Jury Finds for PR Firm in NJ Lottery Case
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
CEO

Jury Finds for PR Firm in NJ Lottery Case

An eight-member jury in Essex County has awarded New Jersey public relations firm Spector & Associates $82,500 in damages after finding unanimously that advertising agency Grafica had breached its agreement with the firm.

Paul Holmes

SHORT HILLS—An eight-member jury in Essex County has awarded New Jersey public relations firm Spector & Associates $82,500 in damages after finding unanimously that advertising agency Grafica had breached its agreement with the firm by hiring a key Spector employee and then taking the New Jersey Lottery PR business in-house.
 
The jury also rejected, by a margin of seven to one, Grafica’s counterclaim that Spector had failed to properly perform its public relations services on the lottery account, which the two firms had pitched together. The account was worth around $1.6 million in public relations fees over five years, and Spector had sought damages of $900,000.
 
Grafica claimed during the two-week trial that Spector was merely a sub-contractor, although numerous written documents referred to the PR firm as a partner. The ad agency also charged that Spector had failed to perform its PR duties adequately, while Spector had pointed out that Grafica had hired the PR firm’s lead account executive, Mark Devaney, and induced him to breach his non-compete contract with the agency.
 
Says Spector president Shelley Spector, “I am satisfied that, after years of litigation, Spector has been vindicated in its claims that Grafica's wrongful conduct has harmed Spector. I am equally gratified that a jury has concluded Grafica's claims that Spector did not do its job with regard to the Lottery are without merit. Spector provided excellent services to the Lottery. I believe that the jury's verdict confirms that Spector indeed did its job and did it well.”
 
According to Spector attorney Kevin Jespersen, of Slattery & Jespersen, “Grafica lost the case, and the jury rejected all of the claims made by Grafica.”
 
Nevertheless, Grafica claimed a victory, citing the fact that the damages awarded by the jury were considerably less than the plaintiff had asked for.
 
“The jury clearly decided against awarding Spector the damages it sought, which is a victory for Grafica,” said Debra Taeschler, president of Grafica. “No verdict can erase the dissatisfaction with Spector’s public relations services expressed on the stand under oath by three top Lottery officials. Grafica is vindicated in its decision to terminate Spector.”
 
Jesperson said testimony from the New Jersey Lottery witnesses was inconsistent with their sworn depositions. “The jury obviously rejected the testimony of the Lottery officials because the jury refused to accept Grafica’s claims that Spector failed to adequately perform its public relations services for the Lottery,” he said.
View Style:

Load 3 More
comments powered by Disqus