Tropicana Hotel Corporation v. Speer
Nevada Supreme Court
692 P.2d 499 (1985)
Donald Speer (plaintiff) was hired as the general manager of the Tropicana Hotel by Mitzi Stauffer Briggs, controlling owner of the Tropicana Hotel Corporation (defendant). Speer agreed to work for Tropicana Hotel after negotiations with Briggs at her home. Each party was accompanied by counsel. Speer wanted equity in Tropicana Hotel in addition to his salary. Briggs and Speer ultimately agreed on terms of an employment contract but not the terms of how stock in Tropicana Hotel would be transferred to Speer. Speer wanted $100,000 worth of equity after taxes, but the parties could not work out a satisfactory arrangement to minimize tax consequences. Speer began working at Tropicana Hotel without executing a written employment agreement soon after the negotiation with Briggs. Two months after Speer’s employment began, Briggs sent Speer a signed employment agreement. Speer withheld his signature because he wanted to hold off until he received a satisfactory stock-option agreement from Briggs. Within the first year of Speer’s employment, the hotel closed due to a culinary strike. Speer and Briggs began to disagree over management of the hotel. Then, two of Speer’s subordinates were fired by Tropicana Hotel’s executive committee, so Speer left the hotel. Speer filed suit against Tropicana Hotel, alleging breaches of the oral employment contract and oral stock-option agreement. The district court found that Tropicana Hotel breached the employment contract but that the stock-option agreement was not valid. Speer appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gunderson, J.)
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