November 13, 2012 at 08:46 AM EST
Showbiz Managers Claim California Talent Agencies Act is Unconstitutional
LOS ANGELES (MMD Newswire) November 13, 2012 -- The National Conference of Personal Managers (NCOPM) has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the California Talent Agencies Act (TAA).

In a U. S. Court complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, NCOPM claims the TAA violates 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.

Filed in the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California, the complaint names as defendants California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su.

Originally founded in 1942, NCOPM is the nation's oldest and largest professional association of personal managers who provide representation of talent engaged in entertainment, media and performing arts.

"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," said NCOPM President Clinton Ford Billups Jr.

The TAA (California Labor Code Section 1700.5) provides, "No person shall engage in or carry on the occupation of a talent agency without first procuring a license therefore from the Labor Commissioner." Historically, the California Labor Commissioner has penalized personal managers for allegedly acting as unlicensed talent agencies, voided personal management contracts and ordered management commissions to be forfeited or returned.

"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," said Mr. Billups.

In addition to seeking a declaration that the TAA is unconstitutional, NCOPM is also seeking a preliminary and permanent prohibitory injunction forbidding the State of California from enforcing or attempting to enforce the TAA.

Christopher B. Good, Esq., of Fowler & Good, LLP, filed the lawsuit on behalf of NCOPM. The case citation is National Conference of Personal Managers v. Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Kamala D. Harris, Julie A. Su, et al., No. CV12-9620 DDP (RZx), C.D. Cal.

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Download NCOPM U. S. Court Complaint

News Contact:

Chris Good, Fowler & Good LLP, 818-302-3480, cgood@fowlergood.com, www.fowlergood.com.

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