SCOTT EDEN MANAGEMENT v. KAVOVIT

Issue
Contract Parties: Minors
Rules
-“With respect to contracts entered into by Andrew…during the term of this agreement…Scott Eden shall be entitled to its commission from the residuals or royalties of such contracts, the full term of such contracts, including all extensions or renewals thereof, notwithstanding the earlier termination of this agreement.”
-An infant’s contract is voidable and the infant has an absolute right to disaffirm.
-“After disaffirmance, the infant is not entitled to be put in a position superior to such a one as he would have occupied if he had never entered into his voidable agreement. He is not entitled to retain an advantage from a trisection which he repudiates. ‘The privilege of infancy is to be used as a shield and not as a sword.'”
Analysis
-In this case of first impression, an infant actor has disaffirmed a personal service contract. He thereby seeks to avoid responsibility to his manager for commission due in the future on income from performance contracts already obtained for him by the manager
-In this case, the infant will continue to reap the benefits of his contract with plaintiff but is using his infancy as an excuse not to honor the promise made in return for that benefit.
Conclusion
In this case, adjustment of the equities so as to prevent unjust enrichment, leads to the conclusion that defendants must continue to pay to plaintiffs all commissions to which plaintiffs would be entitled under their contract, as they become due.
Contract Parties: Minors (FYI)
-Under the common law, a minor could not bind him/her to a contract.
-While minors did have to pay for “necessary” goods that had been received and used, they could not be constrained by contractual promises made for the future.
-Minors could perform work on a specific project (i.e., a movie) and ve paid for it, but they could not legally comment themselves to do so for an extended period.
-The common law presumed that minors needed a legal prerogative to disaffirm their contract obligations (either before or soon after reading the age o majority), because their youth and inexperience left them susceptible to ill-considered promises, or even deliberate exploitation.
-A party contracting with a child, then, bore the risk that the child (or the child’s parents) could maintain and enforce contracts that were favorable, but reject those that turned out to be poor deals