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Old 04-14-2014, 04:24 PM   #161
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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Originally Posted by GamecockLawyer View Post
I'm a little surprised there hasn't been more discussion of how everyone interprets the relevant language that is in dispute here.

The language in the contract of: "the opportunity to buy tickets" is what the parties are arguing about.

Mr. Lee is taking the position that the University cannot impose additional terms or conditions on his opportunity to buy tickets, and the University is saying that they can impose additional conditions, as long as they allow Mr. Lee the opportunity to buy the tickets.

Looking at just the opinion itself (I've never seen the actual contract) I have to side with Justice Pleicones' dissent. The language "opportunity to buy tickets" is pretty wishy-washy language in my opinion. Just looking at the plain text, I think it's fair for the University to say, Everyone now pays a seat tax in order to have the opportunity to buy tickets. You also have to pay this seat tax in order to have the opportunity to buy tickets.

Obviously, four other Justices saw the other side of the coin, and felt that the University was altering the contract. I guess I just come down on the side of the University because the language of "opportunity to buy tickets" is weak.

Even the majority opinion concedes that the University can raise the ticket prices. If you concede that, I find it hard to distinguish between a "seat tax" and a higher ticket price.

Just my two cents.

One final note: I am a little surprised this didn't settle. Seems like a bad PR move for the University either way this could have come out.
My guess is that most people haven't read any of the judgements or the contracts. I'm sure the reason the school still hasn't waived the fees is because they are in disagreement with the ruling which seems reasonable. I'm actually pretty surprised that the Justices ruled against the contract in this case. Regardless of whether you think wording is ambiguous it doesn't change the fact that it only said they'd be provided the opportunity to purchase tickets. Adding the PSL doesn't remove the opportunity to purchase tickets.
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:56 PM   #162
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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Even the majority opinion concedes that the University can raise the ticket prices. If you concede that, I find it hard to distinguish between a "seat tax" and a higher ticket price.

If you can't see that difference and if you are a lawyer, get in another line of work, quick.
Thanks for the career advice. I'll take it under advisement.

As to my point, I think that the distinction the majority makes between a "seat tax" and the "ticket price" is a distinction without a difference. The majority is saying that you can't charge an additional "seat fee" but you can raise ticket prices.

I think the real problem here is still "opportunity to buy". That's really weak language. The University's position just makes more logical sense to me. They haven't deprived Mr. Lee of any "opportunity to buy" tickets by implementing a facility wide seat licencing system.
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:00 PM   #163
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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The thing I do not get about Readrooster is the internal schism in his reasoning.

On the one hand, he is an advocate for the amoral contract viewpoint in which a business is able to break any deal it feels is no longer profitable and suffer the consequences.

On the other hand, he is worked up into a tizzy because Mr. Lee sought to enforce the consequences of the breach. If you are truly an amoral contract advocate, then you must have also an amoral view on parties seeking to enforce the breach. If Mr. Readrooster was really consistent in his views he would be mad at Mr. Lee because he did not choose to seek full consequences of the USC breach.

OTH, maybe I am just not understanding Readrooster clearly. He definitely has a lot of opinions on this subject.
FIXED POST FOR THE GRAMMAR NAZI'S WITH FURTHER EXPLANATON.

I am not strictly advocating to a completely. amoral view to contracts. I acknowledge that it is generally not the right thing to do to breach a contract. I just don't think it HAS to be some major travesty of justice. It's a much more complicated ethical issue than that. Sometimes it is a scam or one party is trying to take advantage of the other. Sometimes it's just a minor infraction of etiquette. Sometimes other responsibilities come into play and breaking and agreement is sometimes the right thing to do, not to the contracted party but to 3rd parties. A contract a business tool used for parties to gain a mutual benefit. If one party is no longer benefiting, the contract is no longer doing what it was meant to do. Sometimes it REALLY is nothing more than an amoral business tool because that is what the parties intended it to be, something both sides intend to breach if the deal doesn't work out like they wanted.

I am not "in a tizzy" about Mr. Lee suing to have a right interpreted to be covered under his contract (not for damages for a breach). What bothers me is that Mr. Lee is painting USC to be immoral and has acted like he is being cheated by USC just because they no longer want to be part of a ridiculously long (never-ending) contract that they have honored going on 3 decades. There is no need to attack the integrity of USC. He wants to sue USC he can sue them and not make it so personal. Long time agreements, even ones in writing, do not usually last as long as this one has.

Here is a hypothetical of a very common situation that might help you see what I am trying to say about why breaching a long term contract is not a terrible thing:

Say you decide to have a partnership with someone. After 25 years things go pretty okay. There were ups and downs, but now you believe because of some recent events the partnership and the market you don't see eye to eye with your partner anymore. You don't think the partnership is working out anymore and you want out and want to do what is best for your future and future of your family and this contract is tying you down. Unfortunately your partner doesn't want to end the partnership and the partnership is a contract. Your partner has the law on his side. You ask him to let you out of the contract, but he won't and says if you break the partnership I am going to sue. So with little other option, you tell him see you in court than, he sues, you lose, you have to pay him contractual damages. Do you really believe you were being "immoral" in that situation? Were you being a "bad person" because you broke a contract, or where you just someone who had to make a hard to choice about your future and had to pay the price to get yourself out of a bad situation? That is the same basic dynamics of this situation.

Mr. Lee is the one imo who has made this a personal matter. That is why I have been calling him out. He's complained about Hyman. He's complained about his "treatment" when he's been treated pretty darn well over the years if you ask me. And that is why this entire situation just reeks of old-time GCC members still being spoiled and bitter of the implementation of the YES plan and wanting things back like they were in the old days. And that is what is the real motivation here.
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:19 PM   #164
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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Maybe I'm a simpleton, but this seems pretty clear-cut to me. USC interpreted the contract one way. Mr. Lee (and at least one other litigant) interpreted the contract another way. They took their dispute to court and the SC Supreme Court settled the issue. Neither party was immoral or unethical for seeking an independent arbitrator of the law. Now that it's settled, USC must interpret the contract(s) in accordance with the Court's opinion. Seems pretty easy to me.
USC can interpret the contract anyway they want to. The court has just said USC still has a contractual obligation to PERFORM their end of the contract regardless of whether Mr. Lee pays any kind of fees/taxes/penalties/whatever USC tries to charge him or not so long as Mr. Lee performs his end.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:08 PM   #165
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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A change in leadership does not change the contract or the obligations of each party to the contract must honor their obligations.



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You completely miss the point. What Mr. Lee or what anyone would have done in his shoes back in 1982 or whenever is irrelevant. It is not the issue. The issue was the this was deal never should have been done in the first place. Whoever agreed to it did a disservice to the University of South Carolina. Now USC is on the hook for it, and after 30 years they no longer want to be. Okay so they are going to do what they have to do.
Says who? You? Me? Doesn't matter, fact is the deal was done. It was offered by the school and people took up the offer. It was a personal decision on how to spend their money and it was a business decision for the school to offer it. At the time, the folks at our university thought it was a good business decision.

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If I was making a bunch of money off this "sweetheart deal" I might have taken USC to court over it, make them offer me a buyout if they wanted out. But I wouldn't sit there and act high and mighty about it and claim that USC is being terrible and greedy and evil has done me some great wrong. That is what I have been reading here. Mr. Lee and his supporters are the ones whining that USC is NOT BEING FAIR to the man. Well USC was fair to him for 30 years.
And you and others are whining about how it's not fair. Boo hoo. Life's not fair.

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So let's not talk in terms of fair and unfair, let's talk in terms of like and don't like, because that is how the world really works. The new people at USC do not like this agreement. They want out of it. Mr. Lee likes it, he wants to keep it. If you think it is some great ethical violation for USC to use the process so it is not stuck in a losing contract for all of eternity in which USC will probably going to have to pay him a ton of money, that will be made up by all other USC supporters in some way, than there is something wrong with your thought process.
And you don't think these hefty legal fees the university has spent defending this suit is going to be somehow incorporated into future costs? Mr. Lee has stated that he tried to negotiate with the school so that it wouldn't have to see the inside of a courtroom. I wasn't privy to those conversations and I don't know how reasonable each party was in their demands, but seems to me that if the school wanted to make the best business decision, then they would have found a way to compromise with these folks.

ReadRooster, we'll just have to agree to disagree. At least we're both Gamecocks at the end of the day.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:38 PM   #166
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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The US Supreme Court ruling in regards to the ACA pretty much determined a penalty and a tax to be the same thing.

"Pretty much"

Two words used in no legal ruling, ever.
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:55 PM   #167
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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"Pretty much"

Two words used in no legal ruling, ever.
Ok how's this then. The US Supreme Court ruled during their ACA review that a "penalty" is in fact a "tax".
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:29 PM   #168
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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Ok how's this then. The US Supreme Court ruled during their ACA review that a "penalty" is in fact a "tax".

Okie dokie

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China, anyway?
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:10 AM   #169
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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Okie dokie

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China, anyway?
Imported tea is heavily taxed in China which is a penalty for not buying the native product.

However this shows the danger of not reading the thread in its entirety and only looking at the most recent post. If you go back a few pages there was a question about the YES! program as it relates to taxes/penalties.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:29 PM   #170
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

If you want season tickets pay ; don't want um don't pay. I want to keep mine so I pay. Most Major Universities , Pro teams do it been doing it for decades . we were late getting arouind to it so folks are spoiled .
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:31 PM   #171
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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Says who? You? Me? Doesn't matter, fact is the deal was done. It was offered by the school and people took up the offer. It was a personal decision on how to spend their money and it was a business decision for the school to offer it. At the time, the folks at our university thought it was a good business decision.



And you and others are whining about how it's not fair. Boo hoo. Life's not fair.



And you don't think these hefty legal fees the university has spent defending this suit is going to be somehow incorporated into future costs? Mr. Lee has stated that he tried to negotiate with the school so that it wouldn't have to see the inside of a courtroom. I wasn't privy to those conversations and I don't know how reasonable each party was in their demands, but seems to me that if the school wanted to make the best business decision, then they would have found a way to compromise with these folks.

ReadRooster, we'll just have to agree to disagree. At least we're both Gamecocks at the end of the day.
I already said that I think USC is LEGALLY obligated under the current laws. I just think it should not be because the deal that was made was absurd, poorly thought out, poorly executed, and was the result of either incompetence or some sort of favoritism by a person or a small group of persons on the inside at USC. And even though the courts don't have such a thing yet, I think there should be some kind of remedy available to allow USC or someone in a like situation to get out of such a lengthy contract. Because if they thought the contract was a good idea AT THE TIME, they should have made it for a length that closely resemble that time, not bind the University and all it's following officials in blood for all of eternity. That is right that is not FAIR in my opinion. Would you like to be bound held to a promise for all of eternity that someone else made, not you?

Because FAIRNESS is the reason why we have laws, and remedies. The law and the power of courts in equity evolve over time due to experience with difficult situations and as the view of what the populace feel the laws SHOULD be. So, just because "life isn't fair" that doesn't mean just accept that and move and stop trying make the world a better place based on what you believe in. At least, I hope not too many people think like that.

I find it interesting that Mr. Lee tried to do negotiate. I wonder what he offered in exchange. The problem with that is, I doubt he put the termination of the contract on the table, and that is probably what USC wants so that is why they went to court. Or maybe they just liked their chances in court anyway. Likely they the keep a few attorneys on the payroll for these kinds of disputes anyways so they probably just gave it a shot, and that means they aren't likely to have to pass on any attorney's fees they aren't already passing.

Anyways, time to watch baseball.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:00 PM   #172
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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As to my point, I think that the distinction the majority makes between a "seat tax" and the "ticket price" is a distinction without a difference. The majority is saying that you can't charge an additional "seat fee" but you can raise ticket prices.

I think the real problem here is still "opportunity to buy". That's really weak language. The University's position just makes more logical sense to me. They haven't deprived Mr. Lee of any "opportunity to buy" tickets by implementing a facility wide seat licencing system.
The Court construes the 1990 "opportunity to buy" agreement as what was then being purchased and sold. "In accordance with said attachment, George M. Lee, III, will have the opportunity to purchase tickets entitled to the Gamecock Level or membership presently held."

As the Court states, then in 2008 the University wanted Mr. Lee "to pay a seat license fee as a prerequisite for purchasing season tickets." It wanted Mr. Lee to pay an "additional seat license fee to retain the opportunity to purchase tickets." The need to purchase a right to a right already promised is a "distinction without a difference"?

As the Court notes, "The Agreement contains no limitations or conditions on this contractual right. Thus, by requiring Lee to pay the seat license fee before purchasing season tickets, the University has attempted to impose an additional term that the parties did not agree upon. This unilateral attempt to modify the Agreement is impermissible."
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:49 PM   #173
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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The Court construes the 1990 "opportunity to buy" agreement as what was then being purchased and sold. "In accordance with said attachment, George M. Lee, III, will have the opportunity to purchase tickets entitled to the Gamecock Level or membership presently held."
I think the "presently held" argument has some merit. The YES program is clearly not a part of the membership that Mr. Lee held at the time of the agreement.

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As the Court states, then in 2008 the University wanted Mr. Lee "to pay a seat license fee as a prerequisite for purchasing season tickets." It wanted Mr. Lee to pay an "additional seat license fee to retain the opportunity to purchase tickets." The need to purchase a right to a right already promised is a "distinction without a difference"?
I still think it's a distinction without a substantial difference. However, I do concede that the IRS makes a distinction. I believe that was a significant factor as to why the University implemented the YES plan, rather than simply raising ticket prices - the University was attempting to categorize part of the ticket price as a "seat license" so it could be tax deductible to those who had to pay it.

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As the Court notes, "The Agreement contains no limitations or conditions on this contractual right. Thus, by requiring Lee to pay the seat license fee before purchasing season tickets, the University has attempted to impose an additional term that the parties did not agree upon. This unilateral attempt to modify the Agreement is impermissible."
I think you make some good points overall. At the end of the day, I think this just comes down to a poorly drafted contract. Any contract that can be argued either way like this isn't drafted well. That's why lawyers are always so careful to cover every single possible thing in legal documents - so you don't get into a dispute over what the contract means.

As I said before, bad PR for the University to push this issue to this point, even if they honestly believed they were in the right. It wouldn't have destroyed the YES program to exempt folks like Mr. Lee from it.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:11 PM   #174
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^^^^ Well, unfortunately for USC some incompetent for USC drafted it, so it will be construed against USC since ambiguities are construed against the drafter. I don't think there is much potential for bad PR the only ones going to complain about it are those old-time GCC members that already were complaining about the YES plan anyways. It doesn't effect anyone else.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:21 PM   #175
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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As I said before, bad PR for the University to push this issue to this point, even if they honestly believed they were in the right. It wouldn't have destroyed the YES program to exempt folks like Mr. Lee from it.
It really doesn't work that way in real life ... at least not with a sophisticated organization. This contract and the decision to impose unilateral charges must have been discussed by a group of decision makers. They would have secured a privileged (attorney client) memorandum in which the merits and risks of the decision and legal arguments for supporting the USC and opposing side of the potential contract dispute were weighed and considered.

I really doubt any attorney worth a sh*t would have told USC that there was no risk whatsoever that they might lose a contractual dispute if they imposed the change. Instead, the attorney would have told them that there was a substantial risk that they could be sued and lose. Maybe she might have granted that the school had some chance they would win ... if for no other reason than they are a State organization and the judges deciding the case are appointed by the Legislature. Maybe the school might get lucky with the random draw of the judge and win. Maybe they get lucky with only a few people actually challenging them. Hey! That happened!

So in the end, after talking about it for a while, the decision maker decided to take the risk and breach the agreement, carefully issuing press statements to bolster the legal theories that will be used to attack any party who might challenge it.

There was no "honestly" believing that the new interpretation was not risky. There was only weighing whether it was a reasonable choice to make considering the risk and the benefits.

In the end, USC was right. The only person who now have a right to continue to enforce the deal is Mr. Lee. The rest of the boosters who made the deal ... well, they slept on their rights and cannot enforce the contract anymore because of the statute of limitations. If they tried to bring breach of contract claims now, their cases would be summarily dismissed.

So, USC wins even though it lost to Mr. Lee in the court case.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:02 AM   #176
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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Originally Posted by yazoo View Post
It really doesn't work that way in real life ... at least not with a sophisticated organization. This contract and the decision to impose unilateral charges must have been discussed by a group of decision makers. They would have secured a privileged (attorney client) memorandum in which the merits and risks of the decision and legal arguments for supporting the USC and opposing side of the potential contract dispute were weighed and considered.

I really doubt any attorney worth a sh*t would have told USC that there was no risk whatsoever that they might lose a contractual dispute if they imposed the change. Instead, the attorney would have told them that there was a substantial risk that they could be sued and lose. Maybe she might have granted that the school had some chance they would win ... if for no other reason than they are a State organization and the judges deciding the case are appointed by the Legislature. Maybe the school might get lucky with the random draw of the judge and win. Maybe they get lucky with only a few people actually challenging them. Hey! That happened!

So in the end, after talking about it for a while, the decision maker decided to take the risk and breach the agreement, carefully issuing press statements to bolster the legal theories that will be used to attack any party who might challenge it.

There was no "honestly" believing that the new interpretation was not risky. There was only weighing whether it was a reasonable choice to make considering the risk and the benefits.

In the end, USC was right. The only person who now have a right to continue to enforce the deal is Mr. Lee. The rest of the boosters who made the deal ... well, they slept on their rights and cannot enforce the contract anymore because of the statute of limitations. If they tried to bring breach of contract claims now, their cases would be summarily dismissed.

So, USC wins even though it lost to Mr. Lee in the court case.
I think you'd be shocked how often an attorney gets a call after a decision like this has been made and someone has either threatened or commenced legal action.

In this instance, I'm not sure USC ever considered the YES fee as a change in contract terms. As gamecocklawyer pointed out, it was in economic substance no different than a price increase. The only difference is that a price increase is less tax favorable to people who purchase season tickets than a "seat licensing fee."* It's entirely possible the conversation (more or less) went:

"Well, we'd like to raise some more money and college football is taking off. Let's raise ticket prices."

"We could do that, but we could get the same amount of money and entice people by charging a tax-deductible seat licensing fee instead."

"OK, that sounds even better."

And it never occurred to anyone that that was contractually different than just raising ticket prices. And I see the point that if USC could raise Mr. Lee's (and everyone else's) ticket price by $375, why can't they do the exact same thing in a tax-advantaged way?

Anyways, to your original point, I think you are wildly overestimating the amount of time and money people spend running every business decision by counsel. You're also assuming a memo -- if it existed at all -- wouldn't have concluded that USC would most likely prevail on the merits (not because the judges are biased, actually on the merits). After all, the trial judge and a dissenting opinion sided with USC, so I'd hardly call that a crazy position. If USC genuinely thought they'd win, wouldn't it piss you off if they cut a private deal with a big donor just to make it go away?

Finally, I think you are misinterpreting the judgment. Even if past claims are barred by the SoL, lifetime members can certainly stop paying the fees prospectively.

* On a total aside, and a point probably only of interest to me, I find the tax-advantaged nature of the YES program pretty dubious. Someone posted that the IRS makes a distinction between seat licensing fees and ticket prices. I'm not sure that's really true. I think the IRS turns a blind eye, partly due to political pressure, relatively small stakes, and popularity of NCAA athletics, but turning a blind eye is a lot different than explicitly blessing the position in published guidance. Point being, I think this idea of a seat licensing fee being tax deductible is on extremely shaky legal ground. They obviously have an opinion letter saying it is, but I wouldn't want to be the guy telling a tax court judge those YES fees aren't payments in exchange for tickets.

Last edited by DJCatfish; 04-16-2014 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:15 AM   #177
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

Quote:
Originally Posted by yazoo View Post
It really doesn't work that way in real life ... at least not with a sophisticated organization. This contract and the decision to impose unilateral charges must have been discussed by a group of decision makers. They would have secured a privileged (attorney client) memorandum in which the merits and risks of the decision and legal arguments for supporting the USC and opposing side of the potential contract dispute were weighed and considered.

I really doubt any attorney worth a sh*t would have told USC that there was no risk whatsoever that they might lose a contractual dispute if they imposed the change. Instead, the attorney would have told them that there was a substantial risk that they could be sued and lose. Maybe she might have granted that the school had some chance they would win ... if for no other reason than they are a State organization and the judges deciding the case are appointed by the Legislature. Maybe the school might get lucky with the random draw of the judge and win. Maybe they get lucky with only a few people actually challenging them. Hey! That happened!

So in the end, after talking about it for a while, the decision maker decided to take the risk and breach the agreement, carefully issuing press statements to bolster the legal theories that will be used to attack any party who might challenge it.

There was no "honestly" believing that the new interpretation was not risky. There was only weighing whether it was a reasonable choice to make considering the risk and the benefits.

In the end, USC was right. The only person who now have a right to continue to enforce the deal is Mr. Lee. The rest of the boosters who made the deal ... well, they slept on their rights and cannot enforce the contract anymore because of the statute of limitations. If they tried to bring breach of contract claims now, their cases would be summarily dismissed.

So, USC wins even though it lost to Mr. Lee in the court case.
I don't think that is right. If Mr. Lee sued for breach of contract based on these fees it's probably just considered a "minor breach" that doesn't undo the contract. I think what you are talking about is a "fundamental breach" and that is basically ripping up the contract saying we are doing this anymore. I don't think this over unfortunately. I think USC has lawyers on payroll already and they are forcing these contract holders to sue them to spend money on lawyers. And remember USC won in the lower court. If this is just a minor breach, they can breach again. It's just one legal battle in a longer war that is going to be very costly for these contract holders to keep fighting.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:41 AM   #178
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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Originally Posted by DJCatfish View Post
I think you'd be shocked how often an attorney gets a call after a decision like this has been made and someone has either threatened or commenced legal action.

In this instance, I'm not sure USC ever considered the YES fee as a change in contract terms. As gamecocklawyer pointed out, it was in economic substance no different than a price increase. The only difference is that a price increase is less tax favorable to people who purchase season tickets than a "seat licensing fee."* It's entirely possible the conversation (more or less) went:

"Well, we'd like to raise some more money and college football is taking off. Let's raise ticket prices."

"We could do that, but we could get the same amount of money and entice people by charging a tax-deductible seat licensing fee instead."

"OK, that sounds even better."

And it never occurred to anyone that that was contractually different than just raising ticket prices. And I see the point that if USC could raise Mr. Lee's (and everyone else's) ticket price by $375, why can't they do the exact same thing in a tax-advantaged way?

Anyways, to your original point, I think you are wildly overestimating the amount of time and money people spend running every business decision by counsel. You're also assuming a memo -- if it existed at all -- wouldn't have concluded that USC would most likely prevail on the merits (not because the judges are biased, actually on the merits). After all, the trial judge and a dissenting opinion sided with USC, so I'd hardly call that a crazy position. If USC genuinely thought they'd win, wouldn't it piss you off if they cut a private deal with a big donor just to make it go away?

Finally, I think you are misinterpreting the judgment. Even if past claims are barred by the SoL, lifetime members can certainly stop paying the fees prospectively.

* On a total aside, and a point probably only of interest to me, I find the tax-advantaged nature of the YES program pretty dubious. Someone posted that the IRS makes a distinction between seat licensing fees and ticket prices. I'm not sure that's really true. I think the IRS turns a blind eye, partly due to political pressure, relatively small stakes, and popularity of NCAA athletics, but turning a blind eye is a lot different than explicitly blessing the position in published guidance. Point being, I think this idea of a seat licensing fee being tax deductible is on extremely shaky legal ground. They obviously have an opinion letter saying it is, but I wouldn't want to be the guy telling a tax court judge those YES fees aren't payments in exchange for tickets.
I don't think I said that the consulting lawyer, if employed pre-breach to discuss the legal issue, would have concluded USC would lose on the merits. I said she would have noted that there was a probability of some type USC would lose, likely using a term like "substantial probability" or something of the sort.

Even if there were no attorney, Eric Hyman and others in his administration were certainly smart enough to know that the YES program would rile up boosters. It specifically targeted some of the advantages some lifetime boosters enjoyed so they had to know there would be some kind of blowback, most probably legal blowback. I think it would be grossly incompetent by the AD not to have a legal analysis done on this beforehand. Eric Hyman was not incompetent. He was extremely savvy in terms of politics and policy-making. So I doubt he was implementing this YES program like some kind of bumbling hillbilly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadR00ster View Post
I don't think that is right. If Mr. Lee sued for breach of contract based on these fees it's probably just considered a "minor breach" that doesn't undo the contract. I think what you are talking about is a "fundamental breach" and that is basically ripping up the contract saying we are doing this anymore. I don't think this over unfortunately. I think USC has lawyers on payroll already and they are forcing these contract holders to sue them to spend money on lawyers. And remember USC won in the lower court. If this is just a minor breach, they can breach again. It's just one legal battle in a longer war that is going to be very costly for these contract holders to keep fighting.
So, lets say USC continues to impose the license fee on the other 199 boosters who got the deal. They knew more than three years ago, USC was not going to honor the agreement. So, now after reading the Supreme Court opinion, they object to paying the license fee because of Mr. Lee's legal opinion. USC says, pack sand and pay up. They sue USC. You are hired to represent USC. You do not plead the statute as an affirmative defense the statute of limitations and file motions for summary judgment based upon it?

Second, if you read the Supreme Court opinion, it states that Mr. Lee's action was one for Declaratory Judgment. That is a different type of claim than a breach of contract claim, which seeks and must prove damages as an element of the claim. I'm not sure the statute of limitations applies to Mr. Lee in view of his pursuing this claim, but it might. The statute of limitations is a bad*ss defense.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:55 AM   #179
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

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Originally Posted by yazoo View Post
The only person who now have a right to continue to enforce the deal is Mr. Lee. The rest of the boosters who made the deal ... well, they slept on their rights and cannot enforce the contract anymore because of the statute of limitations. If they tried to bring breach of contract claims now, their cases would be summarily dismissed.

So, USC wins even though it lost to Mr. Lee in the court case.
Respectfully, I'm not so sure. This is a lifetime contract with an annual breach. Although I understand many have been making payment under protest, although possibly beneficial, arguably even that check annotation was unnecessary. It's reasonable that lifetime right holders could have remained hopeful USC would change its position so as to remove the condition precedent to purchase. What arguably might be lost is the right to recoup paid YES fees beyond the three year limitation, not the right to a declarative judgment as to rights and obligations under a lifetime contractual relationship.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:56 AM   #180
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Default Re: SC Supreme Court Rules against Gamecock Club

I think I would return his money plus a reasonable interest rate and disassociate with him.

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