Warning

Info

Table of Contents
Okapi13, SLS '24 |

0 0

Back to briefs

DF Activities Corp. v. Dorothea F. Brown

(1988)

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit - 851 F.2d 920

tl;dr:

Denying the existence of an oral contract to sell a Frank Lloyd Wright chair is sufficient to raise a statute of frauds defense.

Video Summary


Case Summary

In the 1988 case of DF Activities Corp. v. Brown in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, DF Activities Corp. sued former Frank Lloyd Wright house and chair owner, Dorothea Brown, for breach of contract. DF accused Brown of agreeing to sell a Wright-designed chair to them for $60,000 over a phone call with art director Sarah-Ann Briggs. DF sent a letter and a $30,000 check to Brown, but Brown returned them, saying she made other arrangements for the chair, which she later sold for $198,000. DF then sued for the difference between the agreed price and sale price.

Brown requested the lawsuit be dismissed due to the statute of frauds, which mandates written contracts for sales over $500. Brown denied agreeing to any sale or recalling the phone call with Briggs. She submitted letters showing both parties withdrawing their offers. The district court dismissed the suit, and the appeals court upheld the dismissal, saying the statute of frauds defense stood.

The court stated an exception to the statute of frauds when the opposite party admits to a contract, but found that Brown's handwritten note was a denial, not an admission. They also rejected DF's request for further discovery through deposition, which they argued would undermine the purpose of the statute of frauds.

The case is important for demonstrating the statute of frauds, which requires certain contracts (like sales over $500, under the Uniform Commercial Code Section 2-201) to be in writing to be enforceable. The statute aims to prevent fraud and mistakes by requiring written records, but exceptions exist, such as party admissions, partial performance, and others that validate oral contracts with sufficient evidence.

ICRAIssue, Conclusion, Rule, Analysis for DF Activities Corp. v. Dorothea F. Brown

LSD+ exclusive

This content is exclusively for LSD+ users.

Sign up for LSD+ for full access to the DF Activities Corp. v. Dorothea F. Brown case brief summary.

Enjoy unlimited access with our 14-day free trial.

Facts & HoldingDF Activities Corp. v. Dorothea F. Brown case brief facts & holding

Facts:Plaintiff DF (the owner of Dominos) alleged they entered into...

Holding:The district court dismissal was affirmed. Additional discovery would be...

LSD+ exclusive

This content is exclusively for LSD+ users.

Sign up for LSD+ for full access to the DF Activities Corp. v. Dorothea F. Brown case brief summary.

Enjoy unlimited access with our 14-day free trial.

DeepDiveHighlight a legal term to see the definition

Font size -+
DF Activities Corp. v. Dorothea F. Brown | Case Brief DeepDive
Majority opinion, author: POSNER, Circuit Judge.
Level 1
Click below 👇 to DeepDive

DF Activities Corporation sued Dorothy Brown for breach of contract after she denied agreeing to sell a Frank Lloyd Wright chair to them for $60,000. Brown argued that the statute of frauds in the Uniform Commercial Code barred the suit. DF sought to depose Brown to prove that the alleged oral contract may be within the statutory exception if Brown admits in court that a contract for sale was made. The district judge dismissed the suit, and DF appealed. The court believes that when a defendant swears in an affidavit that there was no contract, there is no point in keeping the lawsuit alive. The judicial-admission exception to the statute of frauds began as a common-sense recognition that if the defendant admitted in a pleading that he had made a contract with the plaintiff, the purpose of the statute of frauds was fulfilled. However, the courts later rejected the exception due to concerns of perjury. The exception is now firmly established, but the concern with perjury supports the position taken by Mrs. Brown in this case.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

LSD+ exclusive

This content is exclusively for LSD+ users.

Sign up for LSD+ for full access to the DF Activities Corp. v. Dorothea F. Brown case brief summary.

Enjoy unlimited access with our 14-day free trial.

Dissenting opinion, author: FLAUM, Circuit Judge
Level 1
Click below 👇 to DeepDive

The dissenting opinion in this case disagrees with the majority's decision that additional discovery is not allowed when a defendant raises a statute of frauds defense and denies forming an oral contract with the plaintiff. The dissenting opinion believes that district courts should have the discretion to determine the limits of permissible discovery in these cases. However, the district court in this case abused its discretion in denying additional discovery, especially since the defendant's affidavit did not provide a conclusive denial of contract formation. The dissenting opinion believes that district courts should have the authority to limit discovery in these cases, but they should also have the discretion to determine when additional discovery is necessary and when it is being sought solely to harass a defendant who is entitled to the protection of the statute of frauds.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

LSD+ exclusive

This content is exclusively for LSD+ users.

Sign up for LSD+ for full access to the DF Activities Corp. v. Dorothea F. Brown case brief summary.

Enjoy unlimited access with our 14-day free trial.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

🤯 High points 🤯Key points contributed by students on LSD

LSD+ exclusive

This content is exclusively for LSD+ users.

Sign up for LSD+ for full access to the DF Activities Corp. v. Dorothea F. Brown case brief summary.

Enjoy unlimited access with our 14-day free trial.

LSD+ Case Briefs

Features

  • DeepDive for detailed case analysis
  • Over 50,000 existing case briefs
  • Instant briefs for another 6,000,000 cases
  • Highlight dictionary for legal term definitions
  • Social learning with chat and high points

Over 50,000 Cases Briefed

LSD+ gives you access to over 50,000 case briefs, more than anyone else. Be the first to email us the website of a case brief product that offers you more case briefs and we'll give you a free year of LSD+.

14-Day Free Trial

Unlimited access. Read as much content as you want during your trial with no device limitations. Cancel any time during your trial and keep access for the full 14 days.

Integrated Legal Dictionary

Lawyers and judges love to use big words. And Latin, for some reason.

Highlight a legal term in LSD Briefs and get an instant, plain English definition. Try highlighting contract or specific performance. No need to search or read through a list of definitions, simply highlight the words you don’t know and our LSDefine integration will instantly give you a definition to any of over 30,000 legal terms.

DeepDive

DeepDive allows you to explore legal cases like never before. DeepDive offers multiple levels of case summaries, which empowers you to quickly and easily find the information you need to stay on top of readings. Easily navigate through summary levels and click on any text to get more detail, all the way down to the original legal case text.

Brief anything. Instantly.

Our proprietary state-of-the-art system can instantly brief over 6,000,000 US cases. That means we can probably brief that case that your professor assigned last night when she sent you a poorly scanned pdf and told you to read every third paragraph. Or maybe she uploaded it to Canvas and didn’t really tell you to read it, but you know you probably should. Tenure does wild things to good people.

Social Learning with Chat and High Points

Study groups are a great way to learn and explore a case. LSD has chat rooms for each case to let you ask questions across the community and hear what other students struggled with and how they put it all together. Learn the key points of every case from other LSD+ users and share your knowledge with LSD High Points.

Real-Time Brief Feedback

Don’t settle for mistakes in briefs that have been there for 10 years and never fixed. Find an issue or something missing from a brief? Down vote and we will make improvements. All of our case brief editors graduated from from T14 law schools.

DF Activities Corp. v. Dorothea F. Brown

Chat for DF Activities Corp. v. Dorothea F. Brown
brief-98
👍 Chat vibe: 0 👎
Help us make LSD better!
Tell us what's important to you
LSD+ is ad-free, with DMs, discounts, case briefs & more.