Phillip Phillips’ Talent Dispute with American Idol Moves Forward


Here’s the latest twist in the VERY complicated legal tangle between American Idol producers and Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the latest round is a win for the artist.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart Bernstein is putting an adversary proceeding between Phillips and producer 19 Entertainment on hold, pending a decision by the California Labor Commission on a dispute involving the Talent Agencies Act.

Phillips asked the bankruptcy court to exercise its discretion to abstain from the adversary proceeding because it is intertwined with the TAA issues and the Labor Commissioner has “exclusive and original jurisdiction.” Alternatively, he asked the court to stay the adversary proceeding pending the resolution of the CLC petition.

Bernstein on Friday found that Phillips failed to prove that mandatory abstention is required but that the applicable factors weigh in favor of permissive abstention.

“The difficult state law issues regarding whether the Plaintiffs violated the TAA, and if so, what the appropriate remedy should be are predominant,” writes Bernstein. “The Labor Commissioner is a specialized tribunal used to dealing with these issues, and although his findings are subject to de novo review, his interpretation of the TAA as applied to his factual findings in this case may be entitled to substantial weight and assist the ultimate arbiter of the issues.”

Bernstein will abstain in favor of the Labor Commissioner, but will not allow any monetary award to Phillips in that proceeding “because any claims, other than possible cure payments, have been discharged.”

Read more, including a history of the case and the full order from Judge Bernstein at The Hollywood Reporter

About mj santilli 35052 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!