Former Prince manager Steve Fargnoli has filed a $ 5 million suit against the entertainment law firm of Ziffren, Brittenham & Branca for allegedly advising the singer that he overpaid his managers under a contract that the law firm drafted while working for the managers.
Fargnoli, in a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claimed that Ziffren went to work for Prince shortly after the signing of a December 1988 agreement that terminated Prince’s management agreement with Fargnoli and his partners.
The law firm then allegedly told Prince that he overpaid the managers by paying them a percentage of his gross instead of net.
Fargnoli, in his suit, says the law firm’s advice was a direct conflict of interest and that the firm also gave Prince confidential communications and documents. A subsequent dispute over the 1988 accord led to a suit in 1990 by Prince against his former law firm, Manatt, Phelps, Rothenber & Phillips, along with the former managers. The managers sued Prince for failing to make payments under the termination agreement. That suit was settled in September 1991.
Fargnoli has also sued Prince for allegedly defaming him in a song.
The new suit also claims that Creative Artists Agency stopped sending the former managers their portion of commissions on Prince’s earnings at the request of Ziffren partner Skip Brittenham.
Brittenham is a defendant along with attorneys John Branca and Gary Stiffelman. The suit also seeks unspecified punitive damages.