This case illustrates precisely why depositions are critical to trial and provide a clear roadmap for trial strategy for both sides.
Here, Stewart was asked by Macy's counsel in court what the essence of her contract with Macy's was. Stewart answered that it included making products bearing her name. She neglected to admit that she thought, and answered, that the contract's essence included exclusivity. This is critical for a breach of contract claim because where contractual language is ambiguous, a court may go outside the four corners (the actual wording on the contract) to interpret the intent of the parties. Here, Stewart, a party to the contract, intended exclusivity. Macy's clearly intended exclusivity. Thus, Stewart's actions in signing with J.C. Penney indicates she breached a material term to the contract.
Clearly there must be more at issue, but based on this limited glimpse into this commercial dispute, its a wonder that Stewart has not tried to work something out to avoid an unfavorable judgment.
If your business is involved in a contractual dispute, contact Nair Law LLC immediately to talk to an attorney to understand how you can protect your business as well as yourself.