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Contracts Keyed to Knapp
Beaver v. Brumlows (D)
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- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
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- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
At the time Mr. Brumlows (D) was working with the Beavers (P), an agreement was reached between both parties in which the Beavers (P) verbally agreed to sell property to Brumlows (D) on which he was to site a house. The Brumlows (D) later withdrew all their retirement plans, bought and installed a mobile home on the property and then added permanent improvements to it because they trusted the Beavers (P) promise and had taken this step after they had received the blessings of the Beavers (P). A total amount of $85,000 was utilized to buy the house and to make improvements. The necessary permits and application which the Brumlows (D) needed were also facilitated with the help of the Beavers (P).The Beavers (P) however did not put their agreement to paper throughout this time even at the instance of the Brumlows (D), although they promised to and even consulted an attorney about drafting the necessary documents. The price as well as the date of closing was also not agreed by both parties. The Beavers (P) throughout this period did not raise any dust but allowed the Brumlows (D) to enjoy their possession until Mr. Brumlows (D) terminated his employment with them to work for their competitor. This action of Brumlows (D) did not go down well with the Beavers (P), and later manifested their displeasure by their refusal to sell the tract of land they had earlier agreed upon.They thereby attempted to change the agreement they had with Brumlows (D) into a lease by having Brumlows (D) sign an agreement under which he would pay $400 per month to the Beavers (P) as lease payment, although this agreement did not have the language of a lease and even Brumlows (D) thought he was paying for the land. This led Brumlows (D) to start writing “Land Payment” on the checks, but the Beavers (P) kicked against this narration on the check on the ground that the “agreement” they had with the Brumlows (D) was for rentals. Brumlows (D) amicably attempted to resolve the discrepancy by offering to pay cash equivalent to the market fair value for the property and to have the property surveyed at their expense. The Beavers (P) refused this proposal and in turn filed an ejection action which alleged that the Brumlows (D) violated their rent agreement.The Brumlows (D) however refuted the existence of a rental agreement and affirmatively alleged that their stay on the land was in pursuant to an agreement to purchase the property. But the Brumlows (D) claimed breach of contract, frauds and prima facie tort in the counterclaim they filed. A statute of frauds as defense was pleaded by the Beavers (P), contending that the Brumlows (D)s part performance was not “unequivocally referable” to the verbal agreement and the verbal agreement was not certain as to the purchase price and time of performance. The conclusion of the trial court on this dispute was that the Beavers (P) had injured Brumlows (D) by committing a prima facie tort because the parties had entered into an agreement for the sale of land and had reneged on it.The statute of defense raised by the beaver’s was also rejected by the court on the ground that part performance of the contract by both parties was enough ground to remove the contract from the statute of frauds. A choice between money damages for tort and specific performance of the contract was given by the court to Brumlows (D), with the purchase price to be determined by an independent appraisal of the fair market value of the property, payable in cash within a period of 30days. The specific performance option was however chosen by the Brumlows (D). Review was granted by the intermediate appellate court.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
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- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.