LifeWay Calls Off Lawsuit Against Former President

"Update: The Southern Baptist publisher will instead try to resolve its disagreement with Thom Ranier over whether he can now partner with Tyndale." - C.Today

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Bert Perry's picture

Hopefully they consider the meaning of their noncompete contracts (man of God, take a long vacation!) and walk away from that, and use this as an opportunity to restructure to meet their current footprint needs.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

TylerR's picture

Editor

The organization seems like such a joke, now. What clowns.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Dan Miller's picture

This varies by state, but here in Iowa, Non Compete laws are hard to defend. I mean that it is hard for an employer to enforce non compete penalties. Instead, we use a "Liquidated Damages" clause. The idea is, "Sure, you can leave the group and compete with us, but by doing so, you take away earnings from the company, so you will need to pay damages. And we agree when we join to the calculation we use.

My point is, I'm not sure if his contract really has a "non-compete." It might be Liquidated Damages. That would mean that he joins this company and the company promotes him and helps his outreach and the company earns a profit from his work. And then once they have put in the work and expense of promoting him, he chooses to leave and write for another publisher because the fees are less and he is popular enough that he doesn't need promotion any more. Well, that cheats the company out of the profit associated with his work (some of which they deserve since the promoted him not knowing whether he would become popular). If that's the case, then it isn't, "You can't do ministry if it's not with us." It's, "We have a right to future earnings based on the relationship we have had. So if you're leaving us, write all you want, but you still owe us."

Bert Perry's picture

Dan, understood, but the original part of the suit referred to the possibility of secrets being revealed, and that's not something that someone who was just working with editors and promoters would know.  That would have to do with his role as President of Lifeway, which makes a lawsuit for writing a book especially puzzling.

I can see "here's our contract to publish and publicize your next three books, and the overall cost of $x will be scheduled to be forgiven at this rate as you publish your books", and if you break that contract, sure.  But that's not what the lawsuit excerpt I saw was suggesting.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

According to Sam Rainer, who I'd assume is Thom's son, it's back on.  Call me skeptical, again, that the former President of Lifeway would violate his oath of confidentiality and release their secrets in the process of writing a book, and for that matter, count me somewhat skeptical that editors and publicizers at Tyndale would (a) know intuitively how important that information is to their executives, (b) would pass that information on to their management instead of telling Rainer that they couldn't work with that or him, and (c) Tyndale management would accept and use that instead of quietly stating that since the information was wrongly gained, they would abstain from using it.

Unless, of course, Tyndale is secretly owned by the New York Times company, which of course routinely uses felonious leaks of classified and private information as long as they work against Republicans.  (or the Washington Post)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.