National Conference of Personal Managers, Inc.

Showbiz Managers Tell Court: Law Is Unconstitutional

National Conference of Personal Managers claims California Talent Agency Act violates interstate commerce.


San Francisco, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/30/2007 --The national trade association representing personal managers for entertainers has told the California Supreme Court that the state's controversial law regulating talent agents discriminates against interstate commerce and should not be applied to their profession.

"The California Talent Agency Act deprives out-of-state personal managers access to the California talent market on equal terms, which constitutes explicit discrimination against interstate commerce," said Clinton Ford Billups Jr., president of the National Conference of Personal Managers (NCOPM).

"This discriminatory law constitutes simple economic protectionism, which burdens out-of-state personal managers and benefits in-state talent agents," added Billups.

Marathon V. Blasi

NCOPM's claims were made in their amicus curiae brief filed today in Marathon v. Blasi, a case in which Los Angeles personal manager Rick Siegel petitioned the State Supreme Court to rule on whether the Talent Agency Act (TAA) applies to personal managers.

Amidst a decades-long controversy over whether managers are subject to TAA, Siegel claims the California Legislature expressly considered and chose to exclude personal managers from the law when it was enacted in 1979.

'Economic Protectionism'

In addition to supporting Siegel's claims that the law does not apply to managers, NCOPM's brief also claimed the law "materially burdens and discriminates against interstate commerce, impedes the flow of trade across state lines and deprives out-of-state competitors of access to local markets."

"TAA discriminates in favor of California economic activity and against out-of-state personal managers. This protectionist measure has wrongly insulated California economic interests in talent representation from interstate competition," NCOPM told the Court.

NCOPM's brief also claimed, "California’s Labor Commissioner and courts have erroneously applied the TAA to personal managers in an unfair and disproportionate fashion."

In summary, the brief stated, "The TAA does not, by its own terms, or in accordance with appropriate standards of statutory construction apply to personal managers. Moreover, the TAA should be held inapplicable to personal managers on the grounds that the statute is invalid as a violation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution."

"It is respectfully urged that this Court use this case to prohibit such abuse and forbid any further misapplication of the TAA," concluded the brief.

About National Conference of Personal Managers (NCOPM)

NCOPM is the nation's oldest and largest trade association of personal managers representing artists engaged in entertainment, media and the performing arts. Founded in 1942, NCOPM is committed to the advancement of personal managers and their clients through education, public affairs and ethical trade practices.