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A legal battle over which law firm gets access to the outside back cover ad of the Baltimore SuperMedia Yellow Pages directory underscores that print Yellow Pages ads can still produce a return on investment worth fighting over.

According to a report in the Baltimore legal publication The Daily Record (subscription required), the dispute arose when the Baltimore law firm Silverman Slutkin Thompson White LLC was told it could not purchase the outside back cover of the Baltimore book, despite apparently having signed a contract. For reasons not made clear by the article, SuperMedia instead sold the placement to attorney Stephen L. Snyder, whose firm had been running an ad in that position for several years.

Silverman Slutkin immediately sued, claiming the decision not to honor the sales contract was damaging due to the lost opportunity for earnings from leads that would have been generated by the ad.

The federal judge in the case declined to issue an injunction, thus allowing the directory to publish with Snyder in the back cover slot.

Snyder, the existing holder of the ad, clearly regards the back cover position as a key assets. He is quoted in The Daily Record saying that Silverman Slutkin should “not hold its breath” in anticipation of the back cover becoming available. “When Mr. Snyder and all three of his sons retire, the Slutkin firm can have access to it,” the attorney said. His youngest son is in 11th grade.

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  1. IF they contracted using the standard preprinted contract then the law firm is on notice that Supermedia’s liability for not printing the ad is ZERO. See “Limitation Of Liability” clauses. No contractual damages, so in failing to get equitable relief in the form of an injunction it looks like this suit is a loser.

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