Human nature being what it is, artists do not always concur with this point of view.These can extend well beyond the contractual provisions that specify actual sums of money.For example, managers may claim that their relationship is so unique that a replacement manager could cause irreparable damage to the strategic plan the manager and artist devised during happier times.So the manager may seek to enjoin, or stop, the artist from pursuing career decisions within the area of the manager’s exclusivity.If your manager is also your producer, and you decide to contest such a claim, you are asking for a complicated legal battle, and your career could very well be placed on hold for a significant period of time.This happened to Bruce Springsteen.Remember, he was asserting in his role as manager that only he, in his role as producer, should produce Springsteen’s records.As exclusive manager, his advice was not being heeded.The consequences are quite serious if the manager can find a court, as Springsteen’s manager did, that is sympathetic.The consequences can also be devastating if the artist does not have the resources to bring legal action to right the wrong.The disastrous effects of enjoining a career for a year or more speak for themselves.See also the sad case of Ke$ha v.Luke, her producer, and his production company/label.Even if your career has developed to an outstandingly successful level, you may not necessarily be able to relate personally with your manager over a tedious and frequently tense period of time, a time during which interests and needs change and goals often diverge.Contractual issues relating to the termination of the relationship between artist and manager are extremely important, because the relationship may be, for all intents and purposes, in effect for the entire period during which the artist has a viable career potential.A word about written contracts.In most states, a contractual agreement of the length and consequence of an exclusive management agreement must be in writing to be enforced.Switching ManagersDisaster can befall artists when they switch management in the middle of a management contract term.How can they pay them both?But the circumstances with agents are slightly different.This is because an agent’s job is fairly mechanical and is not characterized by the kind of personal, intimate, and confidential relationship that an artist usually has with a manager.In the latter two circumstances, the dates would naturally have to be more fully negotiated by the new agent, thus entitling him or her to a larger percentage of the commission than if he or she were simply completing the services with respect to an otherwise substantially finished deal.Of course, the former manager’s claims, unlike the claims of the agent, will extend beyond live dates.And, whatever one may say about the justice system’s effectiveness in assisting litigating parties to reach a considered and correct conclusion, you never know how a litigation will end up.My clients have won cases they should not have won, and they have lost cases they should not have lost.Even when they have won, they have lost time, opportunities, and lots of money.I am not suggesting that litigation is always an inappropriate route through which one can seek a remedy.Sometimes it is the only one.If an artist just doesn’t like the manager anymore or wants one with more clout, and if he or she is willing to take the risk, the artist will seek to terminate the agreement and list an array of things that, taken together, he or she might be able to blend into a definition of a breach of one provision or another of the agreement.When one party wants out of a contractual relationship, a dispute exists by definition, and the parties are thrust into either a litigation or settlement mode.Arbitration is often required by the terms of management agreements, but this option is often merely litigation lite. The pitfalls of litigation remain, and arbitrations are still quite costly.If the presumed breach is immaterial or unprovable, the consequences to the artist are much more serious.There are a number of ways to pay a manager on a percentage basis.Even these already reduced commissions can be further reduced, ultimately to zero, over a number of years following termination.The length of time these commissions apply will vary, depending on the negotiators’ respective strengths.But in return for agreeing not to require a longer term, the manager may demand, and receive, a provision that pays him or her a full commission forever on records recorded or songs written during the term.