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Total Economic Athletic Management of America, Inc. v. Pickens

898 S.W.2d 98 (1995)

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Total Economic Athletic Management of America, Inc. v. Pickens

Missouri Court of Appeals

898 S.W.2d 98 (1995)

Facts

Bruce Pickens (defendant) was an elite college-football player. Howard Misle was the owner of Total Economic Athletic Management of America, Inc. (Team America) (plaintiff). Team America negotiated professional sports contracts for its clients, and Misle was a contract advisor certified by the National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA). Misle also owned a car dealership. One day at Misle’s car dealership, Misle sold Pickens a car on “house credit” without Pickens paying anything. About two weeks later, Pickens and Misle signed an undated NFLPA standard representation agreement. The parties disputed why the contract was not dated at the time of signing. Misle claimed the agreement was inadvertently undated and Misle dated it a few days after signing when he realized the error. Pickens claimed the lack of date was intentional because the parties agreed that the representation agreement would not be binding until the parties added a date in the future and sent the agreement to NFLPA. Subsequently, Pickens signed a standard NFLPA representation agreement with Tom Condon, a former professional football player. Condon negotiated and obtained a multimillion-dollar contract for Pickens to play for the Atlanta Falcons. Team America sued Pickens for anticipatory breach of the representation agreement. The court held a jury trial, and the jury returned a verdict for Team America with a damages award of $20,000. Both parties appealed. Pickens claimed errors in jury instructions, such as that the instructions incorrectly assumed the validity of the representation agreement or that Pickens’s proposed instructions should have been given. Team America argued that the damage award was inadequate, pointing to the contract obtained by Condon for Pickens.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ulrich, J.)

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