Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 17,300+ case briefs...

Eckles v. Sharman

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
548 F.2d 905 (10th Cir. 1977)


In 1968, Sharman (defendant) entered into a seven-year contract to coach the Los Angeles Stars basketball team. The contract was governed by California law and provided, in relevant part, that Sharman would be given an option to purchase an ownership interest in the team, at a price to be agreed upon in the future, and that he would participate in a pension plan that was otherwise undefined. The contract contained a severability clause, which stated that the invalidity of a provision in the agreement would not render the entire agreement invalid. In 1970, the Los Angeles Stars was sold to a Colorado company, Mountain States Sports, Inc. (Mountain States) (plaintiff), whose maintenance of this case on appeal was transferred to R.T. Eckles, trustee in bankruptcy, after Mountain States became bankrupt. The contract for sale of the Los Angeles team provided that Mountain States need not assume Sharman’s contract unless it had confirmed Sharman’s willingness to relocate to the team’s new city. The team was moved to Salt Lake City and Sharman went with it without any written documentation as to his deal and the move. While the team was in Los Angeles, no negotiations were ever conducted regarding the option and pension provisions of Sharman’s agreement. Once the team was acquired by Mountain States, its president and Sharman began discussing these provisions, but after months of negotiations they failed to reach agreement. In June 1971, Sharman resigned from the Utah team and signed a contract with California Sports (defendant) to coach the Los Angeles Lakers (Lakers). Mountain States sued Sharman in a Utah court for breach of contract, and also sued California Sports and two individuals (defendants) for tortiously inducing Sharman’s breach. After Mountain States presented its case at a jury trial, the court directed a verdict against Sharman on the issue of his liability. The jury found in favor of the individuals who had been sued for inducement but rendered verdicts against Sharman and California Sports for breach and inducement of breach, respectively.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Breitenstein, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 457,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 457,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 17,300 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial