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.
The agent’s lawyers contend CAA has refused to “abide by its own arbitration agreements, which it drafted and forced Mr. Aloni to sign” as a part of his 2008 employment agreement. Aloni claimed in his petition that during an October 22 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”.
The mechanics of the arbitration will now be worked out between the lawyers in the coming weeks.
“It is somewhat ironic that it is being run away from by the same people who drafted it”, Glaser said in court of the arbitration process. “CAA drafted the language and forced Aloni and others to sign”.
Aloni is represented by Glaser and Kerry Garvis Wright of the LA firm Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiro.