CAA v. UTA On Hold

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge appeared ready to press the pause button Sept. 2 on Creative Artists Agency’s court case accusing United Talent Agency of poaching, but said she wouldn’t issue a final ruling until after Labor Day.  

CAA has moved for a stay of open court proceedings until after arbitration cases of Martin Lesak, Jason Heyman and Nick Nuciforo – three of five agents named in the suit – are “resolved,” according to Deadline Hollywood.

Those three, along with agents Gregory Cavic and Gregory McKnight, were sued along with UTA in April 2015 after jumping ship from CAA to UTA in what the former portrayed in court documents as a “lawless midnight raid.” Judge Nancy Newman, in an August hearing, tentatively ruled in favor of CAA’s motion to stay the trial, but asked both sides to submit additional material to back their respective positions and return to the Santa Monica, Calif., courthouse Sept. 2.

“I have reviewed further briefing and it has not changed my tentative,” she said during that hearing, according to Deadline Hollywood. UTA reportedly filed “a couple of pages” of additional material, prompting CAA’s lawyers to respond in their own filing. “Defendant’s failure to add anything new to the points and authorities they filed prior to the August 12, 2016 hearing before this Court amounts to a concession that the Motion should be granted,” an Aug. 29 brief reportedly said.

But apparently even the arbitrations of the three “non-Gregs,” as Deadline Hollywood says lawyers have nicknamed them, are apparently bogged down as well. UTA contends Lesak, Heyman and Nuciforo were within their rights to leave CAA in 2015 under the “Seven Year Rule” regarding employment contracts.

CAA counters that the rule doesn’t apply in this case and cites a tentative ruling to that effect, though it was never finalized, by arbitrator Richard Chernick. Chernick reportedly asked for further discovery in the matter, putting his own tentative ruling in question.