According to the Talent Agencies Act (which is a California law), actors are only allowed to gain work through licensed talent agents. Managers on the other hand, are only allowed to provide advice generally on a client’s career.
It seems like this law would be hard to enforce, but there have been cases where talent will make claims of TAA infractions to get out of paying manager commissions.
Rick Siegel, former manager of Rosa Blasi, fought a case that went all the way to the California Supreme Court in 2008; however, the court did not overturn the TAA or its penalties. Siegel also lost an appeal made against his lawyers for failing to argue what he felt were key points in the case. Now he’s back again, but this time he’s receiving the support of countless managers. A full list of the managers has been posted by The Hollywood Reporter.
Clinton Ford Billups Jr., President of NCOPM (National Conference of Personal Managers), argues that, “California’s Labor Commissioner and courts have erroneously applied the TAA to personal managers in an unfair and disproportionate fashion. It has resulted in forfeitures of fairly earned contractual fees legitimately earned in commercial commerce.”
It would be great to hear the response of actors to the current appeal. If Siegel won, it would certainly change the relationship between actors and their managers. However, THR reports that Siegel is representing himself, and he may be hard-pressed to win a case already upheld by the CA Supreme Court.