3/8 / 2012 Update
This will be an educated guess due to limited information available. So please bear with me.
I was checking the updates in the case and I saw this filing notice (sorry document not available yet)
03/05/2012 Notice of Motion (TO STAY ENTIRE ACTION PENDING DETERMINATION OF CONTROVERSY BY LABOR COMMISSIONER OF ISSUES ARISING UNDER THE TALENT AGENCIES ACT; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES; DECLARATION...)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant
So in short it seems like MJ Estate is asking the Tohme lawsuit against them to be put on hold until Labor Commissioner makes a determination about issues covered under the Talent Agencies Act.
So I wondered what is this Talent Agencies Act and found the law - http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=lab&group=01001-02000&file=1700-1700.4
So definition of Talent Agency is this
"Talent agency" means a person or corporation who engages in the occupation of procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements for an artist or artists, except that the activities of procuring, offering, or promising to procure recording contracts for an artist or artists shall not of itself subject a person or corporation to regulation and licensing under this chapter. Talent agencies may, in addition, counsel or direct artists in the development of their professional careers."
Then comes this rule
1700.5. No person shall engage in or carry on the occupation of a talent agency without first procuring a license therefor from the Labor Commissioner.
The law goes on to explain how every talent agency should apply for a licence and how the labor commissioner will look to their background and so and determine whether to give them a licence or not. It also explains that the talent agency has to file a copy of the contract and the schedule of the fees to be charged with the Labor commissioner. It says that every things has to be recorded, it can be examined by Labor Commissioner, money for the artists has to be put into a trust and so on and so on. The goal is to make sure that artists aren't taken advantage by unqualified and/or people with not so good intentions.
Then I looked to see previous lawsuits and found these examples
KE$HA SAYS FORMER MANAGER ACTED AS UNLICEN$ED TALENT AGENT - http://reporter.blogs.com/thresq/2010/10/keha-says-former-manager-acted-as-unlicensed-talent-agent.html#more
LADY GAGA COUNTERSUES, CLAIMS EX-BOYFRIEND WAS UNLICENSED TALENT AGENT - http://reporter.blogs.com/thresq/2010/03/lady-gaga-countersuit-music-producer-agent.html
So what is my educated guess? MJ Estate if granted by the judge, plan to take this issue to the California Labor Commissioner and ask them to review and void / cancel Tohme's contract with Michael on the basis of Tohme wasn't a licensed Talent agency.
Some quotes about this law :
"That's a big no-no in California, where only registered (and regulated) agents can "procure" work for clients, and the punishment for violating the Talent Agencies Act can be severe."
"The Talent Agencies Act is a particularly fierce weapon when deployed against managers, and even the smallest acts of procurement can cause a management agreement to be voided. "
Apparently this evaluation by Labor Commissioner can take some time. It's also important to note that there's a there's a supreme court decision that says such actions do not automatically mean voiding of the contract. They first divide the things that require a licence and the things that do not and then make a decision - so it can range from totally voiding a contract, voiding parts and voiding nothing. (link: http://farrisliterary.com/articles/the-california-talent-agencies-act-and-personal-managers/
another interesting read: http://www.agentassociation.com/frontdoor/news_detail.cfm?id=306
3/28/ 2012 Update
Estate had filed their complaint against Tohme in Probate court asking the judge to force him to give them accounting and return the items he allegedly took. Tohme however filed a totally separate lawsuit in civil court asking the court to order Estate turn him accounting and pay him the money owed.
Obviously it resulted in two different courts looking over the same set of events with a little differentiating claims.
This Wednesday, the courts decided the claims will be seen at probate court. So the civil court vacated everything about Tohme's lawsuit and forwarded it to Judge Beckloff in probate court. It seems like probate court has set a date to hear the arguments.
There's a hearing about this on probate court next week . The court is getting ready to hear the arguments by MJ Estate however Tohme is objecting his case to be transferred to probate court so before any hearing about MJ Estate complaint starts he's asking the judge to hear his motion to transfer the case back to the civil court or ask the court to give him time to respond to the claims in MJ Estate complaint.
Let's do a detective work
MOTION - COMPEL DEPOSITION
Petitioner(s): Tohme, Tohme R., Dr.
Attorney(s): Malingagio, Paul S., Esq.
MOTION CONTINUED TO 10/25/12 TO MEET MOTION TO STAY
Tohme is trying to depose someone - probably the Executors, the following is the other ongoing stuff
WRONGFULLY TAKEN PROPERTY (PC 859)
Petitioner(s): Branca, John McClain, John
Attorney(s): Weitzman, Howard, Esq
PRIOR ORDER: Cont to 10/17/12 Counsel submit on discovery issue, Motion to compel will be continuned from 10/17/12 to 10/25/12 10:00 a.m. to meet Motion to stay. NLT 11/21/12 counsel ordered to lodge with the court under seal correspondence provided to IRS re: Michael Jackson . Mr. Tohme is to account from time managrement agreements were signed going forward and is to file a motion to seal; 9/27/12 at 10:00 am R/; 8/30/12 counsel ordered to meet and confer on accounting issues with Dr. Tohme; 8/1/12; 7/25/12 at 10:00 am; 6/7/12 at 10:00 am notice waived; 4/30/12 @ 8:30 a.m.; 4/12/12 @10:00 a.m. NLT 4/5/12, Mr. Malingagio is to file a response
The facts and relief sections are the summaries of what every party files with the court.
You can see that the Estate asked for
"1. JTD order compelling Tohme to account for all monies and other property of Jackson's in his possession and control at any time, all monies and property of Jackson's misappropriated by Tohme, and all actions and transactions taken by Tohme with respect to Jackson's assets "
at previous orders you can see judge's orders and see that how the matter has been going on several hearings.
the last one says
Tohme's accounting to be filed by 11/21/12 and set for hearing on 1/3013 at 10:00 am. As previously ordered Ms. Tohme's account is to be filed NLT 11/21/12 and set for 1/30/13 at 10:00am; Mr. Malingagio to be IRS and isto provide proof of noticegiven to IRS that the records were provided with the court. counsel ordered to lodge with the court under seal correspondence provided to IRS re: Michael Jackson . Mr. Tohme is to account from time managrement agreements were signed going forward and is to file a motion to seal
so as we can see the current development is that the probate judge is wanting to see the accounting of Tohme in regards to Michael.
Pay attention to the last line above
file a motion to seal
court says Tohme to file a motion to seal, so that means the court will seal Tohme's accounting.
look what can be seen from case summary at the probate court
03/06/2013 Reply/Response (IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS' MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING DEPOSITION OF RESPONDENT TOHME R. TOHME ) Filed by Attorney for Petitioner