The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals by Rosa Blasi and her ex-manager in their dispute over “Strong Medicine” commissions.
The court notified Blasi and Rick Siegel, Blasi’s former manager, on Wednesday that it had granted hearings for their appeals of the June ruling by the Second District Court of Appeals. Siegel has contended the ruling did not address his contention that the state Legislature did not intend for the Talent Agencies Act to be applied against managers; Blasi’s argued that appeals court erred in not invalidating the contract because he procured employment.
Blasi fired Siegel two years after she became a regular on “Strong Medicine,” leading to a 2003 suit by Siegel over unpaid commissions. A state court decision backed Blasi but the appeals court overturned part of that ruling and backed Siegel’s contention that a single violation of the state’s Talent Agencies Act did not necessarily invalidate all other work he performed as a manager.
The California Labor Commissioner, SAG, AFTRA and the Assn. of Talent Agents have all asked the State Supreme Court to de-publish the appeals court decision on the basis that the entire contract should be voided if there’s any procurement of employment by a nonlicensed agent such as a manager. Depublishing the ruling would prevent it from being used as a precedent, if the Supreme Court declines Blasi’s appeal.
No date’s been set for the hearing.
Siegel said Wednesday, “I’m thrilled by the Supreme Court hearing my case. If manager contributes to a client’s career, he or she should be able to be paid without the shadow of the TAA.”
Blasi’s attorney Michael Plonsker said, “Rosa Blasi is thrilled that the Supreme Court has granted review of her Petition. She looks forward to demonstrating to the Court that the correct result is to hold, in accordance with with Talent Agencies Act, that only licensed talent agents are permitted to procure employment for artists and, if an unlicensed person – like a personal manager – does so, the remedy intended by the California Legislaure is that his/her contract be considered void in its entirety.”