The Agency for the Performing Arts filed a lawsuit today against the Gersh Agency over the alleged poaching of agent Garrett Smith and also filed a separate suit against Smith. APA claims that Gersh hired the agent away early last month, despite his being under contract through September 2017.
In its suit against Gersh, filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), APA says it had extended Smith’s contract on June 17 for one more year, a period set to begin September 24, and that Smith had agreed to the extension. APA alleges however that beginning in July, Smith was already discussing ending his employment with APA to move over to Gersh. “Defendant [Gersh] hired Smith despite being specifically advised by Plaintiff that Plaintiff was entitled to Smith’s exclusive services for the duration of the employment agreement,” the suit reads.
Further, says APA in the suit, “Defendant knew of the economic relationship between Plaintiff and Smith, and intended to disrupt and interfere with that relationship.
In the suit against Smith, also filed today in LA Superior Court (read it here), APA reiterates these accusations along with additional details. At issue, APA says that its employment agreement with Smith have APA the right to extend his contract in one-year increments for a period of up to three years, periods during which they had exclusive rights to his services. Aside from the extension, says APA, Smith violated his employment agreement by going over to Gersh before the current term was up.
“Plaintiff (sic) breached his duty of loyalty to Plaintiff by, among other things, rendering services for Gersh during the term of the employment agreement, seeking to divert Plaintiff’s existing and prospective client relationships and business opportunities to Gersh,” the suit against Smith says, “and soliciting certain of Plaintiff’s employees and encouraging them to terminate their employment with Plaintiff and accept employment at Gersh.”