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Seaver v. Ransom

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Brief Fact Summary. None.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. None.

Points of Law - Legal Principles in this Case for Law Students.

I do not understand that the case of Lawrence v. Fox has gone so far as to hold that every promise made by one person to another, from the performance of which a third would derive a benefit, gives a right of action to such third party, he being privy neither to the contract or the consideration.

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Facts. The judge in this matter was the husband of the testatrix and a legal advisor.

Issue. Did the judge owe a duty?

Held. The intermediate appellate court found that the judge owed a duty to the Plaintiff after his wife informed him that she wished to devise a house to the Plaintiff. The court would not allow the judge to "commit such a fraud upon the plaintiff as would result, if relief were denied her here." It further recognized "[i]t is better not to draw close legal distinctions but to say that on the facts the law will get at an attorney who seeks to avoid such a contract, and will compel performance."

Discussion. This case demonstrates how judges are held to a higher standard than normal individuals appearing before a court.

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