300 words

In 1988, the Upper Deck Company was a baseball card company with an idea for a better baseball card: one that had a hologram on it. By the 1990s, Upper Deck was a major corporation whose value was at least a quarter of a billion dollars. In 1988, however, the outlook wasn’t bright for Upper Deck, which lacked the funds for a $100,000 deposit it needed to buy some special paper by August 1. Without that deposit, its contract with the Major League Baseball Players Association would have been jeopardized.

Upper Deck’s corporate attorney, Anthony Passante, Jr., loaned the company the money. That evening, the directors of the company accepted the loan and, in gratitude, agreed to give Passante 3 percent of the firm’s stock. Passante never sought to collect the gift of stock, and later the company reneged on its promise. Passante sued for breach of oral contract.1

  1. If you were on the jury, how would you decide the case? (The law of consideration will determine the outcome.) Was the offer of 3 percent of the firm’s stock legal consideration for the loan? Or was it a mere gift?
  2. Does Upper Deck have a moral obligation to give Passante the stock? If so, is this legally enforceable?
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