Management Agreement With "Ginuwine" Abandoned

Reives v. Lumpkin, 08-CV-7797, NYLJ 1202716836270, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. decided Jan. 30, 2015).

Plaintiff's suit, claiming that the artist Ginuwine failed to make payments under a 1996 Management Agreement, was dismissed because the parties mutually abandoned the contract less than one year after after entering into the agreement.  The Court found that New York law applied, under which a contract is unenforceable where the parties have abandoned or ignored it.  "In such cases, a later cause of action for breach is typically barred, and will only lie where the agreement of the parties to terminate the contract expressly or impliedly reserved a later cause of action."  Here, the Court found as a matter of fact that Ginuwine had satisfied his burden of proof and sufficiently demonstrated that the parties mutually agreed to abandon the Management Agreement in late summer of 1996.  The Court further found that this abandonment precluded plaintiff's current action for breach as a matter of law.

Musicians Considered "Employees" For Tax Purposes

Matter of Columbia Artists Management LLC (Commissioner of Labor), 2013 NY Slip Op 06043 (3d Dep't Sep. 26, 2013).

A New York appellate court held that a music management company and tour promoter is liable for unemployment insurance contributions on its payments to musicians who perform on tour at the musical productions, even though the company considers the musicians "independent contractors."  Laborers/"loaders", however, are not considered employees.

Manager's Suit Against Band Not Stayed By Parallel State Proceeding

Tramposch v. Winter, 10 Civ. 8286 (TPG), NYLJ 1202496374985, at *1 (SDNY, Decided May 25, 2011).

Plaintiff brought an action for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, etc. Plaintiff was the manager of the band "Red Jumpsuit Apparatus" until the band terminated the relationship in January 2010. According to plaintiff, prior to his termination, he and the band had a series of disputes regarding payment of commissions and repayment of loans made by plaintiff to the band. Defendants, members of the band, moved to stay the action pending resolution of a parallel proceeding brought by defendants against plaintiff in California. The Court denied the motion.

Plaintiff was not served with the complaint in the California state proceeding until AFTER he had commenced the Federal proceeding in New York (diversity jurisdiction). The Court found that there was no basis to abstain from hearing the federal case.

One Way Or Another

Blondie, and her label EMI Music NA (Chrysalis) sued in New York Supreme court for alleged breach of contract and tortious interference arising from a 1979 agreement between plaintiff and defendnats. Allegedly, Blondie misinterpreted the agreement and are not seeking to renegotiate and "extort concessions" from plaintiff.


According to a 1979 article in Rolling Stone, Leeds was Blondie's manager...but things must have soured. The article continues: "They are now engaged in the legal process of dissolving their relationship..." So what went wrong? Leeds' own claim to fame - Under his tutelage with Blondie, "When in the history of rock & roll music did somebody lay down $500,000 to buy the recording rights to a group that had sold fourteen records?"

And what is going on today, in 2007?

[Peter Leeds v. Deborah Harry; Christopher Stein; James Mollica; Clement Bozewski; EMI Music North America. Filed 12/4/2007 07-603978 ]