David Chase (defendant) was a television writer who created, produced, and directed The Sopranos, a television show. Robert Baer (plaintiff) was a former New Jersey prosecutor. Before the script for The Sopranos was completed, Baer met Chase through a mutual friend and offered ideas for a television show about the New Jersey Mafia. Baer initially discussed these ideas over lunch in June 1995. In October 1995, Baer also arranged for Chase to meet with New Jersey police-department officials and others that had experience with organized crime in New Jersey. Chase sent Baer a draft of the script for The Sopranos, and Baer commented on the draft for Chase. Baer and Chase orally agreed that Baer would be paid the value of his services if the show became a success. Chase offered to pay Baer at the time, but Baer requested to be paid the true value of his services once the show became a success. Chase never paid Baer, and Baer sued Chase for breach of contract. Chase moved for summary judgment, and the district court ruled in favor of Chase. Baer appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.