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Berg v. Traylor

California Court of Appeal
56 Cal. Rptr. 3d 140 (2007)


Facts

Meshiel Traylor and Craig Traylor (defendants), mother and son, entered into a three-year contract with Sharyn Berg (plaintiff) to make Berg the film-industry manager of Craig, who was 10 years old at the time. The contract contained an arbitration agreement and expressly stated that Craig’s disaffirmance would not release his mother from the contract’s terms. The contract provided that Berg was to receive a 15 percent commission on Craig’s industry income during the three-year period, including income from employment offers received during that period even if the money was earned after the three years ended. During the three-year period, Craig received a recurring television role on Malcom in the Middle. Meshiel sent a letter to Berg purporting to end the agreement and stating that the Traylors would no longer be paying Berg. Berg filed suit against the Traylors for breach of contract. The case went to arbitration, and Meshiel attended the arbitration without a lawyer or Craig. Berg presented her evidence, and the arbitrator entered a default judgment against Craig and awarded Berg approximately $175,000, plus another $405,000 in projected future earnings. At no time did Craig have his own lawyer or a guardian ad litem. Berg filed a petition to confirm the arbitration award, and the Traylors responded with Craig’s disaffirmance of the contract and a petition to vacate the arbitration award. The trial court ruled for Berg, finding that the Traylors’ petition was untimely. The Traylors appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Doi Todd, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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