Entertainment & Business Litigation

 

Types of cases that our firm handles

Management/artist disputes: The Talent Agencies Act provides that only licensed talent agents may procure employment for artists in the entertainment industry.  Managers may not procure employment for artists.  The definition of “procure” has been expanded to include any negotiation of any term of an artist’s employment agreement, meaning that nobody that is not licensed as a talent agent may negotiate any term of any personal services agreement.  The California Labor Commissioner is the exclusive arbiter of all cases involving the Talent Agencies Act.  The attorneys at McPherson Rane LLP have unparalleled experience representing talent and managers in connection with TAA cases.

Right of publicity disputes: This refers to the right of an artist or entertainer to regulate the commercialization of his or her persona.  These cases involve allegations of misappropriation of someone’s name, likeness, or voice for profit.

Defamation: These cases involve false and disparaging statements, orally or in writing, which may prove to be very damaging to careers in the entertainment industry and elsewhere.  Slander is defamation in oral form.  Libel is defamation in written form.

Minors’ contracts: California law allows record labels, record distributors, music publishers, motion picture production companies, television production companies, talent agents, and others to seek Court approval of entertainment industry contracts involving minors.  Once approved, the minor is unable to disaffirm the contract on the grounds of age.  The firm routinely obtains Court approval of such minors’ contracts.

Audit claims and net profit claims: These cases typically involve breach of any agreement that provides royalty or profit participations to artists, producers, and others, including claims against record labels, film studios, television production companies, and distributors.

California Seven-Year Rule disputes: California has a unique law limiting personal service contracts to a maximum term of seven years.  These claims, typically filed in the music industry, involve termination of such contracts after seven years, often resulting in litigation over whether or not the artist has provided the contractually-obligated number of albums or other obligations after the expiration of the seven years.

Insurance coverage and bad faith: These cases involve the failure of insurance companies to provide defense and/or indemnification coverage to their insureds for a multitude of claims.  The firm has a longstanding history of vigorously protecting policyholders, primarily in the entertainment industry, against insurance companies that have failed and refused to comply with their promises and obligations under the policy.

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