Contracts in the entertainment industry, as you may already know, can be tricky legal documents that could lead to litigation if all parties addressed in the contract are not on the same page. If a breach of contract occurs and the agreement is in writing, then one party can easily prove that the other did not uphold their end of the agreement. But what happens if the agreement is made orally? Are the promises made in this agreement still subject to the same rules?
To answer this question we’ll look at a case currently before the Los Angeles Superior Court. In the court case, a publicist is accusing actor Kevin Sorbo of failing to meet the promises made in a contract he allegedly entered into in 2013. According to the publicist, the agreement with the 55-year-old actor was to promote his career in Russia. After working for Sorbo for five years and fulfilling her end of the bargain, she claims that she was not paid for her services. In her 10-page lawsuit, she states that if she had known that Sorbo would breach the contract then she would not have entered into the agreement in the first place.
She is currently suing on grounds of fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract. She is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.
After reading the case though, our California readers might be wondering whether this was a written or oral contract. As we mentioned above, it’s relatively easy to prove breach of contract with a written contract because you have physical proof of the agreement. With oral agreements, though they often considered legally binding, it’s a little more difficult to prove that an agreement was made without the testimony of someone who witnessed it.
Unfortunately, sources do not indicate the type of agreement made between Sorbo and the publicist. Without this knowledge, it’s difficult to say how complicated litigation could be for the two parties involved or how long it will take before a resolution is met.
Source: Courthouse News Service, “Publicist Sues Kevin Sorbo,” Matt Reynolds, June 18, 2014