You should always read a contract before you sign it. At least that’s what all the experts will tell you. That’s because, as some of our Los Angeles readers already know, failing to uphold your obligations in a contractual agreement can result in contentious disputes and even litigation. And in the end, it may be you who needs to pay up for breaching a contract.
We can see this problem exemplified by a case currently before a California Superior Court where a manager is suing his former client for breach of contract for failing to pay him his due commission. According to the manager, when he entered into the contract in 2010 with his client, a starting-out rapper, he was promised 20 percent of the rapper’s revenue. Throughout the course of fulfilling his obligations to the agreement, the manager claims to have fronted a large portion of his own money to “bring the performer to the attention of music executives.”
But when the rapper signed with Columbia Records in 2013, the manager says that he was fired. The rapper is then said to have signed a new contract with another manager. But even though the specific language of the contract is unknown, it’s possible that the manager is still owed his commission plus the money he fronted the rapper.
Because we don’t know the rapper’s reasons for firing his first manager, we cannot assume that the manager did anything wrong that would warrant termination of employment. Furthermore, we cannot be sure that the contract did not stipulate that the manager would still be paid even if he was terminated. This is why the rapper could be liable for breach of contract, regardless of whether he remembers reading this in the contract or not.
Source: Courthouse News Service, “Manager Claims Rapper T. Mills Owes Him,” Matt Reynolds, April 29, 2014