Ruling in Johnny Depp Lawsuit Threatens Hollywood Lawyers’ Handshake Culture

August 29, 2018Article
The Wall Street Journal

Schuyler Moore was quoted by The Wall Street Journal August 29, 2018, discussing a California judge’s ruling in Johnny Depp’s lawsuit against his longtime lawyer that found the verbal agreement between the parties wasn’t valid because it wasn’t in writing as required by California law.

According to the article, Mr. Depp sued lawyer Jacob Bloom in 2017 seeking to recover roughly $30 million in fees Depp has paid since 1999 which accounts for a percentage of Depp’s earnings. The ruling is expected to create a major change in Hollywood’s “handshake” culture.

“Napkin deals are actually when we’re getting formal,” said Moore. “Greenberg Glusker has a policy of putting contracts in writing and he expects other firms to start doing the same. Such agreements, he said, typically call for lawyers to be paid 5% of a performer’s earnings.”