LLAW 110


Choose one (1) case from the following list and write a brief on behalf of Plaintiff or Defendant.

Your grade will be based upon: (1) quality of writing and (2) quality of research (3) depth of analysis and legal reasoning. Please analyze your case carefully.

1. The developers of a luxury building entered into contracts with 41 prospective condo owners to sell each of them an apartment. Every contract stated that the buyer would be entitled to the return of the deposit if at least one sale didn’t occur by September 1, 2008. The first sale took place on February 9, 2009. The prospective purchasers of the apartments are suing to recover their $16 million in security deposits. The developers claim that the documents contain a trivial error; that the date was intended to be September 1 2009.

2. Harry Smith, 84, hired a real estate brokerage firm to rent a studio apartment in his townhouse. Martin, 27, a broker, at the firm made him a proposition. “Why not rent it to me instead? The result was that Mr. Smith signed two handwritten leases on two studio apartments in his house with Martin and Martin’s father for below market rates and for terms of up to 20 years. One apartment was rented for $1,167 a month and the other for $400.a month and they paid one year’s rent in advance. The least expensive apartment in that area is $1950 a month. Now, Smith who needs the money, can’t sell his house. “I am not a very good negotiator and I am not very good with numbers, “Mr. Smith said, “That was why I hired a broker to help rent the apartment.” Smith is suing the brokerage firm and Martin. Martin was dismissed from the brokerage firm, but maintains that he did nothing wrong.

3. John Jones was working for a firm at which he had substantial benefits and would have been entitled to stock options. Then Robert Smith of XYZ Corp. offered Jones a position, promising him a large bonus if the company’s earnings exceeded $39.1 million within 3 years. Relying on that promise, Jones left his job and took the position at XYZ Corp. By the end of the 3rd year, projections indicated that XYZ’s earnings would exceed the required level. Jones left the company at the end of the 3rd year and later asked for his bonus. Robert Smith responded “no” stating that as Jones no longer worked for the company, he was not entitled to his bonus. Jones is suing, claiming that he is entitled to damages under the doctrine of promissory estoppel because he left a lucrative and secure position to take the job at XYZ Corp.

4. Matthew Lo ordered file cabinets from Triangle Manufacturing Company. The contract stated that 50 file cabinets were to be delivered at $40 per cabinet in 5 equal installments. After delivery of 2 installments (20 cabinets,) Triangle informed Matthew that it was losing money and would promise to deliver the remaining cabinets only if Matthew would pay $50 per cabinet. Matthew agreed and then refused to pay the additional amount. Triangle is suing to recover the additional amount that Matthew agreed to pay.

5. The executives of Fluorogas Ltd and Fluorine, Ltd were on vacation and after enjoying a weekend of fun, they draw up a brief handwritten document that stated that Fluorogas would sell to Flurorine the exclusive rights to a technology to build and sell semiconductor equipment. Fluorogas refused to transfer the patents and intellectual property and Fluorine is suing for breach of contract.

6. Dot TV conducted an online auction on its website. It posted an announcement on its web site asking for bids for rights to the “Golf TV” domain name and stated that the name would go to the highest bidder. Jo Lim submitted a bid for $1,010 and authorized Dot TV to charge that amount to his credit card if his bid was the highest. Later, Dot TV sent Lim an e-mail message stating that he had “won the auction” and charged the bid price of $1,010 to his credit card. However, later, Dot TV refused to transfer the name; Lim is suing Dot TV for breach of contract. Lim argues that his bid constituted an acceptance of Dot’s TV offer to sell the name. Dot TV argues that Lim’s bid was an offer, which it had not accepted; that even if it had accepted the offer, Dot TV could withdraw the offer because the auction was “with reserve”.

7. On November 15, Gloria, Inc., a manufacturer of crystal ware, mailed to Benny Buyer a letter offering to sell to Buyer 100 crystal “A” goblets at $10 per goblet and stated that “the offer would remain open for fifteen (15) days”. On

November 21, Gloria, noticing the sudden rise on the price of crystal “A” goblets, decided to withdraw her offer to Buyer and so notified Buyer. Buyer chose to ignore Gloria’s letter of revocation and gleefully watched as the price of crystal “A” goblets continued to skyrocket. On November 30, Buyer mailed to Gloria a letter accepting Gloria’s offer to sell the goblets. The letter was received by Gloria on December 4. Buyer demanded delivery of the goblets and brought an action against Gloria.

8. The Snyder Manufacturing Co., a large user of coal, entered into separate contracts with several coal companies. In each contract, it was agreed that the coal company would supply coal during the year in such amounts as the manufacturing company might desire to order, at a price of $35 per ton. In February, Snyder Company ordered one thousand tons of coal from Union Coal Company, one of the contracting parties. Union Coal Company delivered five hundred tons of the order and then notified Snyder Company that no more deliveries would be made and denied any obligation under the contract. Union Coal brought an action to collect $35 per ton for the five hundred tons of coal delivered. Snyder filed a counterclaim, claiming damages of $17,500 for failure to deliver the additional five hundred tons of the order and damages of $4,000 for breach of agreements to deliver coal during the balance of the year.

9. Rafferty was a principal shareholder in Continental Corporation, and as a result, he received most of Continental Corporation’s dividends. Continental Corporation was anxious to close an important deal for iron ore products to use in its business. A written contract was on the desk of Stage Corporation for the sale of iron ore to Continental Corporation. Stage Corporation, however, was cautious about signing the contract, and did not sign until Rafferty called Stage Corporation on the telephone and stated that if Continental Corporation did not pay for the ore, he would pay. Business reversal struck Continental Corporation and it failed. Stage Corporation is suing Rafferty.

10. Webster Inc. is a wholesaler of automobile accessories including windshield wipers. In January, Webster entered into a written contract to sell Hunter two thousand windshield wipers for $1,900, delivery to be made June 1. In April, Webster’s factory was burned to the ground and Webster failed to make delivery on June 1. Hunter was forced to buy windshield wipers elsewhere at a higher price and is now trying to recover damages from Webster.

11. In August 2006, Terry sought treatment for pain in his lower back from Siller. Terry felt better after the treatment and did not intend to return for more treatments, although he did not mention this to Siller. Before leaving Siller’s office, Terry signed an “informed consent” that read, in part, “I intend this consent form to cover the entire course of treatment for my present condition and for any future condition(s) for which I seek treatment”. He also signed an agreement that required the parties to submit to arbitration “any dispute as to medical malpractice…….This agreement is intended to bind the patient (Terry) and the health care provider (Siller)……who now, or in the future treat(s) the patient”. Two years later, Terry sought treatment from Siller for a different condition relating to his cervical spine and shoulder. Claiming malpractice with respect to the second treatment, Terry filed a lawsuit against Siller. Siller is asking the court to order that the dispute be submitted to Arbitration.

12. Uly Construction was hired by Hopkins for several projects in building his factories. Each project was based on a cost estimate and specifications. Each of the proposals accepted by Hopkins said that any changes in the signed contracts would be made “upon written orders”. When work was in progress, Hopkins made several requests for changes. There were no written records of these changes, but Uly performed the work and Hopkins paid for it. A dispute arose after Hopkins requested that Uly use Durisol blocks rather than cinder blocks in some construction. The original proposal specified cinder blocks, but Hopkins told ULY that the change should be made because Durisol was “easier to install than traditional cinder block and would take half the time”. Hopkins said the total cost would be the same. Uly orally agreed to the change, but demanded extra payment after discovering that Durisol blocks were more complicated to use than cinder blocks. Hopkins refused to pay, claiming that the cost should be the same.

13. Elizabeth Covington, who was sixty five years old when her husband died, needed as much money as she could muster, decided to have a garage sale. Her husband had a baseball card collection but Elizabeth knew nothing about baseball or baseball cards. She displayed the cards along with many other items. Michael Ferrell, an eighteen-year-old, who lived in the neighborhood, attended the sale. What caught his eye was the baseball card collection and, specifically what appeared to be a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie baseball card in near mint condition. On the outside of the box container was a sticker indicating “All cards $1 each.” He couldn’t believe his eyes. He had heard that a similar Mantle card had sold in 2006 for $72,000. He thought about telling Mrs. Covington the real value but decided against it and paid her the $1 and left. Later that month, while she was watching her favorite public television show, she saw Michael asking the antiques expert to estimate the value of the card. The expert said that even in a tough economy the card would likely bring $80,000 at public auction. Mrs. Covington brings an equitable action to rescind the contract, get her card back and return the $1 to Michael.

14. Marlene was the niece of Gertrude Smith and lived with her and her husband, Mort, for many years before marrying Tom. The Smiths were childless and were extremely fond of Marlene. After their marriage, Marlene and Tom moved to Canada but continued to have a close and loving relationship with the Smiths, regularly corresponding and frequently visiting them. Then Mrs. Smith had a series of strokes and Mr. Smith’s health began to fail, He wrote to Tom, telling him that Mrs. Smith wanted to spend her last remaining days with Marlene. He also wrote that his health was failing and that people were beginning to take advantage of him. He detailed all of the property that he owned and estimated his total worth at about $850,000. He said that if Tom and Marlene would come immediately and stay with them and help manage his affairs and take care of his wife, they would leave all of their money to them. He wrote that if they could come, Marlene would inherit everything and asked Tom to let him know as soon as possible. Tom wrote that they would come by plane as soon as possible. They began to make preparations to move to California, but before they could wind up all of Tom’s business affairs, Mort Smith committed suicide. Tom and Marlene immediately went to California, where Marlene remained with Mrs. Smith and cared for her for the next four weeks, until she died. Upon her death, it was discovered that the Smiths had bequeathed their estates to two nephews. Marlene and Tom sued for specific performance to have the court enforce the contract under which the Smiths were to bequeath their estate to Marlene.

15. John and Mary Nunzio alleged that they entered into an oral agreement with New York University Medical Center for an in vitro fertilization procedure that would not result in the birth of an autistic child. Subsequently, the parties signed a written contract that stated that a certain percentage of children are born with physical and mental defects and the occurrence of such defects is “beyond the control of the physician”. The document also stated that the medical center and its physicians would not “assume responsibility for the physical and mental characteristic or hereditary tendencies” of any child born as a result of the in vitro procedure. One of the twins was born with “autistic traits”. The Nunzios brought an action.

16. In January 2009, Horace Smith, the President of Carson Medical center approached Donald Dawson a local realtor with a proposal that if Dawson raised $100,000,000 for the building of a new heart center at the hospital, the building would be named the “Donald Dawson Medical Center”. Nothing was put in writing. About six months later Dawson delivered a check in the amount of $99,000,000 to the hospital and promised to deliver the remaining $1,000,000 no later than the end of the year. Before the end of the year, Smith advised Dawson, in writing, that the deal was off, and that the hospital found a new benefactor who would be donating $150,000,000 to the hospital. Dawson is suing the hospital for specific performance.

17. Harry the plumber went to Marge’s house to do some repair work to the upstairs shower. The value of his services was $1,500 (parts and service). Marge in turn agreed to provide Harry with meals for the next year. The value of the meals totals $2,000 (food and labor). After Harry completed the work, Marge provided only half the meals and then defaulted. Harry sued Marge for compensatory and punitive damages. Marge offered to have her friend Marvin prepare the remaining meals, but Harry rejected the offer claiming that Marge was a much better cook than Marvin.

18. The firm of Booth and Memorial entered into a verbal agreement with Lutz Office Warehouse, a local office supply company, to provide all its office supply needs a price to be invoiced every month. For the first three months the bill was $10,000 per month. In the fourth month the bill was $15,000 for the very same supplies previously sent each month. When Booth and Memorial complained about the bill, Lutz explained that the price of gas and insurance had gone up and that the cost of the supplies had also gone up resulting in an additional fee to the customer. Booth and Memorial objected to the increase of $5,000 per month and immediately notified Lutz that they had located another supplier and would no longer do business with Lutz. Lutz sued for breach of contract.

19. Best Bargains, a local electronic wholesaler, placed an advertisement in the Star Ledger, a local paper offering the first 10 customers a LCD television of free with the purchase of $1000. In fact the Star Ledger made a mistake and the advertisement offered a free television to all customers who purchased $100. Over 500 customers purchased $100 or more and demanded the free television. The customers sued Best Bargains and Best bargains sued the Star Ledger.

20. General Manufacturing, a giant corporation in the North East, supplies tires to all the major automobile manufacturers. They provide every automobile manufacture with a standard boilerplate contract which sets a uniform price for the tire at $10 above the market price around the country. Diego Car Manufacturing, a newly established company which builds high end cars objected to the boilerplate contact and proposed modifications to make the contract more equitable and requested that the cost of the tires be reduce by $10 a tire. General Manufacturing refused saying every company supplied tires must sign the very same agreement. Diego Car manufacturing signed the agreement “under protest”. Later Diego sued General Manufacturing claiming the agreement constituted an adhesion contract and was predatory.

21. Moss Construction agreed to build a skyscraper for Troomp Plaza in Mid Town Manhattan for $1 Billion. The terms of the agreement provided that Moss would have the right to design and build the building subject to Troomp approving the architectural specification before building commenced. Moss estimated that the cost of excavating the foundation would be approximately $20,000,000 based on geological surveys that the ground was light porous rock. When construction commenced, it turned out that the bedrock was granite and that it would require more equipment and time to excavate the site. In fact, it was estimated that the cost of the excavation would actually be $75,000,000. Moss demanded that Troomp reimburse them an additional $55,000,000 representing the actual cost of excavation. Troomp refused, saying a deal is a deal and the Moss was getting $1 Billion and not a penny more.

22. Due to high gasoline prices, S.L.A. Bakeries Company(SLA)considered converting its fleet of over 3,000 vehicles to a much less expensive fuel system. After negotiations with Randolph Gas Corporation (Randolph), S.L.A. signed a contract for approximately three thousand converter units, “more or less depending on the requirements of Buyer,” as well as agreeing to buy all propane to be used for four years from Randolph. Without giving any reasons, however, S.L.A. never ordered any converter units or propane from Randolph, having apparently decided not to convert its vehicles. Randolph brought suit against S.L.A. for lost profits on 2,242 converter units and the propane that would have been consumed during the contract period.

23. The New York Highlanders a newly established football team was building a new stadium. In their initial offering the Highlanders offered on a first come first serve season tickets. In order to be eligible, buyers would have to pay a $10,000 licensing fee which would guarantee a specific seat as identified in a stadium seating diagram. Approximately 10,000 fans signed up and sent in their seating choices at the 50 yard line (the most sought after seats) and received confirmation from the Highlanders that their seats were reserved. Unfortunately, after the licenses were sold to the 10,000 fans, the stadiums dimensions were reduced and there were only 5,000 available seats on the 50 yard line. The Highlanders announced that 5,000 of the 10,000 fans would get the preferred seating based on a lottery, and, that the remaining 5,000 fans would be given other seats. The 5,000 fans who lost the lottery sued.

24. Argo Management owns commercial buildings around the City, leasing space to many businesses including a MHB Liquor store, a popular local liquor store. The lease requires the tenants to obtain all necessary licensing and insurance policies and the landlord is responsible to keep the building in good repair. The owner of the liquor store directed his broker to get insurance. Shortly thereafter the broker sent the liquor store an invoice for the insurance policy. Unfortunately, the broker pocketed the money and never obtained the necessary insurance policies. MHB reported to Argo that part of the ceiling appeared to be collapsing. Argo retained ACE construction to perform the necessary repairs; however ACE did not complete the repairs in the time agreed to with Argo. Before the repairs were done a portion of the ceiling collapsed, hitting Max Robinson on the head and fractured his skull. Max sues MHB, Argo and ACE.

25. Nelson Velez a renowned artist agreed to paint the portrait of John Booth for either the sum of $1,000,000 or for free room and Board at the Booth estate at the option of Nelson Velez. Velez agreed to paint the portrait and moved into the Booth mansion. Before the portrait could be completed, the Booth mansion burned to the ground. Booth offered to lodge Velez in a local Holiday Inn for the remainder of the year. Velez requested payment of $1,500,000 to continue and complete the project.

26. Morris was starting a new computer internet service (XYZ World Data Inc.), which would provide users with valuable information and web surfing capability. He had virtually no funds and no software expertise. The value of his company, XYZ was approximately $10,000. He hired Ralph to develop the necessary software and offered him a 50% interest in XYZ. It took Ralph 100 hours to develop the software. Nothing was put in writing. Approximately 10 years later XYZ took off and the value of the company was $2 Billion. Ralph contacted Morris after a 10 year hiatus and demanded his 50% of the business. Morris responded that he would give Ralph $50,000, far more than the actual value of Ralph’s time spent on the project.

27. Ajax Construction Company built several homes in a very exclusive part of Carson City. Unfortunately they failed to obtain the necessary city permits to build the houses, each of which sold for $10,000,000. Stuart purchased one of the houses for his daughter Stefanie who moved in with her family. Shortly after moving in Stuart died. Stefanie discovered after Stuart died that the house was not built to city code specifications and demanded that Ajax return the money for the purchase of the house, Ajax refused and offered to bring the house up to city standards and obtain the necessary city permits and licenses.

28. Jean Paul operated Highland Yacht a company manufacturing high end boats selling for $50,000,000. Jim Nimitz purchased a yacht from Highland but requested certain modifications to be made to the boat. Nimitz and Paul never agreed on the additional cost of the modifications which ended up costing and additional $4,000,000 more than the standard yacht built by Highland. In fact Nimitz thought the cost modifications would be covered within the $50,000,000 price and Paul thought he would be charging for the additional costs. There is no written agreement, but the bill of sale has the price of $50,000,000 and is signed by Paul.

29. Lang, a horticulturist, is suing Mr. Frank for the sum of $500,000 for  landscaping   which he performed pursuant to a design by a landscape architect and for  paving of Mr. Frank’s stone driveway and courtyard which Lang claims that he and his workers built by hand. Mr. Frank claims that he doesn’t have to pay because Lang didn’t have a home-improvement license. Lang claims that he didn’t need one.

30. In May 2013 the Glenwood Race Track opened and to the consternation of Glenwood, their architect Harry Hyde had sold the identical plans for the track to another race group that built the identical racing facility in Dubai (Owned by the Arabian Conglomerate). Glenwood also discovered that their new Logo for the race track was never registered by their attorneys and another racetrack in (Owned by the New Zealand Racing Group) New Zealand has been using the identical logo. Glenwood had also developed a computer software program to assist betters at their establishment in calculating odds and choosing horses in races based on statistical data stored in the computer program. they wan to know if they need a patent, trademark and/or copyright.

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