Hi, I have two questions in regards to a management contract.

Asked 11 months ago - Los Angeles, CA

Is it standard for a manager to receive commission on gifts?
Is a year the standard length of time for them to receive commission on a "substantially negotiated" project that was signed after termination of manager?

Attorney answers (13)

  1. Ripal Patel

    Contributor Level 12

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your questions is vague. Please clarify.

    Your particular situation may be different. This answer is intended for information purposes only. No Attorney-... more
  2. Pamela Koslyn

    Contributor Level 20

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . True gifts shouldn't be commissionable. The question is whether it's really a gift or not.

    Are for a standard length of time, some managers ask for and get commissions in perpetuity -- forever -- on contracts entered into or substantially negotiated during their tenure. Some get "sunset" clauses that taper down the percentage commissioned for some years after their termination.

    Note that CA's Talent Agency Act restricts what a manager can do for a client, so a client often has potent claims against a manager that can be used to negotiate a favorable termination contract. You should see an entertainment lawyer for help.

    Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to... more
  3. Brad S Kane

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Assuming you are discussing a personal manager contract for an entertainer, managers often want a commission of gifts of significant value. Otherwise, Artist would ask to be "gifted" money or items of value to avoid paying commissions. As for substantially negotiated projects, managers are often entitled to their commission on "substantially negotiated" regardless of when they are signed.

    Most of these issues can and are negotiated in good faith between the parties. If the client is a developmental client, i.e. little in the way of experience or credits, then they have very little negotiating leverage.

  4. Sagar P. Parikh

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your question is unclear. What type of management contract are you referring to? Additionally, the contract itself would have to be reviewed to properly advise you.

  5. Dana Howard Shultz

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Added Entertainment Law based on comment to a prior answer.

    This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
  6. Marc Jacobson

    Contributor Level 12

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes and yes. But it's all subject to negotiation as my colleagues already said.

    This post does not create an attorney-client relationship between my firm and the asker. In all events, the asker... more
  7. Rochelle S. Rabin

    Contributor Level 13

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You got some good answers from the other attorneys, the best of which is to have an attorney review your contract. On the subject of what is "standard," even if something is referred to by the manager as being standard, that doesn't mean that it has to be in your contract. You may or may not have the bargaining power to change it at this point, and the particular provisions that you describe may be in most other people's contracts, but often I see the term "standard" being used to make people think that something is mandatory in a contract when it isn't. I always tell my clients to think of everything in a contract as being potentially negotiable until we find out otherwise. (Translation: if you don't ask, you don't get.)

    If my answer was helpful to you, I would appreciate if you would mark it either "helpful" or "best answer" if you... more
  8. Bartley F Day

    Contributor Level 10

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In the typical management agreement, the activities and tangible things that are commissionable are usually listed in a definition of "gross compensation." Many, if not most, such agreements make gifts commissionable, but only if they are received in connection with the artist's activities in the entertainment industry. Other gifts (for example, gifts from family and non-industry personal friends) are not commissionable.

    That being said, I've rarely seen a manager actually commission small gifts. But if Live Nation were to send you a Lamborghini for Christmas (it's on the way, I'm sure), well..that's a different story.

    As for your "substantially negotiated" question, 1 year is not unusual, though from an artist attorney perspective, it's longer than I like to see. I prefer 6 months.

    A very good resource on management agreements is The Musician's Business and Legal Guide, a book published by Prentice-Hall and compiled by the Beverly Hills Bar Assn. entertainment section, which contains a sample management agreement, with an explanatory paragraph after each section of the agreement, to give you some background and context on each section. The book is available through Amazon and at many chain bookstores. (Full disclosure: I co-wrote one of the chapters in the book, but that being said, it was a pro bono endeavor and no royalties are received.)

    The above is not intended as legal advice and does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship,... more
  9. Robert Jan Suhajda

    Contributor Level 17

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The only answer I can give based on the facts is to read the contract or policy manual.

    Disclaimer of California Attorney. Laws differ from state to state. Although the above response is believed to be... more
  10. Robert Andrew Michael Burns

    Contributor Level 17

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The Contract needs to be viewed in light of the Act and fact.

  11. Bruce E. Burdick

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . what's standard is that there are few standard that are not negotiable if you have clout, I.e. stars can sometimes dictate terms, starters seldom can.

    I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is... more
  12. Johnathan Michel Razbannia

    Contributor Level 8

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Would need to see the agreement. I would consult with a local Attorney in your area.

    No attorney / client relationship established. The answer is for discussion and general information only. The... more
  13. Michael T Warshaw

    Contributor Level 17

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The answer to your questions is dependent upon what your contract says. Talk to an entertainment lawyer asap, and good luck

    The content of the this submission is intended to provide general information on the topic presented, and is... more

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