Vanessa Hudgens former lawyer can go ahead with lawsuit, rules judge

December 6th, 2007 - 6:58 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Dec 06 (ANI): Vanessa Hudgens former lawyer has been given the go ahead by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Tricia Ann Bigelow to proceed with the breach-of-contract he slapped her with in September.

Brian Schall in his filing said that Vanessa owes him 150,000 dollars in back commission.

Hudgens had filed papers of her own in October seeking to get the suit thrown out on the grounds that she was just 16 years old when she signed the contract with Schall.

Hudgens’ lawyer, Evan N. Spiegel, cited California’s Family Code in the bid to dismiss the lawsuit, which “provides that the contract of a minor is voidable and may be disaffirmed before [age 18] or within a reasonable time afterward.”

However, Judge Bigelow deemed that the debate over the disaffirmation had turned into a “factual issue.” She ruled that since Hudgens had waited until she was 18 years and nine months old before attempting to void the contract, it cleared the way for the case to proceed to either a motion for summary judgment or a jury decision.

Hudgens’ attorney was given 15 days to respond to the suit. And Bigelow herself gave him a few pointers on what not to include in his petition.

In court, Spiegel noted Schall’s signature on various court documents, claiming he had signed the name Brian C. Schall on the suit, while he operated under the name Brian L. Schall. He argued that the initial variation alone should warrant the suit’s dismissal. Bigelow, however, roundly rejected the argument.

“You’re losing credibility with me,” E! Online quoted her as saying.

“Your strongest argument is the disaffirmance,” she added.

In the suit, the lawyer claimed unjust enrichment against the actress, saying that it was because of him and his help that the 19-year-old Hudgens earned more than $5 million from her song writing and recording career and that he even gave her an advance on expenses and costs when they were working together.

Per the terms of the initial contract, signed in October 2005, Schall claims that Hudgens agreed to pay him five percent of her gross earnings from all recording deals and to continue paying him until 12 months after their lawyer-client relationship ended. He claimed in his filing that the teen star “has paid some, but not all, of the money owed.”

For her part, Hudgens countered in her own documents that she fired Schall earlier this year after growing weary of his representation, dubbing his services “below professional standards, resulting in a breakdown of their relationship.”

In her filing, she also included a copy of her birth certificate showing her Dec. 14, 1988 birthday, as well as a copy of a letter she issued to Schall Oct. 9 officially disaffirming the contract.

The next hearing in the matter is scheduled for Jan. 15. (ANI)

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