The Killers served a petition on their former manager yesterday (March 14) asking the California Labor Commissioner to void their contract and order Braden Merrick and his company, From The Future, to

The Killers served a petition on their former manager yesterday (March 14) asking the California Labor Commissioner to void their contract and order Braden Merrick and his company, From The Future, to return all commissions ever received, plus interest.

The action is in response to Merrick's lawsuit filed Feb. 21 in Las Vegas. In that action, Merrick and his company want at least $16 million from band members Brandon Flowers, Ronnie Vannucci Jr., Dave Keuning, Mark Stoermer and their Las Vegas lawyer, Robert Reynolds, who allegedly also performed some management duties for the band. The suit claims that the band failed to live up to their contractual obligations under a management and a producer agreement, and Reynolds interfered with the band honoring those agreements.

The latest petition is filed under labor laws in California, where Merrick resides. The laws prohibit a person from "procuring" or attempting to procure employment for a performer unless the person has a talent agent's license. The licensing process requires the person to post a bond for several thousands of dollars. Agents are required to follow certain guidelines and include specific terms in their contracts.

The band alleges in the petition that Merrick was "an incompetent manager who abandoned his clients at a critical juncture of their careers, and now seeks to cash in on their success." It also says that Merrick and his company performed certain activities "seeking to solicit and procure employment" without a talent agent's license.

They claim that Merrick began "double dealing" by secretly working for, and being paid by, the A&R representative from the band's record label to scout for new talent.

The band allege that they fired Merrick because he was "grossly incompetent, dishonest, a double dealer who breached his fiduciary dues and was unable or unwilling to perform tasks required of him." Nevertheless, the band and Reynolds "did all they could to preserve their relationship and to persuade Merrick to take his obligations seriously," they allege.

The Killers also filed motions in the federal court lawsuit trying to dismiss Merrick's case.

Bert Deixler and Navid Soleymani with Proskauer Rose in Los Angeles, and Niels Pearson and Robert Cardenas with Pearson Kurtz & Cardenas in Las Vegas represent the Killers and Reynolds. Michael Guido with Carroll, Guido & Groffman in New York also represents the Killers. Howard King and Peter Paterno with King Holmes Paterno & Berliner in Los Angeles, and Hector Carbajal with Carbajal & McNutt in Las Vegas represent Merrick and his company.