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Irked Agent Battles 20th Century Artists

What began as a small-time payment dispute between an agent and his agency recently resulted in heated court battle, with both sides claiming a win. Agent Roger G. Brown, formerly of Twentieth Century Artists Talent Agency, sued the agency for what he believed was his rightful commission, and won it. Well, half of it, at least. According to court documents, Superior Court Judge Paul Metzler ruled in favor of Brown, ordering agency owner Diane Davis to pay Brown $1,500.

The dispute arose over commissions to be paid for Brown's client who landed the role of Bruno the Bear in the upcoming film Dr. Dolittle 2. While Brown had not procured this particular job for the client--the client had been transferred to Brown at a later date--Brown had negotiated and signed the client's contract for the film, and therefore claimed he deserved his full 10 percent commission of $3,000.

Yet a source at the agency, who wished not to be named, claimed Brown was not entitled to the $3,000, as he did not handle the client beyond securing the contract. The source claimed that soon after, the client was transferred back to his original agent, and Brown was offered $1,500 for his work.

Brown, however, claims he was never offered a cent. He originally took the case to small claims court, where he won a judgment for the entire $3,000. After Twentieth Century Artists appealed the case, the new judge cut the judgment in half.

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