Jump to content

Buyouts = Liquidated Damages. Hey Lawyers?

Recommended Posts

Something to do while I wait:


Someone on this board asked whether the "buyout" in Cristobal's contract can be enforce---whether the school can get the $9 million.   So this retired lawyer puts this out: Can the liquidated damages provisions in the employment contract between the U of O and Cristobal be enforced.  Here is a link to the contract.



Parties to a contract may (with qualifications) agree on what is owed as damages for certain types contract breaches.  Those agree upon damages are called liquidated damages.  This contract has two liquidated damages provisions.   


Section 6.2 Termination by University (not for cause) provides that if the school fired Cristobal without cause that the school must pay 80% of the base pay left on the contract. (base pay is called Guaranteed Salary in the contract). Note that per 6.2.c there is a duty of the coach to mitigate meaning that the coach has the duty to make reasonable efforts to get a job which would reduce what he is owed.  Of course, we don't care about this liquidated damage provision as Cristobal wasn't fired.  However this provision does show bargaining by the parties on how to deal with termination which is something a judge would likely consider if the U of O had to sue Cristobal in order to be paid the $9 million.


Section 6.3 Termination by Coach is what we care about.  And yes 6.3.c says Cristobal owes $9 million if he quits before January 14, 2022.  Note the language in 6.3.d and e.  Those words go to the enforcement of such a damage provision.  Was the language bargained for by the parties?  Are the actual damages to the university difficult or impossible to determine?   Is this a penalty?  (penalties usually can't be enforced). Is this an illegal restraint of trade?  (which is more closely looked at in employment cases than other areas)?  


Other than Google, I don't have much in the way of research capabilities.  I didn't find a case relating to coaching contracts.  There are some journal articles but nothing definitive.

My guess is that given the context and language of the contract that the liquidated damage provisions would be enforced.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well DuckHeart....I've enjoyed your posts, and this is one that perhaps one of the boatload of attorneys that read/post here can offer their thoughts on as well.  Quite interesting..

Mr. FishDuck

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good info.


Since Cristobal and his representatives would be expected to be aware of the school’s history of honoring and enforcing liquidated damages, is acceptance of the liquidated damages of this contract expected?

Link to post
Share on other sites

My concern comes from the last contract with slick didn't see him leaving, no compensation. This one saw it coming, but was it truly written up correctly. I know the devil is in the details. Thanks for taking this on. 


The one detail is we better not leave the Pac-12 in the next 90 days, or Mario won't owe us the cash, per 6.3d. Crazy stuff, but he has 90 days to pay or, who knows? We steal their turnover necklace and hold it hostage, like a fraternity would?



  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...