FACTS During the spring of 1996, Kobe Bryant (Bryant), then a seventeen-year old star high school basketball player, declared his intention to forgo college and enter the 1996 National Basketball

FACTS During the spring of 1996, Kobe Bryant (Bryant), then a seventeen-year old star high school basketball player, declared his intention to forgo college and enter the 1996 National Basketball Association (NBA) lottery draft. The Score Board Inc., a company in the business of licensing, manufacturing, and distributing sports and entertainment-related memorabilia, entered into negotiations with Bryant’s agent, Arn Tellem (Agent) and Bryant’s father, former NBA star Joe ”Jelly Bean” Bryant, to sign Bryant to a contract. In early July 1996, Score Board sent Bryant a signed written licensing agreement (agreement). The agreement granted Score Board the right to produce licensed products, such as trading cards, with Bryant’s image. Bryant was obligated to make two personal appearances on behalf of Score Board and provide between a minimum of 15,000 and a maximum of 32,500 autographs. Bryant was to receive a $2 stipend for each autograph, after the first 7,500. Under the agreement, Bryant could receive a maximum of $75,000 for the autographs. In addition to being compensated for the autographs, Bryant was entitled to receive a base compensation of $10,000.
Bryant rejected this proposed agreement, and on July 11, 1996, while still a minor, made a counteroffer (counteroffer), signed it, and returned it to Score Board. The counteroffer made several changes to Score Board’s agreement, including the number of autographs. Score Board claimed that they signed the counteroffer and placed it into its files. The copy signed by Score Board was subsequently misplaced and has never been produced by Score Board during these proceedings. Rather, Score Board has produced a copy signed only by Bryant.
On August 23, 1996, Bryant turned eighteen. Three days later, Bryant deposited the check for $10,000 into his account. Bryant subsequently performed his contractual duties for about a year and a half. By late 1997, Bryant grew reluctant to sign any more autographs under the agreement and his Agent came to the conclusion that a fully executed contract did not exist. By this time, Agent became concerned with Score Board’s financial condition because it failed to make certain payments to several other players. Score Board claims that the true motivation for Bryant’s reluctance stems from his perception that he was becoming a ”star” player, and that his autograph was ”worth” more than $2.
On March 17, 1998, Score Board mistakenly sent Bryant a check for $1,130 as compensation for unpaid autographs. Bryant was actually entitled to $10,130 and the check for $1,130 was based on a miscalculation.
On March 18, 1998, Score Board filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. On March 23, 1998, Agent returned the $1,130 check. Included with the check was a letter that directed Score Board to ”immediately cease and desist from any use of” Kobe Bryant’s name, likeness, or other publicity rights. Subsequently, Score Board began to sell its assets, including numerous executory contracts with major athletes, including Bryant. Bryant argued that Score Board could not do this, because he believed that a contract never existed. In the alternative, if a contract had been created, Bryant contended that it was voidable because it had been entered into while he was a minor. The Bankruptcy Court ruled in favor of Score Board. Bryant appealed.
DECISION Judgment affirmed.
OPINION Irenas, J. Bryant challenges the Bankruptcy Court’s finding that he ratified the agreement upon attaining majority. Contracts made during minority are voidable at the minor’s election within a reasonable time after the minor attains the age of majority. [Citations]
The right to disaffirm a contract is subject to the infant’s conduct which, upon reaching the age of majority, may amount to ratification. [Citation.] ”Any conduct on the part of the former infant which evidences his decision that the transaction shall not be impeached is sufficient for this purpose.” [Citation.]
On August 23, 1996, Bryant reached the age of majority, approximately six weeks after the execution of the agreement. On August 26, 1996, Bryant deposited the $10,000 check sent to him from Debtor (Score Board). Bryant also performed his contractual duties by signing autographs.
The Bankruptcy Court did not presume ratification from inaction as Bryant asserts. It is clear that Bryant ratified the contract from the facts, because Bryant consciously performed his contractual duties.
Bryant asserts that he acted at the insistence of his Agent, who believed that he was obligated to perform by contract. Yet, neither Bryant nor his Agent disputed the existence of a contract until the March 23, 1998, letter by Tellem (Agent). That Bryant may have relied on his Agent is irrelevant to this Court’s inquiry and is proper evidence only in a suit against the Agent. To the contrary, by admitting that he acted because he was under the belief that a contract existed, Bryant confirms the existence of the contract. Moreover, it was Bryant who deposited the check, signed the autographs, and made personal appearances.
INTERPRETATION Ratification of a contract may be implied from a person’s conduct after the person attains his majority.
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION What criteria should a court employ in determining what is a reasonable period of time for disaffirmance by a person who has attained majority?


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