Case Overviews
Outline

Mundy v. Lumberman's Mut. Cas. Co. (1986) Facts: Mundy, an assistant district attorney, was robbed of silverware from his home. The insurance policy in effect at the time of the robbery limited recovery for the loss of silverware to $1,000, although an earlier edition of the policy had contained no such limit. A copy of the new insurance policy, which had been sent to Mundy, contained multiple references to changes made from the old policy, including a one-page summary of the changes, each identified in a separate paragraph and set off from the others by added space and black dots. Mundy argu ...

Unconscionability And Adhesion Contracts
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A. Unconscionability The doctrine of unconscionability is used to avoid oppression and unfair surprise, but not to disturb the allocation of risk in contract formation. (UCC § 2-302, comment 1.) ...

Overreaching In The Bargaining Process
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A. Concealment 1. In the absence of a fiduciary relationship, there is no liability for bare nondisclosure of known latent defects. 2. However, half-truths are actionable as whole lies and constitute grounds for contract rescission. ...

Case Overviews
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Mitchill v. Lath (1928) Facts: The Laths orally promised to remove an icehouse in exchange for Mitchill's written agreement to buy land. The written agreement excluded the Laths' earlier promise. Mitchill sought to introduce evidence of the promise for its enforcement. ...

Case Overview
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Embry v. Hargadine-McKittrick Dry Goods Co. (1907) Facts: Embry, a fired employee, claimed that McKittrick had promised to renew his contract. McKittrick denied that he ever made such a promise. The judge told the jury that unless both parties subjectively intended to form an employment contract, no contract exists, even if McKittrick did promise to renew the contract. ...

Mutuality
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Mutuality requires that each party to a contract must provide consideration to the other in exchange for the other’s promise. A. Illusory’ Promises An illusory promise is not sufficient consideration, because it only appears to bind the promisor when, in fact, it commits him to nothing at all. (Rest. 2d. § 77.) ...

Case Overviews
Outline

Hawkins v. McGee (1929) Facts: A surgeon guaranteed that the plaintiffs hand operation would be 100 percent successful. The plaintiff sued for breach of warranty when the operation was not successful. ...

Elements Of Consideration
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It would be unfair for courts to hold people to every promise that they make because many promises are made in jest or without sufficient forethought. Thus, to be legally enforceable, a promise must be made in return for consideration, which consists of two general elements: bargained-for exchange and legal detriment. A. Bargained-for Exchange A performance or return promise is bargained-for if it is sought by the promisor in exchange for his promise, and it is given by the promisee in exchange for that promise. (Rest. 2d. § 71(2).) The bargain requirement serves the purpose of distinguishi ...

Quasi-Contracts, Agreed Remedies And Non-Recoverable Damages
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A. Recovery in Quasi-contract Recovery in quasi-contract occurs in any one of three general situations: (1) if a contract never existed but justice requires that the plaintiff be compensated; (2) if there was an unenforceable contract (due to the Statute of Frauds, illegality, etc.); and (3) if the plaintiff has materially breached an existing, valid contract and has conferred a benefit on the other party. Courts generally award either restitution or reliance damages, depending on fairness and equity. ...

Expectation
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Courts have a strong preference for awarding damages measured by the expected value of the promise/contract. The object is to put the party in the same position he would be in if the contract were performed as expected. This includes both the value of expenses incurred and expected profits. A. Computing the Value of Expectations (Rest. 2d. § 347) Professor Farnsworth’s formula for calculating expectation damages is: General Damages = Loss in Value + Other Loss - Cost Avoided - Loss Avoided ...

Reliance
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There are two types of reliance damages that a party can incur. The first type involves actions done in reliance upon a valid and binding contract that is subsequently breached. In either case, the goal of the court is to put the nonbreaching party in as favorable a position as he enjoyed prior to the contract. Reliance damages are usually awarded if expectation damages are too uncertain. The second type involves the doctrine of promissory estoppel and results when there is no valid contract, but a party detrimentally relied on another’s promise, and it is unfair not to enforce the promise ( ...

Equitable Remedies
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Although the standard relief for breach of contract is monetary damages, they may be inappropriate in certain situations, such as where the amount of damages is too speculative, or the contract was for unique goods. In such cases, courts will grant primarily two forms of equitable relief: injunctions and specific performance. Originally, there were two court systems, law and equity. Today, the distinction has been abolished and all courts can grant either form of remedy. A primary consideration in granting equitable relief is the issue of justice and fairness (treated in more detail in Chapter ...

Agostini v. Felton
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Lynch v. Donnelly
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Sherbert v. Verner
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Branzburg v. Hayes
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NAACP v. Button
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Shelton v. Tucker
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View this case and other resources at: Citation. 364 U.S. 479, 81 S. Ct. 247, 5 L. Ed. 2d 231 (1960) Brief Fact Summary. This case held unconstitutional an Arkansas statute which required every teacher, as a condition to employment in a state-supported school or college, to file annually an affidavit listing without limitation every organization to which he has belonged or regularly contributed within the preceding five years. Synopsis of Rule of Law. The state has the right to investigate the competence and fitness of those whom it hires to teach in its schools. However, ...

New York Times Co. v. United States [The Pentagon Papers Case]
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View this case and other resources at: Citation. 403 U.S. 713, 91 S. Ct. 2140, 29 L. Ed. 2d 822, 1971 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) held that the Government failed to meet the requisite burden of proof needed to justify a prior restraint of expression when attempting to enjoin the New York Times and Washington Post from publishing contents of a classified study. Synopsis of Rule of Law. Any system of prior restraints on expression comes to the Supreme Court bearing a heavy presumption against its invalidity. The Government ...

Central Hudson Gas v. Public Service Comm’n
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View this case and other resources at: Citation. 447 U.S. 557, 100 S. Ct. 2343, 65 L. Ed. 2d 341, 1980 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. A ban prohibiting electrical utilities from engaging in promotional advertising was invalidated by the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) after failing to satisfy a four-part test. Synopsis of Rule of Law. In commercial speech restriction cases, the Supreme Court must determine whether the expression is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution). First, for commercial speech to come within tha ...

44 Liquormart, Inc. v. Rhode Island
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View this case and other resources at: Citation. 517 U.S. 484,116 S. Ct. 1495,134 L. Ed. 2d 711,1996 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. A Rhode Island law banning the advertising of liquor prices except within liquor stores was invalidated by the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) as a violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution). Synopsis of Rule of Law. When a state regulates commercial messages to protect consumers from misleading, deceptive or aggressive sales practices, or requires the disclosure of beneficial consumer inform ...

United States v. Morrison
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View this case and other resources at: Citation. 529 U.S. 598, 120 S. Ct. 1740, 146 L. Ed. 2d 658, 82 FEP Cases 1313 (2000) Brief Fact Summary. The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) held that the Commerce Clause does not provide Congress with the authority to enact 42 U.S.C. Section:13981, which provides a federal civil remedy for the victims of gender-motivated violence. The Court also held that the section's civil remedy was beyond the Section:5 of the Fourteenth Amendment enforcement powers of Congress. Synopsis of Rule of Law. The language and purpose ...

City of Boerne v. Flores
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View this case and other resources at: Citation. 521 U.S. 507,117 S. Ct. 2157,138 L. Ed. 2d 624,1997 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. Congress' enactment of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993 was held by the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) to be an excessive use of power under Section:5 of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution). Synopsis of Rule of Law. While preventive rules are sometimes appropriate remedial measures, there must be a congruence between the means used and the ends sought to be achieved. The a ...

Burton v. Wilmington Parking Authority
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View this case and other resources at: Citation. 365 U.S. 715,81 S. Ct. 856,6 L. Ed. 2d 45,1961 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. A restaurant owner who refused to serve the Appellant, Burton (Appellant), food based on his race was held by the Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) to be a state actor because he leased his restaurant space from the state. The building was designed for public use and service and the building had state symbols. Synopsis of Rule of Law. It has always been clear that since the [Civil Rights Cases], private conduct abridging individual right ...

Shelley v. Kraemer
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View this case and other resources at: Citation. 334 U.S. 1,68 S. Ct. 836,92 L. Ed. 1161,1948 U.S. Brief Fact Summary. The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) held that judicial enforcement by state courts of restrictive covenants not allowing African Americans to live in certain residential areas was a denial of the challengers' equal protection rights. Synopsis of Rule of Law. Restrictive covenants standing alone cannot be regarded as violative of any rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution). However, w ...