Skip to main content

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

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?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 13

Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

It is a contract for a talent manager to represent an actor.

Robert Jan Suhajda

Robert Jan Suhajda

Posted

Read the contract or policy manual.

Posted

Your questions is vague. Please clarify.

Your particular situation may be different. This answer is intended for information purposes only. No Attorney-Client relationship has been established. I am an attorney in the Bay Area.

Robert Jan Suhajda

Robert Jan Suhajda

Posted

Read the contract or policy manual.

Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

Thank you and sorry for not making my questions clearer, this is for an agreement with a talent manager for a minor. In regards to gross compensation, there is a clause that reads in its entirety: The term "gross compensation" shall include, without limitation, salaries, earnings, fees, advances, royalties, residuals, re-use and/or re-run fees, rents, proceeds, allowances, gifts, bonuses, shares of profit, shares of stock and stock options (only if actually a part of Gross Compensation, partnership interests, percentages and the total net amount paid to me for a package television or radio program (live or recorded), motion picture or other entertainment packages, any and all sums resulting from my activities in the industries and uses of the results and proceeds thereof, payments for termination of my activities, payments to refrain from such activities and payments in connection with the settlement or other disposition of any dispute concerning said activities, which are earned received, acquired, or credited to, directly or indirectly by me or my heirs, administrators, executors or assigns or by any other person, firm or corporation on my behalf without deduction of any kind.

Posted

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 any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.

Pamela Koslyn

Pamela Koslyn

Posted

As you already answered, Attorney Suhajda. Redundant and totally unnecessary comment that does nothing more than clutter up the site and our email boxes, even if it gets you a coupld more points. Shameful misuse of Avvo, please stop posting comments that simply repeat your answer verbatim.

Posted

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 is well advised to secure advice from an attorney with experience in the area covered by the question asked. This answer is posted for general purposes only.

Robert Jan Suhajda

Robert Jan Suhajda

Posted

It is still difficult to conclude based on the language provided. I would have to read the entire contract. So if you can show your efforts lead to a project then you could be compensated on the theories of quasi-contract or unjust enrichment.

Posted

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.

Robert Jan Suhajda

Robert Jan Suhajda

Posted

It is still difficult to conclude based on the language provided. I would have to read the entire contract. So if you can show your efforts lead to a project then you could be compensated on the theories of quasi-contract or unjust enrichment.

Brad S Kane

Brad S Kane

Posted

The Talent Agency Act would greatly complicate those claims, because the Act prohibits personal manager from "procuring employment" for Artist and the term procurement has been very broadly construed.

Posted

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 feel that applies, as AVVO gives us rating points based on feedback. Thank you! Please note that the above answer is not to be construed as legal advice. It is my personal opinion based on your question, and it was given without obtaining the detailed information that I would normally request in order to render comprehensive legal advice. I advise you to consult with a local attorney of your choosing to obtain specific legal advice. The fact that I answered your question does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and me.

Robert Jan Suhajda

Robert Jan Suhajda

Posted

It is still difficult to conclude based on the language provided. I would have to read the entire contract. So if you can show your efforts lead to a project then you could be compensated on the theories of quasi-contract or unjust enrichment.

Posted

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 at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

Robert Jan Suhajda

Robert Jan Suhajda

Posted

It is still difficult to conclude based on the language provided. I would have to read the entire contract. So if you can show your efforts lead to a project then you could be compensated on the theories of quasi-contract or unjust enrichment.

Posted

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, as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication. Furthermore, the attorney's answer above is intended to be general information only, and there may be facts not contained in the question which could change the answer, so the answer above should not be relied upon without first obtaining legal advice from your own attorney.

Robert Jan Suhajda

Robert Jan Suhajda

Posted

It is still difficult to conclude based on the language provided. I would have to read the entire contract. So if you can show your efforts lead to a project then you could be compensated on the theories of quasi-contract or unjust enrichment.

Posted

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 accurate, it should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice because the information provided is incomplete. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. No attorney client relation is formed with me without a written contract. Good Luck starts with a strategy and a plan. Tax Relief Lawyer. Former financial auditor and controller. Admitted to US Tax Court, Income Tax, IRS representation, Fiduciary income tax returns, Estate and Gift tax returns, Homeowner Association Strategist.

Robert Jan Suhajda

Robert Jan Suhajda

Posted

It is still difficult to conclude based on the language provided. I would have to read the entire contract. So if you can show your efforts lead to a project then you could be compensated on the theories of quasi-contract or unjust enrichment.

Posted

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 offered with the understanding that the author is not rendering any legal or professional services or advice. This submission is not a substitute for legal advice. Should you require such services, retain competent legal counsel.

Posted

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

Posted

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 lawyer had not reviewed any documents or contract prior to the above comments.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer