact Summary.
Conde Nast Publications, Inc. (Conde Nast) and Myskina each moved for summary judgment after Conde Nast published nude photos of Myskina constituting a breach of contract.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
The parol-evidence rule bars the introduction of prior or simultaneous agreements that contradict a written agreement.
Myskina agreed to do a nude photoshoot with GQ on the condition that the photographs were only published for the magazine. An editor with Conde Nast Publications, Inc. (Conde Nast), solicited Myskina to model for the magazine. Before completing the photoshoot for GQ, Myskine signed a release that did not contain a merger clause and did not restrict the publication of the photographs. After the main photoshoot, the photographer took additional photographs of Myskina, and according to Myskina, the photographer agreed not to publish the photographs. Myskine sued COnde Nast and the photographer for breach of contract when the photographs were published in another magazine. Conde Nast and Seliger, the photographer, moved for summary judgment.
Whether the parol-evidence rule bars the introduction of prior or simultaneous agreements that contradict a written agreement?
Yes. Summary judgment is granted to Conde Nast and Seliger. The oral agreement that Myskina’s photograph would not be used outside of GQ was not included in the release. The written release did not mention any other agreement and consented to the use of the photographs.
Before such an agreement as the present is received to vary the written contract at least three conditions must exist, (1) the agreement must in form be a collateral one; (2) it must not contradict express or implied provisions of the written contract; (3) it must be one that parties would not ordinarily be expected to embody in the writing the agreement must not be so clearly connected with the principal transaction as to be part and parcel of it.View Full Point of Law
An agreement becomes fully integrated when both parties intend for the agreement to be a final and complete expression of the agreement. Because the oral agreement was not included in the written release, the written release was fully integrated. The oral agreement is inadmissible under the parol evidence rule because oral agreement contradicts the written terms of the release.