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Friedkin v. Walker
New York City Civil Court
90 Misc. 2d 680, 395 N.Y.S.2d 611 (1977)
William Friedkin (plaintiff) was a well-known director and producer in the theatre, film, and television industry. Harry Walker (defendant) was a well-known, but unlicensed, agent who managed, directed, and promoted lectures and other engagements for various high-profile personalities. In 1972, Friedkin entered into a contract in New York, agreeing to employ Walker as his sole agent to negotiate and secure engagements and to book, manage, and arrange all his lectures, talks, and addresses. Walker had discretion to set Friedkin’s fees for said engagements and was entitled to retain 30 percent of any fees. The contract also included clauses requiring Walker to handle billing, advertising, and press releases. Walker booked Friedkin 23 lecture engagements, and Walker failed to appear at 20. Friedkin filed a complaint, seeking return of the money Walker received under the contract on the grounds that the contract was invalid because Walker was an unlicensed employment agent in violation of the New York State General Business Law (the GBL). Walker denied liability and filed a counterclaim for irreparable injury to his reputation. Friedkin moved for summary judgment, seeking the court to enter judgment on his claims and to dismiss Walker’s counterclaims.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cohen, J.)
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