Work in progress…

English Law

English Law
‘Two Books’ by Andrew Sinclair

As with the forthcoming ‘United States Law’, I have decided to compile a cousin title to sit alongside it, hence the ‘English Law’ title is now earmarked for future publication at a time that suits both my schedule and continued passion for all things law.

While there is nothing more to report at this point, additional posts will appear when the time is right, and I’m looking forward to finally having a matching pair of definitive case law resources to compliment any scholar’s bookshelf when the moment eventually arrives…

Saturday 27 April 2019

Happy 1st Birthday!

United States Law: A Collection of Case Studies

Birthday Cake

Today marks exactly one year to the day that I first started writing the ‘voluminous’ Case Law Compendium: United States Case Law, and its pretty incredible to think that so much time has already passed, particularly given that I’m not even midway through the book  yet!

Anyway, needless to say my hard work continues on undaunted, and I’m hoping to share the first half of the criminal law section here in the next couple of weeks, so watch this space if you’re interested to learn more…

Electronic Signatures Neil

 

Hospital Products Ltd v United States Surgical Corporation

Australian Equity & Trusts

Hospital Products Ltd v United States Surgical Corporation
‘Portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli’ by Santi di Tito

In a case embroiling both arms-length and personal agreements, the unavoidable overlapping of contract and equity are held to extensive scrutiny in a suit between corporations and individuals across two jurisdictions.

After an American surgical staple manufacturer entrusted their foreign sales to a New York salesman, the man whose reputation historically rested upon a handshake eventually used his informal approach to business to establish an overseas corporation, under which he manufactured his own version of the patented staples and promoted them to an Australian market via the prolific brand name used by his new business partners.

Upon discovery his underhand scheme, the now respondents sued for damages in the New South Wales Supreme Court under § 2-306(2) of the Uniform Commercial Code, which read that:

“A lawful agreement by either the seller or the buyer for exclusive dealing in the kind of goods concerned imposes unless otherwise agreed an obligation by the seller to use best efforts to supply the goods and by the buyer to use best efforts to promote their sale.”

While contesting that any sales accrued during the years accounted for were now held upon constructive trust for the respondents.

In the first instance, the court found that a fiduciary relationship had become evident when the respondents had entrusted their product in the appellant, therefore showing a unique vulnerability to his actions when working overseas, while under challenge before the Court of Appeal, the court supported the principle of a constructive trust and thus held accordingly.

Presented to the High Court of Australia, the question of trust relationships and contractual breach became central to the issue in hand, and so the court quickly noted that the contract rested upon verbal agreements and subsequent exchanges of correspondence, yet no legally binding agreements had been entered into; and so when examining the question of validity the court referred to Oscar Chess Ltd v Williams, in which the English Court of Appeal illustrated that a representation made during contractual negotiations could also be construed as a binding warranty, and so held that:

“The question whether a warranty was intended depends on the conduct of the parties, on their words and behaviour, rather than on their thoughts. If an intelligent bystander would reasonably infer that a warranty was intended, that will suffice.”

However the court also noted that in order for any implication of a warranty to sustain judicial scrutiny it must be:

  1. Reasonable and equitable
  2. Necessary so as to show that the contract would be useless without it
  3. So obvious to the bargain that it needs no expression
  4. Capable of clear expression if called upon
  5. Wholly supportive of the contract

And so moving on to the concept of fiduciary obligations arising from the heart of the working relationship, the court noted that in Reading v The King the English Court of Appeal held how:

“[A]‘fiduciary relation’ exists (a) whenever the plaintiff entrusts to the defendant property, including intangible property as, for instance, confidential information, and relies on the defendant to deal with such property for the benefit of the plaintiff or for purposes authorized by him, and not otherwise….and (b) whenever the plaintiff entrusts to the defendant a job to be performed, for instance, the negotiation of a contract on his behalf or for his benefit, and relies on the defendant to procure for the plaintiff the best terms available….”

Yet in vol. 25 of the University of Toronto Law Journal (1975) it also reads that in commercial dealings:

“[A] mere sub-contractor is not a fiduciary. Although his work may be described loosely as work which is to be carried out in the interests of the head contractor, the sub-contractor cannot in any meaningful sense be said to exercise a power or discretion which places the head contractor in a position of vulnerability.”

Therefore with little to warrant the existence of either a trust/trustee relationship or the presence of fiduciary duty with which to underline the machiavellian behaviour of the appellant, the court remitted the case back to the New South Wales Supreme Court with a view to an assessment of damages in favour of the respondents.

Moore v. Elmer

US Contract Law

Moore v. Elmer
‘Clairvoyant-Veritas’ by Gabriel Von Max

A promise to pay while absent of any consideration may at first blush appear to be enforceable, however the eyes of the law see things in quite a different light, as was found in this rather bizarre suit between a clairvoyant and the administrators of an estate.

For reasons best known to themselves, the plaintiff and former client had somehow entered into a bargain, whereby a written statement in January 1898 expressed that:

“In consideration of business and test sittings received from Madame Sesemore, the clairvoyant, otherwise known as Mrs. Josephene L. Moore on numerous occasions I the undersigned do hereby agree to give the above named Josephene or her heirs, if she is not alive, the balance of her mortgage note which is the Herman E. Bogardus mortgage note of Jan. 5, 1893, and the interest on same on or after the last day of Jan. 1900, if my death occurs before then which she has this day predicted and claims to be the truth, and which I the undersigned strongly doubt. 

Wherein if she is right I am willing to make a recompense to her as above stated, but not payable unless death occurs before 1900. Willard Elmer.”

And so upon his death, the plaintiff sued for recovery in the Hampden County Superior Court, while his various family members argued that the claim was void for want of consideration, after which the court dismissed the suit and the matter was argued again before the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

Here the court turned first to Chamberlain v. Whitford, wherein it had held that:

“An executed and past consideration is not sufficient to support a subsequent promise. It is not enough to show that a service has been rendered, and that it was beneficial to the party sought to be charged, unless it was rendered at his express request, or under such circumstances that the law would imply a request.”

While in Dearborn v. Brown the court had earlier held that:

“[T]he past performance of services constitutes no consideration even for an express promise, unless they were performed at the express or implied request of the defendant, or unless they were done in performance of some duty or obligation resting on the defendant.”

To which it had been evident that no money had been exchanged for the readings, nor any express terms set out during their meetings. And so when summarising the fruitlessness of the claim, the court finally relied upon Johnson v. Kimball in which it had later held that:

“An executed gift is neither consideration for an express contract nor a ground for implying one as a fiction of law.”

Thus the claim was one without merit and so the suit was again dismissed to the relief of the surviving parties and the dismay of a wanton clairvoyant, although one might have expected her to learn of the outcome prior to any litigation.

The contract law section is now finished!

United States Law: A Case Study Collection

Contract Law
‘Buttonwood Agreement’ by Unknown Artist

 July 20 2018

I am very pleased to announce that I have now completed the contract law chapter of the book, and so I can also share the contents here for those interested. There are a total of 47 cases available to read, and while it’s been a very insightful experience putting them all together, I genuinely hope they will help students get a quick grasp on the concept of contractual engagements, as well as the fundamental principles that frame them.

In all honesty contract law doesn’t have to feel like an overly complex field, and my conviction is that this section of the book (when it’s finished), will go a long way to dispelling the fears that many students doubtless carry into their Juris Doctor programs, and so without me droning on too much, below is the list of the historically notable contract-related cases included within the forthcoming Case Law Compendium: United States Law:

Contract Law

1. Alaska Packers Association v. Domenico

2. Allegheny College v. National Chautauqua County Bank of Jamestown

3. Ardente v. Horan

4. Austin Instrument Inc. v. Loral Corp.

5. Blatt v. University of So. California

6. Byers v. Federal Land Co.

7. Chicago Coliseum Club v. Dempsey

8. Embry v. Hargadine, McKittrick Dry Goods Co.

9. Feinberg v. Pfieffer Co.

10. Ferrera v. Nielsen

11. Globe Refining Co. v. Landa Cotton Oil Co.

12. Greiner v. Greiner

13. Groves v. John Wunder Co.

14. Halpert v. Rosenthal

15. Hamer v. Sidway

16. Hawkins v. McGee

17. Hill v. Gateway 2000 Inc.

18. Hobbs v. Massasoit Whip Co.

19. Hoffman v. Red Owl Stores Inc.

20. Hotchkiss v. National City Bank of New York

21. Jacob and Youngs v. Kent

22. Kirk La Shelle Co. v. Paul Armstrong Co.

23. Klocek v. Gateway Inc.

24. Leonard v. Pepsico Inc.

25. Lucy v. Zehmer

26. Mills v. Wyman

27. Murrow v. First National Bank of Hot Springs

28. Mutual Life Ins. Co. of New York v. Tailored Woman Inc.

29. Neri v. Retail Marine Corp.

30. Odorizzi v. Bloomfield School District

31. Ortelere v. Teachers Retirement Board of City of New York

32. Parker v. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.

33. Peevyhouse v. Garland Coal & Mining Co.

34. ProCD Inc. v. Zeidenberg

35. Ricketts v. Scothorn

36. Rockingham County v. Luten Bridge Co.

37. Shaheen v. Knight

38. Sherwood v. Walker

39. Spooner v. Reserve Life Insurance Co.

40. Stop & Shop Inc. v. Ganen

41. Sullivan v. O’Connor

42. Sun Printing & Publishing Ass’n v. Remington Paper & Power Co.

43. U.S. for Use and Benefit of Crane Co. v. Progressive Enterprises Inc.

44. Vokes v. Arthur Murray Inc.

45. Williams v. Walker-Thomas Furniture Co.

46. Wood v. Boynton

47. Wood v. Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon

 

The civil procedure section is now complete.

United States Law: A Case study Collection

United States
‘United States Flags Map’ by Inspirowl Design

April 18 2018

Having recently completed this preliminary chapter of the book, I have provided a list of the cases covered in the civil procedure section for those that might be mildly curious. I would also add that it’s been a genuine pleasure reading and analysing these cases, all of which have helped educate me as to the intricate nature of State and Federal legalities, and I can only hope the readers will take as much pleasure in their reading, as I have in their writing.

Civil Procedure

1. Adam v. Saenger

2. Aldinger v. Howard

3. Asahi Metal Industry Co. Ltd. v. Superior Court of California

4. Ashcroft v. Iqbal

5. Baldwin v. Iowa State Traveling Men’s Ass’n

6. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly

7. Bernhard v. Bank of America Nat. Trust & Savings Ass’n

8. Bernhardt v. Polygraphic Co. of America

9. Blonder-Tongue Laboratories Inc. v. University of Illinois Foundation

10. Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz

11. Burnham v. Superior Court of California, County of Marin

12. Byrd v. Blue Ridge Rural Electric Co-op. Inc.

13. Carnival Cruise Lines Inc. v. Shute

14. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett

15. Chicot County Drainage District v. Baxter State Bank

16. Clearfield Trust Co. v. U.S.

17. Cohen v. Beneficial Industrial Loan Corp.

18. Colgrove v. Battin

19. Conley v. Gibson

20. Connecticut v. Doehr

21. D.H. Overmeyer Co. Inc. of Ohio v. Frick Co.

22. Davis v. Farmers Co-op. Equity Co.

23. Durfee v. Duke

24. Erie. R. Co. v. Tompkins

25. Fuentes v. Shevin

26. Gasperini v. Center for Humanities Inc.

27. Gillespie v. United States Steel Corp.

28. Grable and Sons Metal Products Inc. v. Darue Engineering & Mfg.

29. Guaranty Trust Co. of N.Y. v. York

30. Gulf Oil Corp. v. Gilbert

31. Hanna v. Plumer

32. Hanson v. Denckla

33. Harris v. Balk

34. Henry L. Doherty and Co. v. Goodman

35. Hess v. Pawlowski

36. Hickman v. Taylor

37. Hilton v. Guyot

38. Hinderlider v. La Plata River & Cherry Creek Ditch Co.

39. Hurn v. Oursler

40. International Shoe Co. v. State of Washington

41. J. McIntyre Machinery Ltd. v. Nicastro

42. Kalb v. Feuerstein

43. Klaxon Co. v. Stentor Electric Manufacturing Co.

44. Kulko v. Superior Court of California

45. Livingston v. Jefferson

46. Louisville and Nashville Railroad Co. v. Mottley

47. McGee v. International Life Insurance Co.

48. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Thompson

49. Mitchell v. W.T. Grant Co.

50. Moore v. New York Cotton Exchange

51. M/S Bremen v. Zapata Off-Shore Co.

52. Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co.

53. National Equipment Rental Limited v. Szukhent

54. North Georgia Finishing Inc. v. Di-Chem Inc.

55. Oregon ex rel. State Land Board v. Corvallis Sand & Gravel Co.

56. Owen Equipment & Erection Co. v. Kroger

57. Parklane Hosiery Co. Inc. v. Shore

58. Pennoyer v. Neff

59. Perkins v. Benguet Consolidated Mining Co.

60. Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Shutts

61. Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno

62. Ragan v. Merchants Transfer & Warehouse Co.

63. Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates v. Allstate Insurance Co.

64. Shaffer v. Heitner

65. Shoshone Mining Co. v. Rutter

66. Sibbach v. Wilson & Co.

67. Smith v. Kansas City Title & Trust Co.

68. Sniadach v. Family Finance Corp. of Bay View

69. Swift v. Tyson

70. United Mine Workers of America v. Gibbs

71. Woods v. Interstate Realty Co.

72. World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson

73. Zippo Manufacturing Co. v. Zippo Dot Com Inc.

United States Law: A Case Study Collection

United States Law: A Case Study Collection

The Case Law Compendium: U.S. Law
‘Watercolour USA’ by Unknown Artist

26 November 2017

Today marks the commencement of my writing ‘United States law: A Collection of Case Studies’, the second instalment of ‘The Black Letter’ series of books, and my excitement is quietly simmering away as I begin preparing for the months ahead.

This book covers the principle law modules offered within leading American universities and Law Schools at Juris Doctor level, and will therefore include civil procedure, constitutional law, contract law, criminal law, property law and tort law. While I appreciate there has been a shift towards comparative and international law, particularly within educational institutions such as Harvard University, when similarly examining both Stanford and Yale, there appears an inclination to adhere to the core fields as shown above, hence I have decided to remain true to that ethos for simplicity’s sake.

While consciously adopting a linear approach, I aim to include around 375 case studies – well over twice the number found in ‘The Case Law Compendium: English & European Law’, and although there is perhaps obvious reason for this, particularly given the size and legal structure of American jurisdiction, I feel the end result will provide law students with more than sufficient insight into the mechanics of notable United States case law.

On a personal note, I am very much looking forward to this journey, and estimate that the book should be finished and available for purchase around summer of 2019, adding that I will consciously try to publish new case studies to this website where time permits.

In closing, I would like to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to those of you who purchased my first book (or plan to soon) and I sincerely hope that my efforts have been of valued assistance when working towards your chosen vocations.

Faithfully

Electronic Signatures Neil