UTA officially responded to CAA’s accusations of a “lawless, midnight raid” in a legal filing in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday that called for a motion to dismiss CAA’s lawsuit against its rival agency.
“Despite what CAA would like to believe, its front doors are not a one-way turnstile,” UTA said in documents obtained by TheWrap. CAA was left fuming when 12 of its agents abruptly left the agency last month for its cross-town competitor.
UTA alleges that CAA’s lawsuit is “riddled with falsehoods, inconsistencies, unsubstantiated allegations and glaring omissions” in “a flailing and desperate attempt to save face” following a mass exodus that included the departure of top-earning clients such as Will Ferrell and Chris Pratt.
According to the document, “CAA’s complaint is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to illegally restrict competition through the court system and stands in direct contravention of California’s strong public policy favoring free and open competition, and employee mobility.”
UTA’s filing also alludes to California’s “seven-year rule,” which stipulates that a contract for personal services can’t last longer than seven years. Two of the agents whom UTA lured from CAA entered written employment agreements in July 2005, it notes, while CAA’s own lawsuit claimed they started employment in 2009. That’s quite a discrepancy in start dates!
(Pamela Chelin contributed to this report)