Contract Void for Illegality

Unaware that the law prohibited the creation of a professional association between doctors and non-doctors, the plaintiff, Andrew Small (a medical doctor) formed a joint practice with the Parker brothers (two chiropractors).  The association operated for several years, but ended in 2003.  After the relationship ended, Small sought to establish that he should have been paid more under the the entity’s articles or association, so he brought suit.  The Court of Appeals, however, rejected Small’s claim because, under Texas law, it is illegal for a doctor to jointly own a professional association with non-doctors.  Accordingly, the Court voided the contract on the ground that “a contract to do a thing which cannot be performed without violation of the law is void.”

Small v. Parker Healthcare

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