State Supreme Court sets date for Blasi


The California Supreme Court has set a Nov. 6 date to hear oral arguments in the closely watched management commissions case between Marathon Entertainment and its former client, actress Rosa Blasi.

The arguments will be heard before the seven justice panel in Sacramento.

In June 2006, an appeals court in Los Angeles ordered the case back to the state labor commissioner to decide whether the alleged unlicensed procurement of employment for Blasi by former manager Rick Siegel should be severed from the rest of her contract.

Siegel, principal in Marathon, sued Blasi over unpaid commissions. Blasi, who starred in Lifetime's "Strong Medicine," countered by alleging Marathon acted as an unlicensed talent agent -- a violation of the Talent Agencies Act, which would void the contract altogether under recent labor commission rulings.

The state Supreme Court is considering two questions posed by both sides. First, can violations of the TAA be severed from the rest of a contract or does any unlicensed employment procurement by a manager completely void the contract? Second, does the TAA apply to personal managers or does it only govern talent agents?

The labor guilds have lined up behind Blasi in the case, filing "friend of the court" briefs with the state's high court, while professional talent management groups have filed court papers in support of Marathon.