The fallout continues from Dan Aloni’s firing from CAA and move to WME last year. On Tuesday. Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan sought to get his legal action against his past and present agencies dismissed so the parties can go to arbitration. Nolan’s lawyers filed the paperwork in LA Superior Court to dismiss the commissions suit he launched against CAA and WME last September without prejudice. The next step is for everyone to go before a trio of judges on an arbitration panel; a case management hearing has been set for next week to move the matter forward. Nolan’s suit last fall erupted over which agency pockets his commissions. The director, his wife Emma Thomas Nolan, and their production company Syncopy filed the suit to end any potential threat that they themselves could be sued by either CAA or WME over the money. They requested the court to determine which agency they were supposed to pay the 10% commission from deals struck between late 2005 and early 2012. The Nolans said in the suit that they “are ready and willing to deliver the Commissions to the party who is legally entitled to receive them.”
Dan Aloni‘s case against his former employer CAA is going to arbitration, an LA Superior Court judge has ruled this morning. “The good guys won”, said Aloni’s lawyer Patricia Glaser outside the downtown courtroom after a brief hearing. Lawyers for Aloni and CAA were facing off after he filed a court order last month to compel CAA into arbitration over the more than $5 million in bonuses and vacation pay he says it owes him. Aloni was fired from CAA in February after being with the agency for seven years. He joined WME as a partner in March, bringing over over all his big clients including Christopher Nolan, David Dobkin, Mike Myers, Jay Roach, David Goyer, Tom Shadyac, Michel Gondry, Raja Gosnell, Mandeville Films and more.
Judge Ralph W. Dau this morning heard from Glaser and attorney Harold M. Brody representing CAA. The judge had written a tentative ruling the lawyers saw just before the hearing. After hearing from both parties, Dau confirmed that ruling and set the matter toward arbitration as Aloni desired in his initial petition filed November 5. Since then there had seen a series of declarations, motions to strike and proof of service but no settlement talks.
Dan Aloni filed a petition today against his former employer CAA for more than $5 million claiming labor code violations and that the agency is refusing to participate in arbitration. Aloni was fired from CAA on February 29 after being with the agency for seven years. “Mr. Aloni has various claims against CAA arising out of its wrongful termination of his employment, including but not limited to CAA’s refusal to pay Mr. Aloni bonuses related to his performance, CAA’s refusal to pay Mr. Aloni a bonus related to CAA ‘s transaction with TPG Capital, and CAA’s refusal to pay Mr. Aloni the value of his unused vacation time,” the court filing says (read it here). CAA is in violation of the binding arbitration clauses that are part of the 2008 employment agreement Aloni had with the agency, Aloni says. He has asked for a hearing for November 15 to get a court order compelling arbitration. The court filing today claims that during an October 22, 2012 call with CAA arranged by the American Arbitration Association, the agency’s lawyer said “it would arbitrate only the claim for Mr. Aloni’s unpaid bonus for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011, and would not arbitrate Mr. Aloni’s claims unless it was compelled to do so by a court.” That pronouncement was the catalyst for today’s action.
Since Aloni joined WME as a partner in March, he has brought over all his big clients including Chris Nolan, David Dobkin, Mike Myers, Jay Roach, David Goyer, Tom Shadyac, Michel Gondry, Raja Gosnell, Mandeville Films, Jonathan Mostow, Dean Parisot, Neal Moritz, Andy Fleming, David and Ian Purchase, John Crowley and John Carney. CAA did not respond to requests for comment.
EXCLUSIVE: Mike Myers has just left CAA and moved to WME. No big drama, I’m told. He simply followed his agent, Dan Aloni, who moved from CAA to become a WME partner. WME’s quick move to …