Entering into or Signing a Contract Without Fully Reading and Understanding the Terms


H. Golightly is a professional football player who has played for the Toronto Mercenaries (“Mercs”) for the past 3 football seasons.  The Toronto Mercs are a member of the Eastern Conference of the Trans-Canada Football League.  Golightly lives in the southern United States during the off-season.
Golightly had an exceptionally good season last year and was in a good bargaining position for negotiating his salary for this season when he met with Rusty Trawler, the general manager of the Mercs last January.  The parties discussed salary possibilities for the next 2 seasons in a tentative way but adjourned their meeting, expecting to come to final terms in early April.

In February, the Trans-Canada Football League had its annual meeting in Vancouver. At that meeting it was decided to increase the number of regular games scheduled to be played in the Eastern Conference from the usual 14 over many previous seasons to 16 commencing with the current season.  By contrast, the Western Conference already had a schedule of 16 games for several seasons; this decision brought the Eastern Conference in line with the Western Conference.  It received wide publicity in the news media of the various cities with teams in the Eastern Conference.

Last April 3, Golightly telephoned Trawler from Biloxi, Mississippi, and they agreed to meet on April 6 in the offices of O.J. Berman, Q.C., Golightly’s solicitor in Toronto.  The meeting between Golightly, Trawler, and Berman lasted about 3 hours.  Eventually it was agreed that Golightly should b paid $150,000 for the current season and $225,000 for the following year, plus further amounts for playoffs and bonuses; 2 separate contracts were signed to cover the 2 seasons.  AT the time, neither Golightly nor his lawyer, Berman, had any knowledge that the number of league games in the Easter Football Conference had been increased from 14 to 16.  In fact, the parties did not refer in any way to the number of games in their meeting in Berman’s office.  Trawler made no mention of the increased schedule.  The contracts simply stated, the Player agrees that during the term of this contract he will play football and will engage in activities related to football only for the Club and will play for the Club in all it Conference’s scheduled and playoff game.

The contract also contained a clause to the effect that the player could be traded to a team in the Western Conference. It was not until later, when Golightly reported for training, that he learned about the increase in the schedule.  He then claimed that he would not have agreed to the salaries of $150 000 and $225 000, respectively, had he known about this change; he would have bargained for more.  On Berman’s advice, he brought an action to have these contracts set aside with a view to their renegotiation. Express an opinion, with reasons, about whether this action should succeed.  



The question belongs to Law and it discusses about entering into a contract without fully reading and understanding the terms of the contract. A player signs a contract unknowing about the recent changes in game schedule and increase in the number of matches per season. The player is looking for legal remedies.

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