CAA Adds Claims To UTA Suit

Creative Artists Agency added three new claims against United Talent Agency and agents Gregory Cavic and Gregory McKnight when it filed an amended complaint Sept. 4 in its suit over the defections of several comedy agents and many of their clients in March.

CAA amended its complaint to add new claims that the defendants induced a breach of contract, and aided and abetted breaches of fiduciary duty and duty of loyalty in addition to those claims filed in April, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

UTA filed a demurrer to have much of CAA’s case thrown out in the pleading stage. The filing of the amended complaint appears to sidestep that by addressing arguments made in the demurrer and adding new claims.

The “aiding and abetting” claims refer to CAA’s argument that the agents who defected to UTA were essentially poached illegally. The amended complaint also reportedly has attached to it employment contracts for Nick Nuciforo, Jason Heyman and Martin Lesak.

The inclusion of the contracts as exhibits is to counter UTA’s argument that they violated California’s seven-year personal services rule. UTA has argued that some CAA contracts were extended in violation of the personal services rule and are not valid. CAA’s amended complaint argues the contracts were for three years, and afterward the trio were “at will” employees.

With the addition of the new claims, CAA charges UTA with international interference with contractual relations, inducing breach of contract, intentional interference with prospective advantage, breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy to breach fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, breach of duty of loyalty, conspiracy to breach duty of loyalty, aiding and abetting breach of duty of loyalty, and unfair competition, according to THR.