Contracts Keyed to Calamari
Erhlich v. Diggs
The Plaintiff, David M. Ehrilich (the "Plaintiff"), a music producer, seeks a portion of the Defendant, Robert Diggs' (the "Defendant") earnings from a rap group called Gravediggaz. The Plaintiff entered an agreement with Gravediggaz to be their exclusive representative in negotiating a record contract with a major record label. As a result of the Plaintiff's efforts, the Gravediggaz signed a contract with Gee Street Records. Gee Street was given an option "for the recording service of defendant as a solo artist." The Gravediggaz hired the Plaintiff as their manager in August of 1993. This was an oral agreement (the "Management Agreement"). The Plaintiff alleges pursuant to this agreement he was to receive "fifteen percent of the gross earnings of the Gravediggaz and each of its member 'all entertainment-related employment, engagements or agreements commenced or entered into' while he served as manager of the group." In addition, the Management Agreement was terminable by either plaintiff or the group at any time." "Plaintiff contends that the duties of a manager, including the duty to advise and counsel each member of a group individually, are universally known in the music recording industry and that these understandings were shared by all parties, including defendant, at the time the oral Management Agreement was made. Moreover, according to plaintiff, it is standard industry practice that the manager of a musical group is entitled to commissions on entertainment-related work by each member of the group, whether performed individually or performed as a group member." On December 20, 1996, the Defendant entered into a written contract with Gee Street records to be a solo recording artist. The Defendant argues that this agreement with Gee Street records was independent from the agreement the Plaintiff helped Gravediggaz procure. The Plaintiff disagrees and argues that they were "inextricably linked."
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