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Radio Host Adam Carolla Sued Over Alleged Partnership

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It always pays to have a contract. But some people just seem to think friendship is thicker than business. Or so that seems to be the takeaway from the lawsuit of former some time Tonight Show film editor Donny Misraje against Radio Host Adam Carolla over Misraje’s belief that, according to a verbal agreement he says they had, he is entitled to 30% of Carolla’s podcast broadcasts.

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In the trial, Misraje constantly refers to their friendship, talks about as kids his mother wasn’t crazy about the way Carolla raided the refrigerator, how in high school, Carolla was the “rowdy jock” (as in sports jock or disc jokey?) and Misraje was “the nerd.”

But “nerds” often have good ideas, like computer nerds, and when Bob Carolla was dismissed from his gig on CBS radio because of a change of format from talk to music, Misraje said he gave Carolla the “novel” idea of making a podcast  in 2009. However, it isn’t as if this were a major trade secret.

Carolla’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, said his client was already familiar with the podcast format, and probably would have come up with the idea himself. “This wasn’t Edison inventing the lightbulb, ” Geragos said. The first 250, 000 downloads had “nothing to do with this guy.”

Misraje claims the two were partners and made a verbal agreement that he would get 30% of his project. He left a well-paying film editing job, lived on loans and worked 40-60 hours a week and invested $10, 000 to help Corolla develop his podcasts, while his wife, Kathee Schneider-Misraje, worked for free as well as his cousin, Sandy Ganz, who is also involved in the lawsuit.

It all got sour when the plaintiffs asked for equal decision making, and Carolla effectively fired them. However, Carolla said they were never employees and certainly weren’t partners.

The moral of the story: even friends need written contracts.



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