The beleaguered Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp has scored a big legal victory against his former talent lawyer, Jake Bloom.
L.A. Judge Terry Green has ruled that Depp’s oral contract with Bloom is invalid, and observers say reverberations from the decision will be felt across Hollywood. Depp sued Bloom in October, asserting that he collected more than $30 million in contingent fees without a formal contract; Bloom countersued, claiming a 1999 oral agreement should be considered valid.
"I grew up in a showbiz family," the judge said, according to Deadline. "I am aware that showbiz people think they live in a different universe, but they don’t. They’re not a different universe."
In March, Depp’s team noted that California law requires contingency fee agreements be put in writing; Bloom’s team rejoined, saying Depp implicitly ratified the arrangement by accepting legal services.
Depp is now seeking to recoup million in legal fees paid out over 18 years. The case is set for trial on May 6th. Bloom’s attorneys make seek to appeal the judge’s decision.