Chris Cagle loses court battle with manager

This story available without subscription -- Country sex symbol ordered to pay more than $737,000, produce 76 more songs under 1999 contract

Attorneys for new-country star Chris Cagle have filed notice that he will appeal a large judgment against him in favor of his former manager, Mark Hybner of Nashville, after Cagle came out on the losing end in a lawsuit he filed against Hybner in 2004.

Cagle, who had a number-one hit in 2001 with "I Breathe In, I Breathe Out" -- and who appeared (clothed) in Playgirl magazine last July -- had sued in an effort to get out of management and publishing contracts signed in 1999. He claimed Hybner had advised him he did not need an attorney to represent him as the two negotiated on his publishing contract and a later amendment to it.

In an order handed down last month, a copy of which is available at this link, Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy ordered Cagle to pay a total of $737,203 in unpaid commissions, interest, attorney's fees and other costs to Hybner, while also ordering that the performer be made to fulfill obligations under the disputed contracts. McCoy ruled that Cagle must deliver "76.52 songs that are still due and owing" under the publishing agreement. (The record is mute on how one delivers a fractional song.)

Jay Bowen of Nashville, representing Cagle, filed a notice of intent to appeal last week. He referred questions about the case to Los Angeles manager Doc McGhee (widely known for his representation of Kiss, Motley Crüe and Bon Jovi), who is now representing Cagle. McGhee could not be reached earlier today.

Paige Mills and Anne-Marie Farmer of Bass, Berry & Sims represented Hybner in the case.