Jury Determines Scotty McCreery Owes Former Manager $239,329 – UPDATED

A case launched last July when Scotty McCreery was sued by his former manager Todd Cassetty has been resolved by jury. The Tennessean reports that a jury has determined that Scotty owes his former manager $239,329 for management services over 5 months. As previously noted here, the initial lawsuit claimed that contrary to initial promises that Cassetty would be paid an industry standard 15% of all gross revenues during his tenure as manager, the McCreerys were offering only 2% by the end of Cassetty’s professional relationship with Scotty.

According to The Tennessean:

The parties never finalized a written agreement and ultimately ended their business relationship in April 2013. According to the lawsuit, McCreery had not compensated Cassety at the time they parted ways. The lawsuit quoted emails from McCreery in which he said, “I will make sure you get a large 15% touring check from FBMM this month.”

Additional claims filed by Cassetty were, as per The Tennessean, dismissed either voluntarily or by the jury. It’s good for both parties that what was basically a disagreement over the amount of money Todd Cassetty was owed has now been settled, and both parties can move on.

As for Scotty’s current manager situation, The Tennessean further notes that according to Cassetty’s lawsuit, Scotty’s mother Judy McCreery has taken on most managerial functions in his career. Scotty is currently charting in the country airplay t40 with the 2nd single (“Feelin’ It,” cowritten by Frank Rogers and Matthew West)) off his sophomore album, See You Tonight. That album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart (#6 all genre) after its 10/15/2013 release and has sold 236k as of June 15, 2014 according to Roughstock. Scotty scored his 1st t10 single with the #8 peaking and RIAA Gold-certified title track, which he cowrote with Zach Crowell and Ashley Gorley.

UPDATE: Scotty issued a statement claiming victory in the case:

I am very pleased with the management fee ruling of only $239,000, which was less than half of the $570,000 Mr. Cassetty requested. It was always my intention to pay Mr. Cassetty and indeed had offered to pay him more than once. His request, however, for over half a million dollars was too much for a few months of work.

While it has been difficult to risk having my reputation challenged, I always believed that the truth would prevail, and it has. I have a management team, including a professional business manager, in Nashville advising me. Now I am happy to put this behind me and focus on my music. As always, I am thankful to my fans for all of their support.

Standard PR to offset the PR damage done by the case. No doubt all parties learned some tough lessons from a relationship that started out with so much enthusiasm and good intentions but unfortunately broke down over time.

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Deb B

Also known as Windmills, I cover country music news and live televised country events, in addition to recapping ABC's 'Nashville.' Additionally, I occasionally do long-form chart analysis that has been cited by Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, The Guardian, The New Republic, NPR, and more.
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  • bridgette12

    At least this has been settled and both parties can get on with their lives.

  • Amy Beth

    I guess the jury wasn’t instructed to round to the nearest hundred!

    The Momager thing is fraught with peril. I hope it all works out.

  • Larc

    I think Scotty needs an experienced and successful manager of country artists. While I don’t doubt his mother tries to put his best interests first, she couldn’t have the inside tracks an experienced manager would have in the business.

  • Sharil Brown

    That was a good lesson learned early. Hopefully they have someone looking after the legal end of his career now and Judy looking after his best interest.

  • Incipit

    Not too bad – It only took nearly a year to settle, but they had their “day in court”. Nobody manages for 2% and the jury has determined the appropriate number of dollars owed. But a year ago it was much bigger news.

  • breakdown

    Your word should be your bond.

  • Kirsten

    Nobody manages for 2% and the jury has determined the appropriate number of dollars owed.

    We still don’t know how far apart the two parties were, though. Note that the article also said this

    Additional claims filed by Cassetty were, as per The Tennessean, dismissed either voluntarily or by the jury.

    Cassetty may have been offered 2% of what he claimed, but many of those claims may have been dismissed. Many managers feel entitled to proceeds from the album and touring revenue to support that album if they were in any way involved with the album (e.g. initial discussion stages).

    The court case was not only to determine the percentage of the revenue, but the percentage of what revenue. 2% of what he wanted may be close to the 15% of what he got.

    It sounds like he was only granted a percentage of the revenue of the tours while he was actively a manager.

    In other news, if $239,329 is 15% of five months of touring revenue, Scotty earned $1,595,527.

    In other other news, having a close relative as a manager is a really, really bad idea.

  • lkingcorn

    Well I think it rather amazing that anyone’s mom could manage a singers career. I have always had high proficiency jobs in my life and nailed them, but I would not have a clue how to manage a music career. Kudos!

  • Lexie O’Neill

    Scotty has added a statement…

    Scotty’s ‘statement’ is now included in the Tennessean article:
    In a prepared statement, McCreery said he always intended to pay Cassetty. He said he was pleased the jury award was less than the $570,000 Cassetty first requested.

    “While it has been difficult to risk having my reputation challenged, I always
    believed that the truth would prevail, and it has,” McCreery said.
    “I have a management team, including a professional business manager,
    in Nashville advising me. Now I am happy to put this behind me and focus
    on my music. As always, I am thankful to my fans for all of their support.”

  • jeffreyd95821

    If that’s 15% then Scotty made how much during this guy’s tenure? I’m too lazy to do the math.

  • MissMyEm

    15% is standard management fee for any part of the Entertainment Industry. Agents get 10%, managers 15%.

  • Lexie O’Neill

    I think the point may be 15% of what? There are parts of Scotty’s income during that time that Cassetty would have had a claim, and other parts not…depending on start and end dates as well.

  • Lexie O’Neill

    If it’s the 570K number, then 3,800,000. But that doesn’t take out all the other fingers in the pie…

  • Lexie O’Neill

    Check above…he says he does have a professional manager. Wonder who it is?

  • stef

    Being apparently the carrier of an involuntary sign on my head that says “pick me pick me pick me” as far as juries go, I have a pretty cynical view of how they make decisions. Even when math is not required, too many of the jurors seem to be motivated mostly by getting out of the room in time to beat traffic or home for dinner.

    I had to do one civil case that involved real estate-related financial disputes. Most of the jurors were highly math-challenged, and made decisions because on the way the expert witnesses looked/sounded vs. what they said or how they presented the math. One juror said an angel told her what the right number was.

    It was an interesting experience.

  • tripp_ncwy

    As Judge Judy says, you always need a contract even with family when your entering into a business transaction. Hopefully he he learned a lesson and has some formal agreement with his mom.

  • windmills

    The quote from Scotty is carefully worded: “I have a management team, including a professional business manager…”

    A business manager is different from an artist/talent manager. I never doubted that Scotty had a separate professional business manager to oversee his financial affairs. But I think Scotty’s quote is designed to gloss over the fact that in fact his mother (or his parents) are still the managers who take the role of overseeing his career, deciding its direction, helping book gigs, connecting him to songwriters, producers, and other acts, and doing all the other stuff Todd Cassetty (and before him, the people at 19) used to do.

    To give an example: Carrie’s talent management team is Ann Edelblute with Simon Fuller, but her business management comes from the Haber Corporation (Gary Haber recently passed, but I assume the corporation still holds the business management role in her career).

    If Scotty hires a professional talent manager, there will be a PR announcement about it.

  • Lexie O’Neill

    Well, I learn something every day. Thanks.

  • windmills

    I obviously don’t know the specifics of the case but it’s pretty standard PR to claim victory in a case like this. The fact that Cassetty was awarded a sizable amount of money gives the impression that he “won” his case against Scotty, which makes Scotty look bad and would give professional managers considering working with him pause. In fact the initial Music Row mag headline actually said that Cassetty had won his case before Scotty released his statement – it’s since been amended to say they “settled” their dispute, which is more accurate.

    The $570k figure probably included damages from claims of fraud – stuff that falls under the category of “dismissed,” whether voluntarily or by jury. Plus I’d imagine Cassetty’s people wanted Scotty to pay all legal expenses associated with the case. It’s also standard operating procedure for the plaintiff to overreach in terms of the amount of $$ they want. I don’t believe Cassetty actually wanted to be paid $570k for services rendered because I think that figure includes other stuff already mentioned, but it’s standard PR for Team Scotty to spin it as if he did, because that makes it look like Cassetty got less than 1/2 of what he wanted.

    I’ll edit the post to include Scotty’s statement.

  • SaSa8

    At the bottom of The Music Row article it says that Scotty is currently managed by Lytle Mgnt Group. Is that a talent manager or business manager?

  • ptebwwong

    When researching Lytle Mgnt. Group, it looks like they have to do with mainly radio and tour promotion.

  • Dianne

    I don’t care for McCreery, but he is very young and I have a feeling his parents helped convince him the fees were too much. Well, now he knows, make sure your contracts are solid and pay what you owe. Scotty seems like the kind of guy who would be very generous to his family, but the last thing he needs is for his mother to get overly involved when she has no background in the business other than raising a kid who grew up singing around the house.

  • CanadianLady

    I can’t see Scotty not paying what he owed. I think there was a misunderstanding about what was owed. And both his parents have had business experience, although not in the music business. And he has a lawyer and all that. I don’t think they’re just bumbling around.

  • Tess Herself

    Managers are always suing their clients, even with contracts, and vice-versa. Expectations and realism don’t always go hand in hand…and the waters always get very muddy when someone new comes along mid-way thru a process and begins to feel entitled to a percentage of all earnings whether they were there when the events were set up that caused the earnings. I am sure, once in court, that the manager had to prove that he was the instigator of the earnings, not just a johnny come lately.

  • Cathy Mcguire Kosak

    I know he is with William Morris Agency…..list of their clients http://www.wmeentertainment.com/0/cta/music/country/roster/

  • Lexie O’Neill

    Pretty sure that’s his booking agent. There’s a lot to this business!

  • Cathy Mcguire Kosak

    thanks,,,,,I remembered he thanked them when he recently won Breakthrough Artist……..

  • windmills

    That’s a talent management company that also offers services like radio and tour promotion like ptebwwong said. I don’t know what the exact nature of their involvement in Scotty’s career is because this is only the 2nd time I heard them referenced in connection with Scotty (the 1st was in connection with Scotty’s Sea World gig).

    Like I said before, I would have expected that if Scotty had signed with a new management company, that would have been announced via PR release to the trades. Heck, his signing on with Todd Cassetty was announced. But maybe they were holding off until the case with Cassetty was resolved.