How Talent Representatives Can Fight Client Filght.

Edwin F. McPherson - Entertainment Law & Finance (July, 1995)

July 1, 1995 0 Comments

The Entertainment and sports industries spawn two types of representatives, whether they be agents, personal managers, business managers or lawyers: the ones that are already representing clients and the ones that want to be representing the formers’ clients. In addition, particularly in entertainment and sports, there are many representatives who consistently refer and cross-refer business to each other. For instance, a personal manager might share numerous clients with a particular music lawyer.

A manager, upon first being retained by a new client, might do some “house cleaning” and fire the existing lawyer (or agent, business manager, publicist or promoter) and assemble his or her usual ”team.” Irrespective of whether this is good or bad for the artist, the house cleaning or ”team” approach is never good for the replaced representative. The question, then, is: What can an artist’s representative terminated without cause do? Under certain circumstances, the aggrieved former representative may sue for tortious interference with contract and / or tortious interference with economic advantage.

Interference with contract is really a species of the broader tort of interference with prospective economic advantage. The only material difference between the two causes of action is the existence of an actual agreement between two or more parties. In an economic advantage situation, the relationship has not risen to the level of a contractual one.

In order to establish a claim for tortious interference with contract, one must plead and prove:

  • a valid and existing contract between the complainant and some third party;
  • knowledge by the interfering party of the existence of that contract;
  • intentional or negligent acts by the interfering party designed to induce the third party to breach its contractual relationship with the complainant;
  • actual breach or disruption of the contractual relationship; and
  • damages proximately caused by the interfering party’ s acts. The proof requirements with respect to a claim for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage are similar:
  • an economic relationship between the complainant and some third person containing the probability of future economic benefit to the complainant;
  • knowledge by the interfering party of the existence of the relationship;
  • intentional or negligent acts by the interfering party designed to cause the third party to disrupt the relationship with the complainant;
  • actual disruption of the relationship; and
  • damages proximately caused by the interfering the probability of future economic benefit to the complainant;
  • knowledge by the interfering party of the existence of the relationship;
  • intentional or negligent acts by the interfering party designed to cause the third party to disrupt the relationship with the complainant;
  • actual disruption of the relationship; and
  • damages proximately caused by the interfering

Download Full PDF

Edwin F. McPherson

Mr. McPherson is a frequent author and lecturer. He has handled numerous matters involving copyright infringement, trademark infringement, management/artist disputes, rights of publicity, rights of privacy (including internet privacy and stalking), record production and distribution, music publishing, defamation, motion picture and television production and distribution, breach of implied contract (submission cases), net profits, unfair competition, WGA, DGA, SAG and AFTRA disputes, wrongful termination and other labor-related matters, insurance coverage and bad faith, legal malpractice, and general civil litigation. In addition, Mr. McPherson has served as a consultant and expert witness in connection with the California Talent Agencies Act, about which he has written numerous articles.

0 Comments


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply

© McPherson Rane LLP 2014 | Privacy Policy