NCOPM Challenges California's Talent Agencies Act In Federal Court

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The National Conference of Personal Managers (NCOPM) has launched a lawsuit in federal court, challenging the constitutionality of California's Talent Agencies Act.

In the suit, NCOPM claims that the Talent Agencies Act violates the freedom of speech and association guarantees of the First Amendment, indentured servitude prohibitions of the 13th Amendment, due process and equal protection provisions of the 14th Amendment and the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U. S. Constitution.

The Talent Agencies Act, added to California's labor laws in 1978, has been interpreted as barring managers from seeking employment for their clients, stating, "No person shall engage in or carry on the occupation of a talent agency without first procuring a license therefore from the Labor Commissioner."

Some managers maintain that this controversial aspect to the law allows artists to break personal management contracts without paying fees and the California Labor Commission has penalized managers and voided contracts under the authority of the act.

“The provisions, interpretation and enforcement of the TAA have resulted in personal managers being unfairly singled out without due process and denied the ability to pursue lawful business opportunities to the detriment of all personal managers and the artists which they represent,” NCOPM President Clinton Ford Billups Jr. wrote in a statement about the lawsuit.

“Commission payments to personal managers that have been either wrongfully disgorged by the Labor Commissioner or negotiated away by a manager afraid to face a TAA controversy are estimated to have cost our profession in excess of one-half billion dollars,” Mr. Billups added. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers