Berg v. Traylor, 148 Cal. App. 4th 809 (2007)

Meshiel Cooper Traylor and her minor son Craig Lamar Traylor appealed the judgment confirming an arbitration award in favor of Craig’s former personal manager, Sharyn Berg, for unpaid commissions under an “Artist’s Manager’s Agreement” among Berg, Meshiel and Craig. Meshiel and Berg signed the agreement; Craig, who was 10 years old at the time, did not. Three months after Craig obtained a recurring role on “Malcolm in the Middle,” Meshiel informed Berg that they no longer needed her management services and could not afford to pay her the 15% commission on Craig’s earnings because they owed a “huge amount” of taxes. The arbitrator issued an award in Berg’s favor, and the trial court entered a judgment consistent with the arbitrator’s award. The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment as to Craig because he was a minor who could disaffirm the agreement with Berg as well as the arbitration award because he was never represented by an appointed guardian ad litem. However, the Court affirmed the judgment against Meshiel on the ground that she had independent obligations under the agreement.