A recent case points out the need to tie up stock option treatment when an executive “voluntarily” resigns to avoid being fired. When Richard Garriott was told by Ncsoft that his time there was over, he agreed to a press release about his leaving “to pursue other interests”. Ncsoft then said that Garriott had only 90 days to exercise his stock options because he had voluntarily resigned, rather than an extended period if he had been involuntarily terminated. Both a jury and an appeals court found that Garriott should have had more time to exercise his options and awarded him the value that he lost by the forced earlier exercise. This is a reminder that stock options are contracts and an executive can win contract damages, like lost opportunity cost, in some cases.