Sony Settles Interference Lawsuit

Sony Music Entertainment settled a lawsuit filed by Connecticut entertainment attorney James Walker, Jr., of Walker and Associates, LLP, claiming Sony and other parties coerced some of his top Gospel artists into firing him as their rep, which undermined his business.

The case was scheduled to go to trial April 29. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The lawsuit, filed in Bridgeport, Conn., federal court in 2005, accused execs at Sony, it’s predecessor Sony BMI Music Entertainment, subsidiaries Zomba Enterprises, Verity Records and its President Max Siegel and Provident Records of retaliating against him for negotiating higher song-licensing fees for his clients such as Twinkie Clark, Hezekiah Walker and Bobby Jones.

He claims about a dozen artists dropped him out of fear the labels would no longer work with them, such as including their songs on the “WOW” compilation albums.

“Often labels want artist to use attorneys that the labels can control, “ Walker said. “This avoids paying the artists their worth and saves the labels millions of dollars and is clearly a conflict of interest.

“When you decided to tell untruths about this firm and threaten our artists, you have crossed the line.”

Walker added that he plans to meet with Sony execs in the next couple of weeks to discuss better ways of doing business.