Johnny Depp Wins in Oral Contract Battle With Ex-Lawyer

A judge granted Johnny Depp a motion today that would allow him to declare an oral contract he had with his former lawyers to be invalid. Depp’s attorneys first asked for the decision this past March, claiming that California requires written contracts for contingency fee agreements — the idea that a lawyer would get percentages of contract negotiations and other legal services, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The decision marks a blow to the firm of Bloom, Hergott, Diemer, Rosenthal, LaViolette, Feldman, Schenkman and Goodman LLP, for which Depp had worked with Jake Bloom.

“I don’t think there are special rules for show business,” Judge Terry Green of Los Angeles’ Superior Court said. “I grew up in a show business family. I’m aware that show business people think they live in a separate universe, but they don’t.” Deadline reports that he told Bloom’s team that if they had a problem with the decision they should consult with state legislators.

Green said he would issue a formal written ruling later this week.

Rolling Stone reported earlier this year that the rift dates back to 2014 when he discovered that his management reps, The Management Group, had allegedly taken out $34 million in loans as a result of mismanagement; Bloom also took out a $12.5 million loan at 10 percent interest. The loan made it so Depp wouldn’t get any money from his Pirates of the Caribbean movies until it was paid back. His lawyers claimed that Bloom’s move was an illegal deal.

Depp is still facing a lawsuit that his former bodyguards filed, claiming he owed the money, and an assault case that the location manager of the film City of Lies, which has since been postponed, filed. He recently settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Management Group out of court.

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