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World Football League v. Dallas Cowboys Football Club, Inc.

513 S.W.2d 102 (1974)

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World Football League v. Dallas Cowboys Football Club, Inc.

Texas Court of Civil Appeals

513 S.W.2d 102 (1974)

Facts

The World Football League (WFL) (defendant) was a new football league attempting to compete with the National Football League (NFL). The WFL sent a letter with a return postcard to players under contract with the Dallas Cowboys (plaintiff), an NFL football team. The letter announced the WFL’s inception and stated that the WFL “feels strongly that every player should honor his present contractual obligation.” The letter also expressed the WFL’s desire to talk to current players who would be interested in playing for the WFL at the “expiration of [their] present contract.” The postcards asked for contact information and whether a player was interested in hearing an offer from the WFL. Thereafter, three Cowboys players (the players) signed contracts with the WFL beginning after their NFL contracts expired. The Cowboys sued the WFL for tortiously interfering with contractual relations, arguing that the WFL was “raiding” the Cowboys’ players and interfering with the players’ performance of their current contracts. The trial court issued a temporary injunction against the WFL. The WFL appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bateman, J.)

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