LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The National Conference of Personal Managers (NCOPM) has filed an appeal with the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, challenging the constitutionality of California's Talent Agency Act (TAA.)
The Talent Agency Act, enacted in 1978, requires that an individual obtain a license from the state of California in order to act as an agent for the client. The California law does not include any exemptions for personal managers who find work for their clients and allowed some artists to effectively negate portions of their management contracts.
One of the best known cases occurred in 1996 when Dave Park, a former manager of the band The Deftones, sued the group, claiming that the band had failed to pay owed commissions. In response, The Deftones filed a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner, claiming that Park had violated the TAA by finding bookings for the band. The court ruled in favor of The Deftones, leaving park sans client and commission.
NCOPM is appealing a Mar. 5, 2013 dismissal by District Court Judge Dean D. Pregerson of their lawsuit against California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. In their appeal, NCOPM claims that the court was in error to dismiss the case and abused their discretion in doing so. NCOPM is requesting that the Court of Appeals declare the TAA unconstitutional on the grounds that it violates both due process and equal protection rights. The suit also claims that the law imposes burdens on, and interferes with interstate commerce, and restrains First Amendment commercial speech rights.
"The provisions, interpretation and enforcement of the TAA unfairly single out personal managers and deny us our constitutional rights," said NCOPM President Clinton Billups Jr.
"Personal managers have lost In excess of $500,000,000 in legitimately earned compensation either because the California Labor Commissioner has wrongfully ordered disgorgement or the managers have been forced to settle for fear of facing the risks and legal costs of TAA controversies,” Billups added. – Staff Writers