Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cantrell-Waind & Associates, Inc. v. Guillaume Motorsports, Inc. case brief

Cantrell-Waind & Associates, Inc. v. Guillaume Motorsports, Inc. case brief summary
968 S.W.2d 72 (1998)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant buyers sought review of the decision from the Benton County Circuit Court (Arkansas), which granted summary judgment to appellee real estate broker in a breach of contract action.

CASE FACTS
The real estate broker appealed the order that granted summary judgment for the buyers in its action to recover a real estate brokerage commission.

DISCUSSION

  • On review, the court agreed with the real estate broker that the trial judge erred in his interpretation of the applicable law and found that there were genuine issues of material fact that needed to be tried. 
  • The court found that the terms of the contract provided that a commission would be due only if closing occurred before a date certain. 
  • This was a condition precedent in the contract. 
  • When a contract term left a decision to the discretion of one party, that decision was virtually unreviewable. 
  • However, the courts could become involved when the party making the decision was charged with bad faith. 
  • The court held that the trial court erred in failing to recognize that a duty of good faith and fair dealing was included in this contract. 
  • Therefore, the buyers were obligated to not deliberately avoid closing the transaction before a date certain.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed the order that granted summary judgment to the real estate broker and remanded the case for trial.

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