Adam Carolla often notes on his #1 daily podcast that if you want to be miserable, just become rich and successful.
For Carolla, this has been particularly true lately. His success as a multi-platform entertainer (no, not actual platforms, but TV, stage, books, radio, podcasts, and ability to ride a unicycle) has lead to his being sued by money-hungry adversaries.
Most recently, Adam Carolla found himself dragged into court by none other than long time friend, Donny Misraje, Misraje’s wife, Kathee, and Miraje’s cousin, Sandy Ganz. The litigious trio all claimed that Carolla had arrogantly, and unfairly, cut them out of the profits created by Adam’s hugely successful and pioneering podcast, The Adam Carolla Show.
Carolla’s podcast came to being following the conclusion of his LA radio show. Misraje claims it was he who coaxed Carolla to do a podcast and contributed greatly to its success. Misraje also claims he quit his job and brought his wife and cousin on board because of promises that they’d be lavishly compensated for their participation.
The compensation Misraje reportedly sought was 50 percent of the Adam Carolla show’s revenues and recognition that there was a four-way “partnership” in the enterprise. Carolla says he never agreed to anything in writing, relationships soured, and the Misrajes, along with Ganz, were given the boot in 2011. Then came the lawsuit and resulting trial.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the trial abruptly came to an end Tuesday after Adam Carolla had been cross-examined on the witness stand Monday in front of a jury in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Adam Carolla had tried to get the lawsuit thrown out, calling his working relationship with Misraje more of an employer/employee relationship than a partnership. But a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge called for the trial to go ahead, citing evidence that Carolla had previously used the term “partnership” regarding his accusers.
During his testimony last week, Misraje said he thought he had an oral deal with Adam Carolla that didn’t require being written down.
“We weren’t lawyers (or) businessmen,” testified Misraje.
Carolla had his chance on the stand Monday, saying the terms “partnership” and “partners” are general terms that he also uses with others he currently works with, such as his writing partner who is helping him finish his fourth book.
“I think it’s a term that’s used quite liberally,” said Carolla.
Carolla also said he’d been open to considering a 60-30-10 proposition but Misraje would hear nothing of it, insisting on a 50-50 arrangement:
“After a year and a half of being beaten up for 50%, I said, let the lawyers handle it,” testified Carolla. This offer was made via a May, 2011 email from Carolla to Kathee Misraje, which included a request for her to read it out loud to husband, Donny, and some of which read, “paperwork can be drawn up, ratifying participation/ownership and the roles and duties of all the major players in this scenario.”
Following Carolla’s testimony, the trial seemed on its way to a conclusion. However, the judge’s decision to limit any potential monetary award to the Misraje camp based on any riches the Adam Carolla podcast had generated from 2009 to 2012, apparently brought the two sides back to the bargaining table. Misraje had reportedly wanted a share of Adam Carolla Show profits generated through 2017.
Misraje’s lawyer, Gregory Doll, and Carolla’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, conferred and an undisclosed settlement was soon reached.
CNN reports that Carolla’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, believed the judge’s 2012 limit “caused the plaintiffs to blink.”
“After Adam’s compelling testimony yesterday and Judge (Michael) Johnson’s ruling today gutting their expert’s damage theory, apparently they finally woke up to the fact that their case was disintegrating before their very eyes,” said Geragos.
Carolla, just recently, successfully fought off another lawsuit aimed at him by “patent trolls” who sought several million dollars from Adam in hopes that their lawsuit would find that the Adam Carolla podcast had in some way violated obscure, technical patents.
The court ruled that the Adam Carolla show had done no such thing.
Image via The Adam and Dr. Drew Show