Contracts Keyed to Summers
Friendly Ice Cream Corporation v. Beckner
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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:
In 1976, Beatrice Beckner (Plaintiff) and her husband entered into a fifteen-year commercial-lease agreement with Friendly Ice Cream Corporation (Defendant), under which Friendly was permitted to build and operate a retail ice-cream store on land owned by the Beckners. A Friendly subsidiary, FriendCo Restaurants, Inc. (Defendant), operated the store. The lease required Defendants to pay monthly rent as well as percentage rent, an annual payment based on a percentage of income generated by the store. Prior to the expiration of the lease, Defendants decided to close the store. Sandra Hughes, a FriendCo executive, approached the Beckners, seeking their consent to assign the lease to Riggs Bank, N.A. (Riggs). Riggs wanted to demolish the ice-cream store and construct a bank on the property. Subsequently, Plaintiff’s husband died. Hughes initially worked with Plaintiff, who was eighty years old, to amend the lease agreement. Later, Plaintiff instructed Hughes to sort out the details with her attorney. Other individuals assisted Plaintiff with the negotiations, including her son, her insurance agent, another lawyer, and a long-time friend. After some significant confusion regarding with whom Hughes should work, Plaintiff and Hughes executed an amended agreement that assigned the lease to Riggs in exchange for a modest increase in base rent. However, Plaintiff’s son claimed that the rent amount was well below fair market value and that Hughes had taken advantage of Plaintiff. Plaintiff sued Defendants, seeking rescission of the amended lease on the grounds of gross inadequacy of consideration and undue influence. The trial court denied Defendants’ motion for summary judgment. Following a hearing, the trial court entered a decree in favor of Plaintiff, concluding that the amended lease was the product of undue influence. The trial court rescinded the amended lease. Defendants appealed.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
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- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.