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Isaac Asimov’s Estate|Sues Literary Agents

MANHATTAN (CN) - Isaac Asimov's wife and daughter sued Trident Media Group and Robert Gottlieb, claiming they continue to present themselves as the late author's agents three years after the contract terminated.

Robyn Asimov, the writer's daughter, and his widow Janet Asimov - co-executors of his estate - sued Trident and Gottlieb in New York County Supreme Court.

Asimov died on April 6, 1992. The Asimovs say in the lawsuit that they hired the defendants as agents on Sept. 11, 2008, for a two-year term, automatically renewable unless one party gave written notice within 120 days of the date of termination.

The Asimovs claim their attorneys sent Trident a cease and desist letter on Nov. 4 this year, stating that the contract had expired at the end of the first two years.

Trident, through counsel, "rejected the assertions contained in the cease and desist letter and asserted that the agreement was not terminated," according to the complaint.

In the 12-page lawsuit, the Asimovs do not claim that they gave timely notice that they were terminating the contract after the first 2 years. They claim that New York General Obligations Law §5-903 requires the defendants "to give a timely written notice that the agreement contained an automatic renewal clause," and that Trident failed to do this. Therefore, the executors claim, the automatic renewal provision is unenforceable.

They seek declaratory judgment, an injunction and at least $1 million damages for deceptive trade, plus exemplary damages.

They are represented by Steven R. Schlesinger with Jaspan Schlesinger, of Garden City, N.Y.

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