Supreme Court of California Justia
Citation 42 Cal. 4th 974, 174 P.3d 741, 70 Cal. Rptr. 3d 727, 42 Cal. 4th 1194a modification

Marathon Entertainment v. Blasi


Filed 3/12/08

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA

MARATHON ENTERTAINMENT, INC., )

Plaintiff and Appellant,
S145428
v.
Ct.App. 2/1 B179819
ROSA BLASI et al.,
Los Angeles County
Defendants and Respondents. )
Super. Ct. No. BC290839

MODIFICATION OF OPINION
THE COURT:
The opinion filed on January 28, 2008, and appearing at 42 Cal.4th 974, is
modified as follows:
On page 981, in the fourth full paragraph on that page, the following two
sentences are deleted:
“The Labor Commissioner agreed, finding that Marathon had
violated the Act by providing talent agency services without a
license, including “procur[ing] work for [Blasi] as an actress on the
. . . television series, Strong Medicine.” It voided the parties’
contract ab initio and barred Marathon from recovery.”

Substitute the following for the deleted sentences:
“The Labor Commissioner agreed. The Commissioner found
Marathon had procured various engagements for Blasi, including a
role in the television series Strong Medicine. Concluding that one or
more acts of solicitation and procurement by Marathon violated the
Act, the Commissioner voided the parties’ contract ab initio and
barred Marathon from recovery.”

This modification does not affect the judgment.


Petition for review after the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment in a civil action. This case presents the following issues: (1) Are the licensing requirements of the Talent Agencies Act (Lab. Code section 1700 et seq.) applicable to personal business managers as well as talent agents? (2) Is the doctrine of severability of contracts applicable to violations of the Act, or does any act of unlicensed procurement of entertainment employment for an actor by an unlicensed personal business manager in violation of the Act void a contract for personal management services in its entirety?

Opinion Information
Date:Citation:Docket Number:Category:Status:
Wed, 03/12/200842 Cal. 4th 974, 174 P.3d 741, 70 Cal. Rptr. 3d 727, 42 Cal. 4th 1194a modificationS145428MReview - Civil Appealclosed; remittitur issued

Parties
1Blasi, Rosa (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Michael J. Plonsker
Dreier Stein Kahan Browne Woods George, LLP
1620 26th Street, North Twr, 6th Fl
Santa Monica, CA

2Marathon Entertainment (Plaintiff and Appellant)
Represented by Donald Victor Smiley
Law Office of Donald V. Smiley
6080 Center Drive, Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA

3Association Of Talent Agents (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Michael B. Garfinkel
Rintala Smoot et al.
10351 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA

4American Federation Of Television & Radio Artists, Afl-Cio (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Duncan Ware Crabtree-Ireland
Screen Actors Guild
5757 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

5American Federation Of Television & Radio Artists, Afl-Cio (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Laurence Scott Zakson
Reich Adell Crost & Cvitan
3550 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 2000
Los Angeles, CA

6Screen Actors Guild (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Duncan Ware Crabtree-Ireland
Screen Actors Guild
5757 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

7National Association Of Artists Managers (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Gerald A. Margolis
Manatt Phelps & Phillips
11355 W. Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

8Department Of Industrial Relations (Pub/Depublication Requestor)
Represented by Robert A. Jones
Department of Industrial Relations
P.O. Box 420603
San Francisco, CA

9Directors Guild Of America, Inc. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Duncan Ware Crabtree-Ireland
Screen Actors Guild
5757 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

10Directors Guild Of America, Inc. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Robert Steven Giolito
Directors Guild of America, Inc.
7920 W Sunset Boulevard, Floor A
Los Angeles, CA

11National Conference Of Personal Managers, Inc. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Bertram Paul Husband
Attorney at Law
10 Universal City Plaza, Suite 2200
Universal city, CA

12National Conference Of Personal Managers, Inc. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Peter O. Israel
Greines Martin Stein & Richland, LLP
5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 375
Los Angeles, CA

13Talent Managers Association (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Barbara W. Ravitz
Greines Martin Stein & Richland, LLP
5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 375
Los Angeles, CA

14State Labor Commisioner (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Anne Paula Stevason
DIR/Division of Labor Standards Enforcement
320 W. Fourth Street, Suite 430
Los Angeles, CA

15609 Maple Street Productions (Defendant and Respondent)
Represented by Michael J. Plonsker
Dreier Stein Kahan Browne Woods George, LLP
1620 26th Street, North Twr, 6th Fl
Santa Monica, CA

16Writers Guild Of America, West, Inc. (Amicus curiae)
Represented by Duncan Ware Crabtree-Ireland
Screen Actors Guild
5757 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA


Disposition
Jan 28 2008Opinion: Affirmed

Dockets
Jul 25 2006Petition for review filed
  Marathon Entertainment, appellant Donald Smiley, retained
Jul 31 20062nd petition for review filed
  respondents Rosa Blasi & 609 Maple Street Productions, Inc.
Jul 31 2006Record requested
 
Jul 31 2006Received Court of Appeal record
 
Aug 14 2006Answer to petition for review filed
  Respondents Rosa Blasi and 609 Maple Street Productions, Inc.
Aug 14 2006Request for depublication (petition for review pending)
  The Association of Talent Agents, non party by Michael B. Garfinkel, counsel
Aug 17 2006Note:
  received proof of service for depublication from Michael B. Garfinkel for The Association of Talent Agents
Aug 18 2006Request for depublication filed (another request pending)
  American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO [non-party] Attorney Laurence S. Zakson
Aug 21 2006Answer to petition for review filed
  to Petition of Respondents Appellant Marathon Entertainment, Inc. Attorney Donald V. Smiley
Aug 21 2006Reply to answer to petition filed
  to Answer of Respondents Appellant Marathon Entertainment, Inc. Attorney Donald V. Smiley
Aug 21 2006Opposition filed
  to depub request Rick Siegel, Pres. of Marathon Entertainment, Inc.
Aug 22 2006Request for depublication filed (another request pending)
  State of California -Department of Industrial Relations, non party by Robert A. Jones, counsel
Aug 22 2006Request for depublication filed (another request pending)
  Directors Guild of America, Inc., non-party by Robert S. Giolito, counsel
Aug 22 2006Request for depublication filed (another request pending)
  Screen Actors Guild [non-party] General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland
Aug 23 2006Opposition filed
  to depublication request of Assn of Talent Agents and American Assn of Radio and Television Artists\\ Vanguard Management Group, etal [non-parties]
Aug 24 2006Opposition filed
  to depublication request of Assn of Talent Agents and American Assn of Radio and Television Artists\\ National Association of Artist's Managers and talent Manager's Association [non-parties]
Aug 29 2006Opposition filed
  By: Rick Siegel, Pres. of Marathon Entertainment {appellant} to depublication request of Acting State Labor Commissioner and Chief Counsel for Dept of Ind. Relations Robert Jones
Aug 31 2006Reply to answer to petition filed
  Respondent, Rosa Blasi and 609 MKaple Street Productions, Inc.
Aug 31 2006Received:
  from appellant Marathon Entertainment Attorney Donald Smiley Proof of Service re: depublication opposition. submitted earlier.
Sep 1 2006Opposition filed
  by The National Conference of Personal Managers to Depublication requests filed by California State Labor Commissioner, The Screen Actors Guild, and The Directors Guild of America, INC., by Peter O. Israel, counsel
Sep 1 2006Opposition filed
  The National Association of Artist's Managers and the Talent Manage's Association, [non parties] by Gerald A. Margolis, retained.
Sep 12 2006Note:
 
Sep 12 2006Received Court of Appeal record
 
Sep 20 2006Petition for review granted (civil case)
  petitions Votes: George, C.J., Kennard, Baxter, Werdegar, Chin, Moreno, and Corrigan, JJ.
Sep 20 2006Letter sent to:
  counsels, re: certification of interested entities or persons
Oct 5 2006Certification of interested entities or persons filed
  Respondent Rosa Blasi Attorney Michael J. Plonsker
Oct 13 2006Certification of interested entities or persons filed
  Appellant Marathon Entertainment, Inc. Attorney Donald V. Smiley
Oct 19 2006Request for extension of time filed
  opening brief/merits to 10-30-06 Respondents Rosa Blasi, etal
Oct 24 2006Extension of time granted
  to October 30, 2006 to file respondents opening brief on the merits.
Oct 27 2006Opening brief on the merits filed
  Marathon Entertainment, Inc. Donald V. Smiley, counsel
Oct 30 2006Opening brief on the merits filed
  Respondents Rosa Blasi and 609 Maple Street Productions, Inc. Attorney Michael J. Plonsker
Nov 29 2006Answer brief on the merits filed
  Appellant Marathon Entertainment, Inc. Attorney Donald V. Smiley
Nov 29 2006Answer brief on the merits filed
  Respondents Rosa Blasi, etal Attorney Michael J. Plonsker
Dec 13 2006Request for extension of time filed
  to file reply brief/merits to 12-29-06 Respondents Rose Blasi, etal
Dec 19 2006Extension of time granted
  to December 29, 2006 to file respondent's reply brief on the merits.
Dec 27 2006Reply brief filed (case fully briefed)
  Appellant Marathon Entertainment, Inc.
Dec 29 2006Reply brief filed (case fully briefed)
  Respondents Rosa Blasi and 609 Maple Street Productions, Inc.,
Jan 25 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Association of Talent Agents [in support of respondents] Attorney Michael B. Garfinkel
Jan 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Screen Actors Guild, Inc., American Federation to TV and Radio Artists, Directors Guild of America and Writers Guild of America Attorney Duncan W. Crabtree-Ireland
Jan 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  State Labor Commissioner Attorney Anne P. Stevason, Div. of Labor Stds Enforcement
Jan 26 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  Talent Managers Association Attorney Barbara W. Ravitz
Jan 26 2007Received:
  Request for Judicial Notice Talent Managers Association Attorney Barbara W. Ravitz
Jan 29 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  National Conference of Personal Managers, Inc. [in support of aplt] Attorney B. Paul Husband
Jan 30 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  of National Association of Artist's Manager in support of appellant Marathon Entertainment, Inc. by Gerald A. Margolis, counsel
Feb 2 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The Association of Talent Agents, answer due within twenty days.
Feb 2 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  The Association of Talent Agents in support of respondent. by Michael B. Garfinkel, counsel
Feb 2 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  Screen Actors Guild, Inc., American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, Directors Guild of America, Inc., and Writers Guild of America, West, Inc. Answer due within twenty days.
Feb 2 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Screen Actors Guild, Inc., American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, Directors Guild of America, Inc., and Writers Guild of America, West, Inc. by Duncan W. Crabtree-Ireland, counsel
Feb 2 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  The State Labor Commisioner. Answer due within twenty days.
Feb 2 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  The State Labor Comissioner by Anne P. Stevason, counsel
Feb 2 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  Talent Managers, answer due within twenty days.
Feb 2 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  Talent Managers in support of respondent. by Barbara Ravitz, counsel
Feb 2 2007Received application to file Amicus Curiae Brief
  National Conference of Personal Managers, Inc., answer due within twenty days.
Feb 2 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  National Conference of Personal Managers, Inc. by B. Paul Husbund, counsel
Feb 2 2007Permission to file amicus curiae brief granted
  National Association of Artist's Managers, answer due within twenty days.
Feb 2 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
  National Association of Artist's Managers in support of appellant. by Gerald A. Margolis, counsel
Feb 2 2007Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Talent Mangers Association by Barbara Ravitz, counsel
Feb 14 2007Request for extension of time filed
  to file response to AC briefs Respondents Rosa Blasi, etal
Feb 20 2007Notice of substitution of counsel
  Respondents Rosa Blasi, etal Attorney Michael J. Plonsker
Feb 20 2007Extension of time granted
  to March 29, 2007 to file the answer to (3) three amicus curiae briefs. No further extensions will be contemplated.
Feb 20 2007Request for extension of time filed
  to March 29, 2007 (35) day extension to file appellants answer to (3) three amicus curiae briefs by Donald V. Smiley, counsel
Feb 23 2007Extension of time granted
  to March 29, 2007 to file appellants answers to amicus curiae briefs.
Mar 29 2007Application to file over-length brief filed
  for combined Answer to AC Briefs Respondents Rosa Blasi, etal Attorney Daniel A. Fiore
Mar 29 2007Received:
  oversize Answer to AC Briefs respondents Rosa Blasi, etal Attorney Daniel A. Fiore
Mar 29 2007Request for judicial notice filed (granted case)
  Respondents Rosa Blasi, etal
Mar 29 2007Response to amicus curiae brief filed
  Marathon Entertainment, Inc., appellant Donald V. Smiley, counsel
Apr 6 2007Response to amicus curiae brief filed
  Rosa Blasi, et al., respondents by Daniel A. Fiore, counsel
Sep 27 2007Note:
  George, C.J. recused. 10/4/07 Hon. Richard J. McAdams assigned.
Oct 2 2007Case ordered on calendar
  to be argued on Tuesday, November 6, 2007, at 9:00 a.m., in Sacramento.
Oct 4 2007Order filed
  For purposes of oral argument, respondents will argue first and may reserve time for rebuttal; appellant will argue second.
Oct 9 2007Received:
  Letter from Daniel A. Fiore, counsel for respondents Blasi, reserving rebuttal time at oral argument.
Oct 15 2007Order filed
  The requests for judicial notice filed by respondents Rosa Blasi et al., on March 29, 2007, and amicus Talent Managers Association on February 2, 2007. are hereby granted.
Oct 22 2007Request for Extended Media coverage Filed
  The California Channel
Oct 24 2007Request for Extended Media coverage Granted
  The request for extended media coverage, filed by The California Channel on October 22, 2007, is granted, subject to the conditions set forth in rule 1.150, California Rules of Court.
Oct 26 2007Received:
  from Rosa Blasi and 609 Maple Street Productions, Inc., respondents supplemental brief with add'l. appendix under separate cover
Nov 6 2007Stipulation filed
  Counsel for the parties in the above-entitled action, having been informed by the Clerk of the Court that Justice Corrigan will not be present at oral argument because of illness, but will review the tape recording of the oral argument, hereby stipulate that they have no objection to Justice Corrigan's participation in the deliberations and decision in this matter notwithstanding her absence from oral argument.
Nov 6 2007Cause argued and submitted
 
Nov 14 2007Received:
  Supplemental Brief on oral argument issues Appellant Marathon Entertainment, Inc. Attorney James Ellis Arden
Nov 14 2007Application filed to:
  Application to file Supplemental Brief Appellant Marathon Entertainment, Inc. Attorney James Ellis Arden
Nov 14 2007Notice of substitution of counsel
  Appellant Marathon Entertainment Attorney James Ellis Arden in subs for Donald V. Smiley
Nov 16 2007Opposition filed
  to application to file Supplemental Brief Respondents Rosa Blasi, etal Attorney Michael J. Plonsker
Nov 26 2007Filed:
  Supplement Brief on issues raised in oral argument Martahnon Entertainment, Inc., appellent by James Ellis Arden, counsel with permission.
Nov 29 2007Received:
  Post-Argument Supplemental Brief Respondents Rosa Blasi & 609 Maple Street Productions, Inc. Attorneys Michael J. Plonsker and Daniel A. Fiore
Nov 29 2007Application filed to:
  file Post-Argument Supplemental Brief
Dec 5 2007Filed:
  Post-Agrument Supplemental Brief - with permission Rosa Blasi & 609 Maple Street Productions, Inc., respondents by Michael J. Plonsker and Daniel A. Fiore, counsel
Jan 8 2008Change of contact information filed for:
  counsel, Michael J. Plonsker, for Respondents Rosa Blasi, etal Notice of change of firm name and e-mail addresses
Jan 15 2008Change of contact information filed for:
  Amicus Curiae - National Conference of Personal Managers by B. Paul Husband, Esq., counsel
Jan 25 2008Notice of forthcoming opinion posted
 
Jan 28 2008Opinion filed: Judgment affirmed in full
  We affirm the Court of Appeal's judgment and remand this case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. Opinion by: Werdegar,J. -----joined by Kennard, Acting C.J.,Baxter,Chin,Moreno, Corrigan and McAdams, JJS McAdams is Associate Justice of the the Court of Appeal, Sixth Appelate District
Feb 13 2008Rehearing petition filed
  Appellant Marathon Entertainment, Inc. submitted with attachments under separate covers. volume one contains "A" through "O " --and-- volume two with "P" through "Z" . Attorney James Ellis Arden
Feb 19 2008Time extended to grant or deny review
  The time for granting or denying rehearing in the above-entitled case is hereby extended to and including April 25, 2008, or the date upon which rehearing is either granted or denied.
Mar 12 2008Rehearing denied
  The request for modification of the opinion is denied. George, C.J., was recused and did not participate. Moreno, J., was absent and did not participate.
Mar 12 2008Opinion modified - no change in judgment
 
Mar 12 2008Remittitur issued (civil case)
 
Mar 19 2008Received:
  receipt for remittitur from Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District - Division One.

Briefs
Oct 27 2006Opening brief on the merits filed
 
Oct 30 2006Opening brief on the merits filed
 
Nov 29 2006Answer brief on the merits filed
 
Nov 29 2006Answer brief on the merits filed
 
Dec 27 2006Reply brief filed (case fully briefed)
 
Dec 29 2006Reply brief filed (case fully briefed)
 
Feb 2 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Feb 2 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Feb 2 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Feb 2 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Feb 2 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Feb 2 2007Amicus curiae brief filed
 
Mar 29 2007Response to amicus curiae brief filed
 
Apr 6 2007Response to amicus curiae brief filed
 
If you'd like to submit a brief document to be included for this opinion, please submit an e-mail to the SCOCAL website
Dec 17, 2008
Annotated by admin.ah

Written by: Marin Babb

CASE BRIEF
Facts

  • Actress Rosa Blasi* entered an oral contract with Marathon Entertainment, Inc.** in 1998 to have Marathon serve as her personal manager. In exchange for managing and promoting Blasi’s career, Marathon was to receive 15% of her earnings from entertainment employment. Blasi subsequently obtained roles in films and television, including a leading role on the television series Strong Medicine.
  • According to Marathon, in 2001 Blasi stopped paying Marathon a commission. She later terminated her contract with Marathon and notified them that John Kelly, the licensed talent agent who had served her during her contract with Marathon, would become her new personal manager.** *
  • Marathon sought to recover the commission it claimed it was owned for Blasi’s role in Strong Medicine. Marathon sued Blasi for breach of oral contract, quantum meruit, false promise, and unfair business practices.

*See The Internet Movie Database at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0087726/ about Blasi’s background and career.
**A company profile for Marathon Entertainment, Inc. and Rick Siegel, Blasi’s former manager, is available at http://www.manta.com/coms2/dnbcompany_678njj.
***See Background: Personal Managers and Talent Agents below for explanations and commentary on the role of managers and talent agents.

Procedural History

  • Labor Commission Proceedings: Blasi obtained a stay of action, then filed a petition with the Labor Board Commissioner, alleging that Marathon had violated the Talent Agency Act (“Act”) by obtaining employment contracts for her without a license. The Labor Commissioner found in Blasi’s favor and voided the parties’ contract, barring Marathon from recovery.
  • Trial Court: Marathon appealed the Labor Commissioner’s ruling for a trial de novo in the California Superior Court. It added declaratory relief claims challenging the constitutionality of the Act. Blasi moved for summary judgment, claiming Marathon’s violation of the Act had voided their entire contract. She did not argue or produce evidence that Marathon had specifically obtained the Strong Medicine contract illegally. The trial court granted summary judgment to Blasi and invalidated the personal services contract as illegal in violation of the Act.
  • Court of Appeals: The Court of Appeals reversed in part. It agreed that the Act applied to personal managers, but it found that the law of severability of contracts could apply to the parties’ agreement. If the law of severability applied, Blasi could be liable to Marathon for commission owed based on the services it lawfully performed for her.

Issues
The California Supreme Court granted review to determine:
i) whether the Talent Agency Act applies to personal managers; and if it does, then
ii) whether the law of severability could preserve the lawful parts of the parties’ personal management contract.

Legal Rules

Analysis and Conclusions

  • Issue 1: Does the Talent Agencies Act Apply to Managers?
    The Talent Agencies Act prohibits any individual or entity from acting as a talent agency, i.e. from procuring employment for an artist, without a license. As the Court notes, the Act “regulates conduct, not labels; it is the act of procuring (or soliciting), not the title of one’s business, that qualifies one as a talent agency and subjects one to the Act’s licensure and related requirements.” Marathon Entertainment, 42 Cal. 4th (emphasis in original). Managers, like anyone else, may not procure or solicit employment for artists without a license.
    Conclusion: In this regard, the Talent Agencies Act does apply to regulate managers.
  • Issue 2, Part a): May the Law of Severability Apply to a Personal Management Contract?
    “Civil Code section 1599 grants courts the power, not the duty, to sever contracts in order to avoid an inequitable windfall or preserve a contractual relationship where doing so would not condone illegality.” Marathon Entertainment, 42 Cal. 4th at 992 (citing Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare Services, Inc. (2000) 24 Cal. 4th 83, 123-124). The Court rejected arguments that the legislative intent or public policy involved in management contracts indicates that management contracts should always be voided in their entirety if the manager illegally procures employment for an artist.
    Conclusion: The option to fully void the contract is available, but not mandatory. “[L]ikewise, severance is available, but not mandatory.”
  • Issue 2, Part b): Could the Law of Severability Apply to Preserve This Contract?
    A court may apply severance if it is in the interest of justice to do so. If the central purpose of the contract was an illegal one, it should not be upheld. If the illegal provision was not central to the main contract, the lawful portions may be upheld. (Recall that Blasi did not plead specific facts as to whether her Strong Medicine contract in particular was procured illegally, or what portion of Marathon’s services was illegal. See Procedural History above.) The Court notes that “[t]he doctrine is equitable and fact specific, and its application is appropriately directed to the sound discretion of the Labor Commissioner and trial courts in the first instance.” Marathon Entertainment, 42 Cal. 4th at 998.
    Conclusion: A genuine issue of material fact remains as to whether the doctrine of severability can and should apply to this particular contract.

Final Disposition
The Court of Appeals judgment is AFFIRMED and the case is REMANDED for further proceedings consistent therewith.

BACKGROUND: PERSONAL MANAGERS AND TALENT AGENTS
As summarized by Law Student. See also “Background,” Marathon Entertainment, 42 Cal. 4th at 983-86.
Artists may have both a personal manager and a talent agent. The talent agent’s job is to solicit and procure employment contracts for the artist. In California, the agent must have a license from a labor commission to do this. Agents are also regulated by the talent guilds.
Managers, in contrast, do not need a license to practice, and they are not regulated by the guilds. Managers’ duties vary based on their relationship with each artist. They may counsel an artist on which roles to take or advise him about his future career path. Unlike agents, managers may work as producers (and get compensated as such) on projects involving their clients. Managers may not procure employment for their clients; that would mean they were acting as agents, and they would need a license to do that. California law provides a “safe harbor” if a manager works in conjunction with a licensed agent to obtain employment for their shared client. See Marathon Entertainment, 42 Cal. 4th at 985.

Articles and Sources
Law Offices of Green & Green, “What You Really Need to Know About Managers and Talent Agents.”
This article provides a useful summary of the distinction between managers agents. Note, however, that it was published in 2000. Its commentary on managers losing all of their commissions if they ever act as an agent, even if the talent agent services were “only incidental to other services provided as a manager,” may be called into question by Marathon’s holding. Under Marathon, a case-by-case determination would be appropriate to consider whether the manager’s contract could be severed to preserve its lawful portions.
http://www.musiclawyer.com/lib/needknowtamgr1.html
_______________________________________________________________________

LAW STUDENT ANALYSIS
Marathon Entertainment, Inc. v. Blasi is a significant decision for players in the entertainment industry, as evidenced by the volume of articles and blog commentary referencing the case. The opinion essentially stands for two points of law. First, managers are subject to restrictions of the Talent Agencies Act when they procure or solicit employment for artists. This holding, standing alone, should come as no surprise. As the Supreme Court noted, California courts and the Labor Commission have consistently held that managers who act like agents, even occasionally or in ways incidental to their managerial duties, violate the Act and can have their contracts declared invalid. See Marathon Entertainment, 42 Cal. 4th at 986-87.
The second point is that managers who have violated the Act may have the lawful portions of their contracts severed and enforced. The upshot of this ruling is that the Labor Commissioner, in reviewing a dispute, cannot simply “default” to voiding a manager’s contract when the manager is found to have violated the Act. Rather, it must analyze on a case-by-case basis whether severability is appropriate. The Labor Commissioner does not have to resort to severability, but it cannot refuse to consider it as an option.
This clarification of the law protects managers who may have engaged in some employment procurement, but who mostly followed the law and performed only managerial tasks. However, it may also create more work for the Labor Commissioner, who must now be sure to use the case-by-case analysis for every dispute. Severing a contract in which compensation is based on a flat percentage fee for unspecified services could get complicated, despite the Court’s decision that such a fee structure does not bar severability. See Marathon Entertainment, 42 Cal. 4th at 997. If the artist promised the manager a 15% fee for his services, and the manager performed both managerial and agency services on a particular project, it may be difficult to determine the appropriate compensation under the severed contract. In addition, the possibility of severance may weaken the deterrence factor for managers who might engage in occasional procurement. On the other hand, the fact that the Supreme Court chose not to overrule Yoo v. Robi, 126 Cal.App.4th 1089 (2005), or Chiba v. Greenwald, 156 Cal. App.4th 71 (2007), indicates that managers still do risk losing out on their whole contract if they violate the Act.
My personal take: This is an interesting case, and a great example of the challenge that comes with trying to craft a rule that appropriately punishes wrongdoing and is feasible to administer.