Contracts Keyed to Scott
Merit Music Service, Inc. v. Sonneborn
Only StudyBuddy Pro offers the complete Case Brief Anatomy*
Access the most important case brief elements for optimal case understanding.
*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- 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.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- 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:
The Sonneborns (Defendants) were in the process of purchasing a bar. Merit Music Service, Inc. (Plaintiff) leased coin-operated amusement and vending machines to bars and other establishments, including to Defendants in a bar they previously owned. To help cover the payment for their new bar, Defendants requested a loan from Plaintiff. Defendants put up their liquor license as security for the loan and believed that this was the only security that Plaintiff required. However, testimony indicated that Plaintiff also wanted to require Defendants to lease and install in the new bar a minimum number of Plaintiff machines. Evidence was conflicting as to when and to whom Plaintiff made this request. Plaintiff signed the loan check and obtained the assignment of the liquor license, all in the presence of Defendants’ attorney. Then, later that night, Plaintiff presented Defendants with a form machine-leasing contract and asked them to sign it. Plaintiff had added minimum guarantee clauses to the leasing contract, which also contained a clause forbidding Defendants from using machines from other companies. Defendants, thinking that the contract was simply the note for the loan, signed it without reading it. Defendants’ attorney was no longer present when they signed this contract. Subsequently, Plaintiff filed suit, asking the court to enjoin Defendants from leasing other machines and seeking money damages. Defendants stated that they never would have signed the minimum guarantee leasing contract had they known what it said. They posited that Plaintiff may have altered the agreement after Defendants signed it. The Circuit Court for Baltimore City dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint. Plaintiff appealed.
- 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.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.