5:19pm PT by Ashley Cullins
CAA Calls Out UTA Leaders in Poaching Lawsuit
The legal battle between CAA and UTA just got personal.
An amended complaint filed Friday claims UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer, general counsel and COO Andrew Thau and associate general counsel Michael Sinclair were involved in last year's "lawless, midnight raid."
After several top agents abruptly left CAA to work for UTA, CAA sued claiming it was the result of an "illegal and unethical conspiracy" and was a "desperate attempt to steal clients and employees."
UTA argues the claims are meritless and this is CAA's flailing attempt to save face.
Earlier this month, L.A. County Superior Court judge Lisa Hart Cole ruled that CAA could pursue punitive damages against the agents who defected, but not against UTA itself.
She gave CAA's attorneys another shot at revising their complaint to prove a UTA "officer, director or managing agent actually knew about the misconduct and its malicious character."
In the amended version, CAA claims Zimmer, Thau and Sinclair not only knew agents Gregory Cavic, Gregory McKnight, Dominic Nuciforo Jr., Martin Lesak and Jason Heyman were going to leave surreptitiously — they also helped them quit.
"CAA is informed and believes that UTA’s General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer and UTA’s Associate General Counsel were involved with the drafting, review, and/or approval of resignation letters for Cavic, McKnight, Heyman, Lesak, and Nuciforo to send to CAA," states the amended complaint.
CAA claims Cavic and Knight weren't under contract at the time, but induced other employees to leave for UTA while on the company's payroll. Heyman, Lesak and Nusiforo were all under contract when they quit.
UTA's attorney Bryan Freedman has not yet commented on the amended complaint.