When an entertainment contract is signed, both parties need to make sure it is done to the letter of the law - especially long-term contracts. A lot can happen over the length of a contract, and one or the other may decide they want to break it. It takes only one mistake sometimes to have the contract disputed as invalid.
Boxer Andre Ward, who is considered the No. 2 boxer in the world, has decided he wants out of his nine-year contract with his manager and promoter, Dan Goossen. His reason: He wants to make his mark. He is going on 20 years of boxing and has never been in one of the big fights on pay-per-view. That is where the money is.
Ward figures he may not have that much time left, due to his age and injuries, and if he is going to make his mark, it better be soon. The problem is that his contract with Goossen is through September 2015. He figures the only way to promote himself is to get out of the contract, which he already tried and failed once through arbitration.
Ward has now filed a lawsuit to be released from the contract. His lawyer allegedly plans to argue that the contract with Goossen-Tutor Promotions violates the California Labor Code. The contract spans nine years, and personal services contracts are only allowed to be for seven years. This argument was apparently a precedent used in a 2001 case for Oscar De La Hoya against his promoter.
This one minor glitch in the contract could turn things in Ward's favor, but it will depend on the judge and how he sees it. If the judge stands on the California Labor Code, he could find the entertainment contract null and void, releasing Ward for bigger and better things.
Source: contracostatimes.com, "Boxer Andre Ward's lawsuit against promoter all about visibility and cash" Jeff Faraudo, Dec. 25, 2013