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Jury Resoundingly Rejects Ex-Manager's $2M Claim Against Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson, with his attorneys, David Schecter (left) and Sasha Frid.
Following a fierce three-day courtroom clash, the jury unequivocally sided with music legend Smokey Robinson, firmly rejecting his former manager Eric Podwall's audacious bid for nearly $2 million in unpaid commissions tied to his concert and touring ventures.

In a 2016 legal skirmish, Eric Podwall sought to bolster his case against Robinson by asserting unpaid commissions, ostensibly guaranteed by a management agreement. However, Robinson’s legal team effectively dismantled this claim during the trial, highlighting that the agreement did not encompass provisions for such commissions.

The legal team representing the Motown icon meticulously underscored Podwall's failure to fulfill his managerial responsibilities. Under rigorous cross-examination, Podwall's defense crumbled, marked by admissions of his non-contributory role in Smokey's concert and touring endeavors.

The legal showdown climaxed with Robinson himself taking the witness stand. His testimony, a tapestry of his illustrious career, proved deeply compelling. He shared poignant anecdotes from his upbringing on the same street as Diana Ross, the genesis of Motown Records alongside Berry Gordy and the creation of timeless musical treasures.

In a pivotal revelation, Robinson categorically stated that the management agreement did not encompass his prolific concert and tour pursuits—a vocation he had honed decades before Podwall was born.

In a decisive verdict, the jury wholeheartedly endorsed Smokey's assertion, firmly dismissing Podwall's pursuit of supplementary touring commissions. However, in a minor concession, they granted Podwall $2,000 — compensation for a commission linked to an album advance.

Sasha Frid, legal counsel for Smokey Robinson and a co-founding partner at Miller Barondess, LLP, which represented him in the case, expressed in a statement after the trial, "This resounding victory epitomizes Smokey's unwavering spirit. The jury's verdict attests to his artistic prowess and steadfast commitment to contractual obligations. In the face of a multimillion-dollar demand, Smokey stood strong against his former manager's audacious claims. It is an honor to champion his cause."

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