Alfonso v. Gulf Publishing Co., Inc.

Two appeals were consolidated from chancery-court cases. In the first case, Diamondhead Country Club and Property Owners Association, Inc. sued Thomas Alfonso, III, and Anne Scafidi Cordova (d/b/a Bay Jourdan Publishing Co., "BJP") for breach of a contract to publish "The Diamondhead News." In 1997, the chancery court entered a preliminary injunction order preventing BJP from publishing "The Diamondhead News," selling advertising for the paper, collecting or disposing of advertising revenues derived from the publication of the paper, and interfering with the printing, publication, or distribution of "The Diamondhead News." The chancery court also found that an arbitration clause in the publishing contract was inapplicable to the lawsuit. The chancery court denied BJP's two subsequent motions to compel arbitration of the breach-of-contract dispute. BJP appealed the chancery court's denial of arbitration. In the second case, BJP sued Diamondhead and Gulf Publishing Co., Inc. (d/b/a The Sun Herald) for intentional interference with the publishing contract. Gulf Publishing filed a motion for summary judgment. The court granted summary judgment to Gulf Publishing and directed the entry of a final judgment as to Gulf Publishing pursuant to Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b). BJP appealed that grant of summary judgment. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed the chancery court's order denying BJP’s second motion to compel arbitration because the issue was ruled upon previously, and no appeal was taken. Finding genuine issues of material fact for trial, the Court reversed the chancery court's order granting summary judgment to Diamondhead and Gulf Publishing, and remanded that case for further proceedings. View "Alfonso v. Gulf Publishing Co., Inc." on Justia Law