Calilfornia Labor Commissioner

entertainment, contracts, writers

Entertainment litigators routinely use the Talent Agencies Act, California Labor Code 1700 to their advantage.   Disgruntled clients seeking to stiff former managers for money owed under percentage compensation agreements have made the Talent Agencies Act their first line of defense for many years.  For the first time, an entertainment lawyer has been held subject to the Talent Agencies Act, and his fee agreement with the client voided.  The reason?  The Commissioner found Blancarte’s services were rendered as an unlicensed talent agent in violation of the Talent Agencies Act.  

In September 2013, the Labor Commissioner ruled in Solis v. Blancarte that Los Angeles attorney James Blancarte had violated the Talent Agencies Act by “procuring employment” for his client without a talent agent license. As a result, Mr. Blancarte was ordered to forfeit his right to payment from his client.  His crime?   Doing the job he was hired to do—negotiate a contract as an entertainment lawyer. The ruling in Solis is not surprising, but the inevitable next step in a long line of rulings by what could be considered a power drunk California Labor Commission. Solis could turn out to be a defining moment in the rather long history of the California Talent Agenciy Act, Labor Code § 1700, since insiders say entertainment lawyers are preparing to storm Sacramento.

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