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JOSEPH GRAMBY AND MEL G. RABIN v. RANDALL COBB AND PAUL CLINITE (11/21/80)

filed: November 21, 1980.

JOSEPH GRAMBY AND MEL G. RABIN
v.
RANDALL COBB AND PAUL CLINITE, APPELLANTS



No. 1363 October Term, 1978, Appeal from Final Decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Division-Equity, No. 1361 August Term, 1977.

COUNSEL

James W. Greenlee, Philadelphia, for appellants.

Richard A. Sprague, Philadelphia, for appellees.

Hester, Wickersham and Lipez, JJ. Lipez, J., concurs in the result.

Author: Hester

[ 282 Pa. Super. Page 185]

Presently before the court is an appeal from the Final Decree of the lower court dismissing appellants' exceptions*fn1 to the lower court's Adjudication and Decree Nisi wherein the lower court concluded: (a) that the agreement between the parties is lawful, binding and enforceable; (b) that appellant Cobb is enjoined and restrained from engaging in prizefighting or other contact sports in violation of his agreement with appellants; and (c) appellant Cobb is enjoined and restrained from entering into any contracts with third persons in violation of the agreement.

We reverse.

The within action in equity was submitted to the Chancellor as a case stated, and on Friday, December 9, 1977, counsel for all parties agreed that following legal arguments, the Chancellor should adjudicate same as a final hearing rather than a preliminary hearing, and that the question of damages, if necessary, would be reserved for a subsequent hearing. Following legal arguments, the lower court issued its Adjudication and Decree Nisi in accordance with the above understanding. Following the timely filing of exceptions and their subsequent dismissal, this appeal followed.

The facts may be briefly summarized as follows: On or about January 26, 1976, appellees and appellant Randall Cobb executed a written Agreement whereby appellees agreed to serve as co-managers for appellant Cobb, and Cobb agreed to render his services as a prizefighter exclusively for the appellees for a period of ten years. Further contained in said Agreement is a provision where Cobb as the fighter and appellees as co-managers would divide evenly (fifty-fifty) all moneys derived from the fight game and related activities. The co-managers further agreed to pay

[ 282 Pa. Super. Page 186]

    all training, traveling and other related expenses. There was no provision for a minimum salary to be paid by the co-managers to the fighter Cobb. In addition, at paragraph 9 of said Agreement, it is provided that: "Any and all disputes arising under this contract shall be decided by the State Law of Pennsylvania, and that should court action be necessary to enforce any of the terms of this contract, that the proper forum for such action shall be the State Courts of Pennsylvania . . . ."

Cobb began his training and subsequently engaged in six prizefights, winning all by knock-out; although some of the fights were not arranged, supervised or handled by the appellees. Thereafter, Cobb advised the appellees that he was not bound by the terms of the ten-year personal service contract and that same was null and void. Thus, appellees brought the instant action in equity in an attempt to enforce the Agreement or, stated differently, to enjoin Cobb from fighting in violation of same.

Appellant Cobb contends that the agreement is void ab initio for the reason that it is in direct violation of the Pennsylvania Athletic Code, the Commission established thereunder, and its rules and regulations. The appellees contend and the lower court agreed, that the Pennsylvania Athletic Code is inapplicable to the parties' ...


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