OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS
F O W L E R & G O O D L L P
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In the entertainment industry, the artist is both the Chairman of the Board of his/her business and also the product, like being both Microsoft and Bill Gates. Personal managers serve as the Chief Executive Officer of and for the artist, overseeing and working with the artist’s publicist (VP of public relations), business manager (VP of finance), transactional attorney (VP of business affairs), and talent agents (VP’s of sales).
It is patently absurd for a chief executive officer of an entity to be barred from getting involved in the company’s creation of revenue. Yet due to the interpretation and enforcement of California’s Talent Agencies Act (TAA) by the state’s Labor Commissioner, personal managers are forced to sublimate that instinct. However, no matter how hard the effort to separate the direction and counseling functions from procurement, there are always actions that personal managers must perform to fulfill their contractual duties and obligations put them in jeopardy, especially as the occupational scheme offers no guidance on this issue and the interpretation and enforcement of the Act by the Defendants is inconsistent.
A personal manager properly executing their responsibilities is threatened by this enforcement on a round-the-clock basis. Should a 1AM phone call come in because a job opened up that begins later that morning, the manager must decide either to negotiate and procure the opportunity or abide by the letter of the law as enforced and ignore the reason the manager was hired: to maximize the quality and quantity of their client’s career opportunities. Even in normal circumstances, a personal manager looking out for the welfare of a client is always at risk of that client later utilizing the Defendants’ enforcement
A single artist may have several agents; individual representatives for film, television, literary, music, publishing, voiceovers, speaking engagements and personal appearances.
If allowed to present argument in full, Plaintiff will cite TAA determinations where the same actions are alternately found lawful in one instance and unlawful in another.