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Case Synopsis

Ringle was the owner of the Stagecoach Casino and Hotel in Beatty, Nevada and hired Bruton in June 1992 to work as the general manager of the facility. Bruton agreed to a two-year contract with an annual gross salary of $44,990 as well as $1,800 in monthly bonuses provided certain goals were reached. Bruton was employed at the Stagecoach for four years. After two years, the parties did not execute a new contract, nor did they renew the old contract. After the contract expired in 1994, Ringle provided Bruton with a company car as well as periodic raises for which Bruton did not negotiate. In June 1996, four years after the original contract was executed, the parties argued and Bruton’s employment ended. The parties dispute whether Bruton was fired or left of his own volition. In March 1997, Bruton sued Ringle alleging several contract and tort claims. Ringle moved for summary judgment, asserting that Bruton had no contract claims because after the contract expired in June 1994 Bruton became an at-will employee. The district court denied summary judgment, finding that material issues of fact remained.

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