TO: Supervising Attorney
FROM: Sarah Harvey
RE: Alternative Dispute Resolution - Assignment 5
BACKGROUND Greg agreed to pitch for the Atlanta Braves or 5 years in exchange for $25,000,000, however they never put it into writing. The day before the season starts, he Savannah Savages, offer Greg $26,000,000 to pitch for them, and he accepts. The Braves sue Greg for breach of contract and the parties agree to arbitrate the lawsuit. During arbitration Greg's attorney, points out that under the Statute of Frauds, contracts that cannot be completed within one year are unenforceable unless they are in writing. The arbitrator, Heather, sneers contemptuously and replies, "Oh, please! Greg knew exactly what he was doing and it would be totally unfair for this contract to be unenforceable based on a crummy technicality." Heather then rules in favor of the Braves and awards them $5,000,000 in damages. The Braves then sue Greg in Fulton County Superior Court to have the arbitration award confirmed. Greg argues that Heather did not follow the law, and therefore the award should not be confirmed. The Braves argue that judges in general have discretion to enforce contracts on fairness grounds and so Heather's decision should be upheld and that, in any case, Heather is not bound by the strict letter of the law.
ISSUE Were Heather’s actions appropriate? Should her decision be upheld?
APPLICABLE LAW Morgan v. Am. Ins. Managers, 239 Ga. App. 635 (Ga. Ct. App. 1999), was a case between and employee and employer, where the employee was seeking a review of an action on an alleged oral employment contract. The court affirmed the summary judgment for defendant employer because the alleged oral employment agreement was for longer than one year and therefore fell within the statute of frauds. The court stated that “An oral employment contract for a definite term not to be performed within one year is within the statute of frauds.” It was also stated that part performance required by Ga. Code Ann. § 13-5-31(3) to obviate the statute of frauds must be substantial and essential to the contract. Thus, oral