******2017 Hypothticals (Revised) for this course

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******2017 Hypothticals (Revised) for this course

Post by Waterstone » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:01 pm



1A In 1951, Dispute arose between steel companies and their employees about terms and conditions that should be included in a new labor contract. At the time, United States engaged in a military conflict in Korea that required substantial steel resources from which to make weapons and other military goods. On April 4, 1952 the steelworkers union gave notice of a nationwide strike called to begin at 12:01 A.M. on April 9. The indispensability of steel as a component for weapons and other war materials led President Truman to believe that the proposed strike would Jeopardize the national defense and that governmental seizure of the steel mills was necessary in order to ensure continued availability of steel. Therefore, a few hours before the strike was to begin. The president Issued Executive Order 0340, which directed the secretary of commerce to take possession of most of the steel mills and keep them running. The steel companies obeyed the order under protest and brought proceedings against the President. Was the seizure of the steel mills constitutional?


3A In 1972, Congress enacted a federal statute, called the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, establishing uniform standards for the operation of boats on inland waterways in the United States. The Act coordinated its provisions with those of foreign countries so that there was a uniform body of international rules that applied to vessels that traveled between countries. Pursuant to the Act, Federal rule adopted that regulated the design, length, and size of oil tankers, some of which traveled the waters of the Puget Sound area in the state of Washington. Oil tankers from various places entered Puget Sound to bring crude oil to refineries located in Washington. In 1975, the state of Washington enacted a statute that established different designs, smaller lengths, and smaller sizes for oil tankers serving Puget Sound than allowed by the federal law. Oil tankers used by the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) to bring oil into Puget Sound met the federal standards but not the state standards. ARCO sued to have the state statute declared unconstitutional. Who wins?

4A Most trucking firms, including Consolidated Freightways Corporation (Consolidated), use 65-foot-long "double" trailer trucks to ship commodities on the highway system across the United States. Almost all states permit vehicles on their highways. The federal government does not regulate length of trucks that can use the nation's highways. The state of Iowa enacted a statute that restricts the length of trucks that can use highways in the state to 55 feet. This means that if Consolidated wants to move goods through Iowa it must either use smaller trucks or detach the double trailers and shuttle them through the state separately. Its only other alternative is to divert its 65-foot doubles around Iowa. Consolidated filed suit against Iowa alleging that the state statute is unconstitutional. Is it?

5 A 5 A The city of Osh Gosh (City), Wisconsin enacted a city zoning ordinance prohibiting outdoor advertising display signs�including billboards. Identification signs at a business location were exempted. The city based the restrictions on traffic safety and esthetics. Companies engaged in the business of leasing commercial billboards to advertisers sued City, alleging that the zoning ordinance is unconstitutional? What argument would City make to the Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of this law? And what response favorable to City might the Supreme Court make?





Nutrilab manufactures and markets a product known as "Starch Blockers." The purpose of the product is to block the human body's digestion of starch as an aid in controlling weight. On July 1, 1982, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified Starch Blockers as a drug and requested that they be removed from the market until the FDA approved of their use. The FDA claimed that it had the right to classify new products as drugs and prevent their distribution until their safety is determined. Nutrilab disputes the FDA's decision and wants to bring suit to halt the FDA's actions. Do the federal courts have jurisdiction to hear this case?




Saul and Elaine Mozuck borrowed money from Peoples Trust Company and cosigned a promissory note promising to repay. When Peoples Trust contacted the Mozucks about payment, the Mozucks denied liability on the ground that the bank improperly filled in the due date on the note. Peoples Trust filed suit against the Mozucks in LA SUPERIOR COURT. A process server went to the Mozuck's home in Chatsworth to serve the summons. The process server rang the bell at the home and a woman appeared at the upstairs window. The process server asked her if she was Mrs. Mozuck, the woman replied in the affirmative. When the process server identified himself, the woman denied she was Mrs. Mozuck and refused to come out of the house. The process server told the woman he would leave the papers in the mailbox if she refused to open the door. When the woman did not reappear, the process server placed the summons in the mailbox and left. Is the service of process good? Remember to tell me why you decided the way you have. If the service is good, what next? If the service is not good, what next?



The National Enquirer, Inc., Florida corporation; principal place of business in Florida. It publishes the National Enquirer, national weekly newspaper with total circulation of more than 5 million copies. About 600,000 copies, almost twice the level of the next highest state, sold in California. 10/9/79, published article about Shirley Jones, an entertainer. Jones, a California resident, filed lawsuit in California state court against Enquirer and its president, a resident of Florida. The suit sought damages for alleged defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Are the defendants subject to suit in California? [California Case]


5/9/83, attorneys for Ronald Schiavone filed lawsuit against Fortune magazine in U.S. district court in New Jersey. Complaint claimed Fortune had defamed Schiavone in cover story titled "The Charges against Reagan's Labor Secretary," which appeared in the 5/31/82, issue. The complaint named Fortune as defendant. Fortune, however, only a trademark owned by Time, Incorporated, a N.Y. corporation. Time, Incorporated, refused to accept service of the complaint because it had not been named as defendant. Has there been proper service of process?


Captain Conrad, pilot for Delta Airlines. In 1970, Conrad forced to resign by airline. Sued, alleging that he discharged due to his prounion activities, not because of poor job performance, as claimed by Delta. During discovery, report written by Delta flight operations manager was produced that stated: "More than a few crew members claimed that Conrad professed to being a leftist-activist. His overactivity with the local pilots' union, coupled with inquiries regarding company files to our secretary', lead to the conclusion that potential trouble will be avoided by acceptance of his resignation." Conrad claims that report is evidence of the antiunion motivation for his discharge. Delta made a summary judgment motion to the trial court. Should its summary judgment motion be granted?


11/9/65, Simblest driving car collided with fire engine at an intersection (in Burlington, Vermont.) Occurred on the night a power blackout left most of state w/o lights. Simblest, injured, sued driver of fire truck for damages. During trial, Simblest testified when he entered intersection, traffic light was green in his favor. All of the other witnesses testified the traffic light had gone dark at least 10 minutes before the accident. Simblest testified accident caused by fire truck's failure to use any warning lights or sirens. Simblest's testimony contradicted by four witnesses testified fire truck had used both lights and sirens. Jury found driver of fire truck had been negligent and rendered a verdict for Simblest. Defense made a motion for judgment n.o.v. Who wins?



On September 16, 1975, the Baltimore Orioles professional baseball team was at Boston's Fenway Park to play the Boston Red Sox. Ross Grimsley was a pitcher for the visiting Baltimore club. During one period of the game, Grimsley was warming up in the bullpen, throwing pitches to a catcher. During this warmup, Boston spectators in the stands heckled Grimsley. After Grimsley had completed warming up and the catcher had left from behind the plate in the bullpen, Grimsley wound up as if he were going to throw the ball in his hand at the plate, then turned, glared and threw at one of the hecklers in the stand. The ball traveled at about 80 miles an hour, missed the heckler whom Grimsley was aiming at. The heckler passed out in fright before the ball reached him. The thrown ball hit a little old lady spectator and badly injured her. Does anyone have a lawsuit against Grimsley and if so what tort(s) are they suing for?


At about 7:30 P.M. on September 8, 1976, Deborah A. Johnson entered a Kmart store located in Madison, Wisconsin, to purchase some diapers and several cans of motor oil. She took her small child along to enable her to purchase the correct size diapers, carrying the child in an infant seat, which she had purchased at Kmart two or three weeks previously. A large Kmart price tag was still attached to the infant seat. Johnson purchased the diapers and oil and some children's clothes. She was in a hurry to leave because it was 8:00 P.M., her child's feeding time, and she hurried through the checkout lane. She paid for the diapers, the oil, and the clothing. Just after leaving the store she heard someone ask her to stop. She turned around and saw a Kmart security officer. He showed her a badge and asked her to come back into the store, which she did. The man stated, "I have reason to believe that you have stolen this car seat." Johnson explained that she had purchased the seat previously. She demanded to see the manager, who was called to the scene. When Johnson pointed out that the seat had cat hairs, food crumbs, and milk stains on it, the man said, "I'm really sorry, there's been a terrible mistake. You can go." Johnson looked at the clock when she left, which read 8:20 P.M. Johnson sued Kmart for false imprisonment. Is Kmart liable?


A.C. Wade operated a liquor store in Cordele, Georgia. Because the store had been burglarized on several occasions and money had been stolen from a cigarette vending machine. Wade booby-trapped the machine with dynamite with the intent to scare away thieves when they tried to steal money from the vending machine. Robert McKinsey, a 16-year-old, was killed when the dynamite attached to the vending machine exploded when McKinsey was burglarizing the liquor store. Mrs. Ella McKinsey, Robert's mother, although admitting her son was committing a crime at the time he was killed, brought action for damages against Wade for the wrongful death of her son. Who wins?


In January 1984, George Yanase was a paying guest at the Royal Lodge-Downtown Motel (Royal) in San Diego, California. Yanase was a member of the Automobile Club of Southern California (Auto Club). The Auto Club publishes a "Tourbook" in which it lists hotels and motels and rates the quality of their services, including the cleanliness of rooms, quality of the restaurant, level of personal service, and the like. Yanase had selected the Royal from the Tourbook. On the night of his stay at the Royal, Yanase was shot in the parking lot adjacent to the motel and died as a result of his injuries. Yanase's widow sued Auto Club for negligence. Is the Auto Club liable?




On March 21, 1980, Julius Ebanks set out from his home in East Elmhurst, Queens, New York, en route to his employment in the downtown district of Manhattan. When Ebanks reached the Bowling Green subway station, he boarded an escalator owned and operated by the New York City Transit Authority (Transit Authority). While the escalator was ascending, Ebanks' left foot became caught in a two-inch gap between the escalator step on which he was standing and the side wall of the escalator. Ebanks was unable to free himself. When he reached the top of the escalator he was thrown to the ground, fracturing his hip and suffering other serious injuries. The two-inch gap exceeded the three-eighths-inch standard required by the city's building code. Ebanks sued the Transit Authority to recover damages for his injuries. Who wins?
Negligence Per Se


Elsie Mack was admitted as a patient to the Lydia E. Hall Hospital for a surgical procedure for the treatment of rectal cancer. Dr. Joseph Jahr was the surgeon in charge of the operation. An anesthesiologist, nurses, and other hospital personnel assisted with the operation. An electrical instrument called an electrocosgulator was used during the surgery to coagulate Mack's blood vessels and stop the bleeding. A component part of the electrocosgulator known as a grounding pad was placed on Mack's left thigh and remained there throughout the surgery. While under anesthesia. Mack sustained third-degree burns on the side of her left thigh during the course of surgery. This was because the pad came in lull contact with Mack's skin tissue. When the grounding pad was removed at the conclusion of the operation, a burn more than one-half inch deep and over two inches in diameter was discovered where the pad had been. The burn was excised along with the nerves and a two and three-fourths-inch scar remains. Mack sued the hospital, Dr. Jahr, and other medical personnel to recover damages caused by their negligence. Does the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur apply to this lawsuit? Res Ipsa Loquitur

4.8 THROUGH 4.11



On August 10, 1983, Gregory and Demetria James, brother and sister, were riding their bicycles north on 50th Street in Omaha, Nebraska. Spaulding Street intersects 50th Street. A garbage truck owned by Watts Trucking Service, Inc. (Watts), and driven by its employee, John Milton Lieb (Lieb), was backing up into the intersection of 50th and Spaulding streets. The truck backed into the intersection of 50th and Spaulding streets, through a stop sign, and hit and ran over Demelria, killing her. Gregory helplessly watched the entire accident but was not in danger himself. As a result of watching his sister's peril, Gregory suffered severe emotional distress. Gregory sued Watts and Lieb to recover damages for his emotional distress. Who wins?

4.13 Defense

On the night of June 13, 1975, the New York Yankees professional baseball team played the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium, New York. Elliot Maddox played center field for the Yankees that night. It had rained the day before, and the previous night's game had been canceled because of bad weather. On the evening of June 13 the playing field was still wet, and Maddox commented on this fact several times to the club's manager but continued to play. In the ninth inning, when Maddox was attempting to field a ball in center field, he slipped on a wet spot, fell, and injured his right knee. Maddox sued the City of New York that owned the Stadium, the Metropolitan Baseball Club, Inc., as lessee, the architect, the consulting engineer, and the American League. Maddox alleged that the parties were negligent in causing the field to be wet, and that the injury ended his professional career. Who wins?


Contract Hypotheticals


On Jan. 23, 1974, Mr. Adams, V.P. of Washington Bank & Trust Co., met with Bruce Bickham. They reached an greement: Bickham agreed to do personal and corporate banking business w/bank, and bank agreed to loan Bickham money at 7-1/2% interest per annum. Bickham had 10 years to repay loans. January 1974 to September 1976, bank made several loans to Bickham at 7-1/2% interest. In September 1976, Adams resigned from bank. Bank notified Bickham that general economic changes made it necessary to charge higher rate of interest on both outstanding and new loans, Bickham sued bank for breach of contract. Was the contract bilateral or a unilateral contract? Does Bickham win?


October 1964 through May 1970, Lee Marvin, an actor, lived with Michelle Marvin. They were not married. In May 1970, Lee Marvin compelled Michelle Marvin to leave household. He continued to support her until November 1971, thereafter refused to provide further support. During time together, Lee Marvin earned substantial income and acquired property, including motion-picture rights worth more than $1M. Michelle Marvin brought action, alleging an implied-in-fact contract existed between them and she was entitled to half of the property they had acquired while living together. She claimed she had given up lucrative career as an entertainer and singer to be a full-time companion, homemaker, housekeeper, and cook. Can an implied-in-fact contract result from conduct of unmarried persons who live together?


On July 24, 1973, Warren Treece appeared before the Washington State Gambling Commission to testify on an application for a license to distribute punch-boards. During his testimony, Treece made the following statement: "I'll put a hundred thousand dollars to anyone to find a crooked board. If they find it, I'll pay it." The next day, Vernon Barnes watched a television news report of the proceeding and heard Treece's statement. He also read a newspaper report of the hearings that quoted Treece's statement. A number of years earlier, while employed as a bartender, Barnes had obtained two fraudulent punchboards. When Barnes presented the two crooked punchboards to Treece and demanded payment of the $100,000, Treece refused to pay. Did Treece's statement form the basis for an enforceable contract?


Ben Hunt and others operated a farm under the name S. B. H. Farms. Hunt went to Mcllroy Bank and Trust and requested a loan to build hog houses, buy livestock, and expand farming operations. The bank agreed to loan S. B. H. Farms $175,000, for which short-term promissory notes were signed by Hunt and the other owners of S. B. H. Farms. At that time, oral discussions were held with the bank officer regarding long-term financing of S. B. H.'s farming operations; no dollar amount, interest rate, or repayment terms were discussed. When the owners of S. B. H. Farms defaulted on the promissory notes, the bank filed for foreclosure on the farm and other collateral. S. B. H. Farms counterclaimed for $750,000 damages, alleging that the bank breached its oral contract to provide long-term financing. Was there an oral contract for long-term financing?


MacDon Group, Ltd. (MacDon) was the managing general partner of Fresno Fashion Square, regional shopping mall in Fresno, California. The mall has several major anchor tenants and numerous smaller stores and shops, including Edmond's of Fresno, a jeweler. In 1969, Edmond's signed a lease with MacDon that provided "there shall not be more than two jewelry stores" located in the mall. In 1978, MacDon sent Edmond's notice it intended to expand the mall and lease space to other jewelers. The lease was silent as to the coverage of additional mall space. Edmond's sued MacDon, arguing that the lease applied to mall additions. Who wins? [California Case]


Rudy Turilli operated the "Jesse James Museum" in Stanton, Missouri. He contends the man who was shot, killed, and buried as the notorious desperado Jesse James in 1882 was an impostor and Jesse James lived for many years thereafter under the alias J. Frank Dalton and last lived with Turilli at his museum until the 1950s. On February 27, 1967, Turilli appeared before a nationwide television audience and stated he would pay $10,000 to anyone who could prove his statements wrong. After hearing this offer, Stella James, a relative of Jesse James, produced affidavits of persons related to and acquainted with Jesse James family constituting evidence Jesse James was killed as alleged in song and legend on April 3, 1882. When Turilli refused to pay the reward, James sued for breach of contract. Who wins?




General Motors Corporation requested bids from contractors to construct a central air-conditioning unit at its Mesa, Arizona, proving grounds. Burr & Sons Construction Co. (Burr) decided to submit a bid to be the general contractor, and itself requested bids from subcontractors to do some of the work. Corbin-Dykes Electric Company submitted a bid to Burr to do the electrical work on the project. Burr incorporated Corbin-Dykes's bid in its own bid to General Motors. When Burr was awarded the General Motors' contract, it hired another subcontractor�not Corbin-Dykes�to do the electrical work. Corbin-Dykes sued Burr for breach of contract. Was a contract formed between Corbin-Dykes and Burr?


Peter Andrus owned an apartment building that he had insured under a fire insurance policy sold by J. C. Durick Insurance (Durick). Two months prior to the expiration of the policy, Durick notified Andrus the building should be insured for $48,000 (or 80% of building's value) required by the insurance company. Andrus replied (1) he wanted insurance to match the amount of the outstanding mortgage on the building (i.e., $24,000) and (2) if Durick could not sell this insurance he would go elsewhere. Durick sent a new insurance policy in the face amount of $48,000 with the notation that the policy was automatically accepted unless Andrus notified him to the contrary. Andrus did not reply. However, he did not pay the premiums on the policy. Durick sued Andrus to recover these premiums. Who wins?




Jenks and Monk owned a building in Sacramento. In 1979, they leased a building to Tuneup Masters for five years. The lease provided Tuneup Masters could extend the lease for additional five years if it gave written notice of its intention to do so by certified or registered mail at least six months prior to expiration of lease, or August 1, 1983. On July 29, 1983, Larry Selditz, vice president of Tuneup Masters, prepared a letter exercising the option, prepared and sealed an envelope with the letter in it, prepared U.S. Postal Service Form 3800 and affixed the certified mail sticker on the envelope, and had his secretary deliver the envelope to the Postal Service annex located on the ground floor of the office building. Postal personnel occupied the annex only between the hours of 9 and 10 A.M. At the end of each day, between 5 and 5:15 P.M., a postal employee picked up outgoing mail. The letter to the landlords was lost in the mail. The landlords thereafter refused to renew the lease and brought an unlawful detainer action against Tuneup Masters. Was the notice renewing the option effective? [California case]


Clyde and Betty Penley were married in 1949. In late 1967, Clyde operated automotive tire business and Betty owned an interest in a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise. That year, when Betty became ill, she requested Clyde begin spending additional time at the KFC franchise to ensure its continued operation. Subsequently, Betty asked if Clyde would devote full time to the KFC franchise they would operate the business as a joint enterprise, share equally in the ownership of its assets, and divide its returns equally. Pursuant to this agreement, Clyde terminated his tire business and devoted his full time to the KFC franchise. On December 31, 1979, Betty abandoned Clyde and denied him any rights in the KFC franchise. Clyde sued to enforce the agreement with Betty. Is the agreement enforceable?


When John W. Frasier died, he left a will that devised certain of his community and separate property to his wife, Lena, and their three children. These devises were more valuable to Lena than just her interest in the community property she would otherwise have received w/out the will. The devise to her, however, was conditioned upon the filing of a waiver by Lena of her interest in the community property, and if she failed to file the waiver, she would then receive only her interest in the community property and nothing more. Lena hired her brother, D. L. Carter, an attorney, to represent her. Carter failed to file the waiver on Lena's behalf, thus preventing her from receiving her inheritance under the will. Instead, she received her interest in the community property, which was $19,358 less than she would have received under the will. Lena told Carter she was going to sue him for professional negligence as she was economically damaged.

Attempting to avoid this lawsuit, Carter sent Lena the following; letter: Lena: This is to advise you that in the event the J. W. Frasier estate case now on appeal is not terminated so that you will receive settlement equal to your share of the estate as you would have done if your waiver had been filed in the estate in proper time, I will make up any balance to you including interest on your loss at 6%.

Lena sent the following letter as a reply to Carter: O.K.

The appeal was decided against Lena. When she tried to enforce the agreement/contract against Carter, he alleged that the agreement/contract was not enforceable because it was not supported by valid consideration. Who wins?


A. J. Whitmire and R. Lee Whitmire, brothers. From 1923 to 1929, A. J. lived with his brother and his brother's wife, Lillie Mae. During this period, A. J. performed various services for his brother and sister-in-law. In 1925, R. Lee and Lillie Mae purchased some land. In 1944, in the presence of Lillie Mae, R. Lee told A. J., "When we're gone, this land is yours." A. J. had not done any work for R. Lee or Lillie Mae since 1929, and none was expected or provided in the future. On May 26, 1977, after both R. Lee and Lillie Mae had died, A. J. filed a claim with the estate of Lillie Mae seeking specific performance of the 1944 promise. Does A. J. get the property?




Milton Polinger pledged $200K as a charitable subscription to the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Washington, Inc. (UJA). Not for a specific purpose and not made in consideration of pledges by others, and UJA borrowed no money against this pledge. Pledge was to the UJA generally and to the Israel Emergency Fund. After paying $76,500 toward the pledge, Polinger died and Maryland National Bank was appointed representative of the Polinger estate. The UJA filed claim against estate for balance of $133,500. Bank, denied claim, alleging promise unenforceable for lack of consideration. Who wins?




Facts: Wurth signed a pledge agreement that stated that in consideration of his interest in education, he promised, AND STATED HE EXPECTED TO BE BOUND, to pay D.University $150,000., planning to endow a scholarship. He died before the money was transferred. The estate argued that there was no real consideration given and refused to transfer the funds. D. sued.
Issue: Was the Pledge Agreement supported by consideration and therefore enforceable against the estate of Wurth?
Decision: Yes.
Reason: The Court held that there was consideration because Wurth expressly accepted the terms within the pledge. FURTHERMORE: THERE WAS TO BE A SCHOLARSHIP FUNDED IN HIS NAME.


James Halbman, Jr., a minor, entered a contract to purchase a 1968 Oldsmobile automobile from Michael Lemke. Halbman paid $1K cash; agreed to pay $25/week until paid. Five weeks later, the connecting rod on the vehicle's engine broke, Halbman took it to a garage, it was repaired at a of cost $637.40. Halbman refused to pay repairs, disaffirmed contract w/ Lemke, notified Lemke where the car was located. The Garage legally satisfied garageman's lien by removing vehicle's engine, and towed it to Halbman's residence. Halbman notified Lemke to remove it, Lemke refused. Subsequently the car was vandalized and rendered worthless and unsalvageable. Halbman sued to disaffirm contract and recover consideration from Lemke. Lemke argued Halbman must make full restitution. Who is correct?


Ken purchased an automobile from Fred Howe Motors, Inc. Ken was a minor of 17 years of age, married, the father of a child, and emancipated by marriage, from his parents. Ken then disaffirmed, claiming his rights as a minor. Howe urged emancipated minors are an exception to and legally responsible for their contracts. Can Ken disaffirm?


Smith, a minor, purchased an automobile from Bobby Floars Toyota 8/1/73. Smith executed security agreement to finance part of balance due, agreeing to pay off the balance in 30 monthly installments. On 9/25/73, Smith turned 18, age of majority. Smith made 10 monthly payments after turning 18. Then decided to disaffirm & stopped payments. Smith claimed he could disaffirm. Toyota argued Smith ratified since attaining majority. Who is correct?


Rogers, 17-year-old emancipated by marriage minor, had to quit engineering school and go to work to support his wife and expected baby. Rogers contracted w/ Gastonia employment agency, agreeing to pay Gastonia a $295 fee if it found employment for him. Soon he was employed by a company referred by Gastonia. Rogers sought to disaffirm. Gastonia claimed contract was for necessaries. Who wins?

21. Amended on 10/21/09

Dwain, an 17-year-old minor, lived w/his widowed mother. Violet. After numerous arguments regarding people he associated with, Dwain and his mother agreed he should move out and support himself. Dwain took his personal belongings; moved from his home in L.A. to San Francisco, he received no further support from his mother. While living in S.F. , Dwain was shot and taken to the hospital for treatment. He remained hospitalized for two weeks. The hospital sought payment from Violet. She refused, and the hospital turned the matter over to a collection agency who brought action against Violet. Is Violet liable for her son's medical expenses? If she doesn't pay will anyone pay?


Joan was adjudicated insane. She executed a quitclaim and warranty deed conveying real estate she owned to her guardian, Neal. Neal subsequently conveyed the real estate to Bea by a warranty deed. Weathers, Joan's present guardian, brought action seeking a Court decree that title be restored to Joan because of her inability to contract. Should Joan be allowed to void the contract?

23. Revised 3/21/12
Bea was an alcoholic, she signed a settlement agreement upon divorce from her husband, Henry. The agreement met all of Henry's demands, including giving him full ownership of their house, awarding him 100% of the funds they had accumulated during their marriage, and total custody of their three children. Henry, in Bea's absence in court, stated she had lucid intervals from alcoholism, had been sober two months, and was lucid when she signed the settlement agreement on 9/22/78. Bea moved to vacate the settlement agreement on 9/27/78, after she retained present legal counsel. On 1/23/79, Bea was declared incompetent to handle her person and her affairs, and a guardian and conservator was appointed. Bea, through her guardian, sued to have the settlement agreement voided. Who wins?


In 1972, Jordas, Inc., suspected and accused one of its employees, Al of theft. The union which Al belonged to negotiated an oral contract with Jordas whereby Al agreed to accept permanent layoff if Jordas did not report the suspected theft to state's unemployment agency so Al could collect unemployment benefits. Jordas agreed. It's a Crime for an employer and employee to w/hold relevant information from state's unemployment agency. Jordas subsequently reported the suspected theft; Al was denied unemployment benefits. Al sued Jordas for damages for breach of contract. Can Al recover?


Strict paid an unsolicited $2,500 bribe to Judge Wood so the judge would be lenient on friend of Strick's who had a case pending before Judge Wood. Paying a bribe to a government official is a crime. Wood reported the incident; and turned the money over to state's attorney general. Maryland indicted Strick for bribery; sentenced him to four years in prison. Strick filed motion to recover $2,500 from the state. Can Strick recover the money?


Hawaii requires a person who wants to practice architecture meet certain educational requirements and pass a written exam before granted license to practice. After receiving license, an architect must pay annual $15 license fee. In 1967, Wills satisfied initial requirements; granted architecture license. Renewed by paying annual fee until April 1971. Then failed to pay annual fee. February 1972, Wills contracted w/Kealak Ranch, Ltd., and Gentk (defendants) to provide architectural services for a Ranch Center Project. During period February 1972 through May 1972, Wills provided $33,994 of architectural services to defendants. Defendants refused to pay because Wills did not have an architectural license. Wills sued to collect his fees. Who wins?



28. Revised: 10/26/09

Mort owned a repair shop specializing in repairing antique-pre 1940, toasters, in Tucson, Arizona. Mort entered a contract to sell the business to Al. The contract contained the following covenant not to compete: "Seller agrees not to enter a repair shop specializing in repairing antique-pre 1940, toasters, w/in Tucson, for a period of ten (10) years from the date of this Agreement." Mort opened a repair shop specializing in repairing antique-pre 1940, toasters, in competition w/Al violating all aspects of the clause. Is the covenant not to compete valid and enforceable in this case?

29. - 32



10.3 Mac owned a vehicle salvage and rebuilding business. Mac listed business for sale; had brochure printed described business stated during 1981 business grossed $581,117 and netted $142,727. Camp saw brochure; inquired about buying. Camp hired CPA to review Mac's business records and tax returns; CPA could not reconcile these w/income claimed in brochure. Camp asked Mac about discrepancy, Mac stated: "Business records did and tax returns did not accurately reflect cash flow/profits of business because it such a high-cash operation w/much cash not being reported to IRS." Mac signed warranty: That true income was as represented in brochure. Camp bought business based on representations. However, business although operated in substantially same manner as when owned by Mac, failed to yield net income similar to that warranted by Mac. Evidence showed Mac's representations substantially overstated. Camp sued Mac for damages of fraud. Who wins? [California Case]


Dee, a developer, was building town houses development each townhouse to have individual boat slips. Sam and Louise, Husband and wife, bought one. Sales contract provided boat slip would be built and was included in the price. The contract stated permission from Florida had to be obtained. It's undisputed slip adds substantially to value and Sam and Louise relied on the fact townhouse would have a boat slip. Prior to sale Florida informed Dee it objected to boat slips and permission to build would probably not be forthcoming. Dee did not tell Same and Louise this information; instead he stated there would be "no problem" getting permission from the state. When Florida would not approve Sam and Louise sued for damages for fraud. Who wins?


Wells, a California business man, filed tax returns for 1943, 1944, and 1945 using cash basis. Wells then hired Jones, a CPA, to prepare 1946 return. While preparing 1946 return using accrual basis, Jones examined prior years returns. Jones suggested and prepared prior years revised returns for Wells and submitted them to the IRS claiming $1,800 refund. Instead IRS assessed Wells $118,000 in unpaid taxes and fines. Jones told Wells proposed assessment asinine and was a simple matter to clean up. Wells contracted w/Jones to do necessary work for $1K. After obtaining several extensions IRS notified Wells and Jones that Monday, September 18, 1950 was the deadline for filing protest to proposed assessment. Saturday, September 16, Jones called Wells to his office to sign protest. Jones produced a written contract purporting to a fee arrangement whereby Jones was to receive $1K plus 7-1/2% of any monies saved on assessment. Wells refused to sign the new fee agreement, Jones told protest had to mailed that afternoon to reach IRS on Monday, if not filed Wells would be liable for $118K assessment. Wells signed, protest timely filed. Wells filed complaint to have new fee agreement rescinded. Who wins? [California Case]


Conrad Smith, Sr. had eight sons and five daughters. Conrad owned four 80-acre farms, Nebraska. Conrad born in Russia, he could not read/write English. Prior to 1974, all children frequent contact w/Conrad and helped w/needs. In 1974 eldest son, Lawrence, advised other children he would henceforth manage father's business affairs. March 18 1975, after much urging by Lawrence, Conrad deeded farm to Lawrence for $23,500. Evidence showed reasonable FMV between $145K and $160K. Conrad more than 80 years old, deteriorated in health; suffered heart problems, diabetes, and high and uncontrollable blood sugar levels; weighed almost 300 pounds; had difficulty breathing; could not walk more than 15'; had to have backhoist lift him in and out of bathtub, he was an invalid, relying on Lawrence for most of his personal needs, transportation, banking, and other business matters. After Conrad died conservators of estate brought action to cancel deed transferring farm to Lawrence. Can the conservators cancel deed?


10.7 Margaret Dell was a client of Joseph Plok, attorney. Additionally, long standing friends. September 1976, Dell telephoned Plonk's office and told him she wanted him to draft her will naming him executor and leaving everything she owned to him. Plok drafted the will and mailed it to her. She had the will executed and witnessed at a bank and mailed back to Plonk. Dell died, Plok, as sole legatee attempted to take control under will. At time of her death Dell was survived by two nephews, two nieces, two grandnephews, and one grandniece, none of whom were named in will. Does doctrine of undue influence apply?






Oker was employed as a VP of a rental car company. At the trial in this matter it stipulated to that Oker's performance in Seattle, the Western Region was excellent even in a depressed economic period. Oker's West Region was the only region growing and making a profit. The NE Region was doing badly, the rental company president asked Oker to take over that region. Oker was reluctant, because he and his family liked living in S.F., had developed a good "team" in W. Region, he felt secure in his position, and feared the politics of the NE Region. He agreed to transfer only after Economy General Manager orally told him, "Unless you screw up badly, no way you are going to get fired�you will never get hurt here in this company." Oker transferred and did a commendable job in the NE Region. Approximately one year later, at age 47, Oker was fired w/o cause and sued for breach of an oral lifetime contract. The company asserted the Statute of Frauds. Who wins?

41 , 42. AND 43.



Lee and Lipton owned a professional Basketball Club. On 12/3/80, Lee and Lipton met w/King to discuss sale of team. After meeting, all initialed a three-page handwritten memorandum that Lipton had drafted during meeting. Memorandum outlined major terms, including subject matter, price, and parties to agreement. On 12/13/80, Lee and Lipton forwarded to King a letter and the proposed sale agreement, Two days later, King informed Lee he had decided not to purchase. Lee and Lipton sued King for breach of contract. King argued in defense handwritten memorandum not enforceable because did not satisfy the Statute of Frauds. Is he correct?


Emmic hired Ham, an attorney, to draft his will. It named Robert Lucas and others (Lucas) beneficiaries. When Emmic died, they discovered the will was improperly drafted, violated state law, and therefore was ineffective. Emmic's estate was transferred pursuant to state's interstate laws. Lucas did not receive the $75K he would have. Emmic Sued Ham for breach of Emmic-Ham contract to recover what he would have received under the will. Who wins? [California Case]


Abram and others sponsored a condominium project for a luxury condominium building on Manhattan's East Side. Abram contracted w/LM, and other contracting companies to construct building. After building completed and individual condominium units sold, certain defects in construction appeared. Owners Committee, the condominium association, and individual condominium owners sued L/M and other contracting companies for damages for breach of their contracts w/ Abram. Can the condominium association and owners sue contracting companies?


Boussia hired Sofia, a general contractor, to build a restaurant. Boussia entered loan agreement w/BofA bank to provide construction financing to build. Loan agreement: Loan funds would be periodically disbursed by bank to Boussia at different stages of construction as requested by Boussia. Problems arose in progress of construction. Boussia did not pay Sofia for certain work done, Sofia sued BofA for breach of contract to collect payment directly. Can Sofia maintain lawsuit against B of A? [California Case]


11.4 Seel owned an apartment building located in NYC. Seal contracted w/ Rem to install security locks on building front door. On 7/7/81 Einhorn was visiting her fiance at building, she was accosted on second-floor landing, dragged to fiance's apartment, and raped. Einhorn sued Seel and Rem: breach of contract, alleging front-door lock to building negligently installed could be opened by firm push, even locked. Can Einhorn sue Rem for breach of contract?


11.5 William John Cunningham, pro basketball player, entered a contract w/SSC, who owned the Carolina Cougars, pro basketball team. Contract provided Cunningham was to play basketball for Cougars for three-year period commencing 10/2/71. Provision: could not be assigned to any other pro basketball franchise w/o Cunningham's approval. SSC sold assets, including franchise and Cunningham's contract, to Munch Corporation. There was no change in Cougars' location after purchase. When Cunningham refused to play for new owners, Munch sued to enforce Cunningham's contract. Is Cunningham's contract assignable to the new owner?




Jones paid Sullivan, chief of police of Addison, Texas, Police Department, a $6,400 bribe in exchange for Sullivan's
cooperation in allowing Jones and others to bring marijuana by plane into Addison airport w/o police intervention. Sullivan accepted money but rather than perform requested services, arrested Jones and turned money over to Dallas County DA's Office. $6,400 introduced as evidence at Jones's criminal trial, where he was convicted. Subsequent Jones assigned interest in money to Brudek. City of Addison brought action, claiming money belonged to city. Brudek intervened: claimed he was entitled to money because of assignment from Jones. Who wins?


11.8 Associates owned The Lincoln Plaza Building. Chase Bank (Chase) entered a written lease to lease premises in the building. Lease: Chase could not sublease or assign premises w/o landlord's prior approval. After occupying the premises for some time, Chase notified landlord wished to sublease premises to Bank Leumi, the 21st largest commercial bank in New York with 20 branches in NYC, assets more than $3B, net worth almost $150M. Landlord refused grant approval for assignment. Chase sued landlord for breach of contract. Who wins?

53. AND 54.



In January '76, Mars, roofing contractor, hired Barr as salesperson. Barr assigned geographical territory and responsible for securing contracts for Macs w/in his territory. Employment contract provided: Barr to receive 26% commission on net profits from roofing contracts he obtained. Provision: "To qualify for payment of commission, salesperson must sell and supervise job; job must be completed and paid for; and salesperson must have been in continuous employment of Mars, Inc., during aforementioned period." In July '77, Barr obtained $129,603 contract w/the Bd. of Educ. of Dard County for Mars to make repairs to roof of School. During course Barr visited site more than 60 times. In January '78, before work was completed, Mars fired Barr then refused to pay commission when project completed and paid for. Barr sued Mars to recover commission. Who wins?


12.1 Haeuser, owned several small warehouses, he contracted w/Drenn to construct road to warehouses. Price $42,324. Drenn's work left some cracks in appearance which resulted in improper drainage. Additionally, "bird baths" appeared in road they accumulated water. Haeuser refused to pay, Drenn sued to recover full price. Haeuser filed a cross complaint to recover cost of repairing.


12.2 In September '76, Muhammad Ali successfully defended heavyweight boxing championship defeating Ken Norton. Shortly after Ali held a press conference, as he had done on several occasions before, announced retirement from boxing. Ali had beaten every challenger except Duane Bobick, whom he had not yet fought. In November '76, MSGB, fight promoter, offered Ali $2.5M to fight Bobick. Ali agreed, stating, Back in business again." MSGB and Ali signed Fighters' Agreement MSGB paid Ali $125K advance. The fight was to take place in February 1977. On 11/30/76, Ali told MSGB: he was retiring from boxing and would not fight Bobick in February. Must MSGB wait until date performance due to sue Ali for breach of contract?




12.4 Raquel Welch movie actress appeared in about 30 films between 1965 and 1980. She was considered a sex symbol, her only serious dramatic role was a roller derby queen in Kansas City Bomber. In 1980, Phillips and Ward developed a film package based on Steinbeck novella, Cannery Row. Early in '81, MGM accepted to produce the movie and entered a contract w/ Welch playing the leading female character, a prostitute named Suzy. At 40 Welch relished chance to direct career toward more serious roles. Welch to receive $250K, payment divided weekly increments during filming. Filming began on 12/1/80. On 12/22/80, MGM fired Welch replaced her w/Debra Winger. Welch sued MGM to recover the balance of $194,444 remaining unpaid under contract. Who wins? [California Case]


On 12/74, Perl, and Mors contracted: Mors was to provide burglar/fire alarm service to Perl's coin and stamp store. Perl paid $50/month. Contained liquidated damage clause limiting Mors' liability to $250 for any losses incurred by Perl based on Mors failure of service. Evening 8/25/80, there was a burglary in Perl's store. Before entering burglars cut telephone line ran from burglar system to Mors' central location. Signal indicated interruption of service at Mors' central station. Burglars stole stamps and coins w/wholesale value of $958K; Perl not insured. Perl sued Mors to recover damages. Is the liquidated damage clause enforceable? [California Case]


To boost career as actor, John Ericson agreed w/Playgirl they could publish picture posing naked at Lion Country Safari as centerfold in January '74 issue w/o compensation. Published but no immediate career boost resulted. April '74, Playgirl wished to use Ericson's photograph in annual edition titled Best of Playgirl. Playgirl and Ericson entered contract whereby picture to occupy quarter of front cover of annual edition. Due to editorial mixup, picture did not appear on cover. Ericson sued Playgirl, seeking damages for breach of contract. How much damages should Ericson recover? [California case]

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