Dallas Cowboys Football Club, Inc. v. Harris

348 S.W.2d 37 (Tex.Civ.App. 1961)

Dawson, p. 175


Facts: Harris had a contract with the Rams, but signed a contract with the Texans when he was still under contract with the Rams.  The Rams sold his contract to the Cowboys.  The Cowboys sued Harris to keep him from playing for any other team but the Cowboys.  At trial, Harris tried to prove that he was not “unique” in the dictionary sense, and thus a remedy in equity was not warranted.  The jury found for Harris.  The Cowboys appealed.


Issue: What is the meaning of “unique” in a suit in equity?


Rule: A good or service is unique if it cannot easily be acquired elsewhere.


Analysis: The definition of unique presented at trial was wrong.  “Unique”, in terms of a suit in equity, means “not otherwise available at the time”.  In other words, there were other players who were comparable to Harris, but they weren’t available to sign.


Conclusion: The court reversed the trial court’s verdict and ordered a temporary injunction against Harris and a new trial.






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