Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sierra Pacific Industries v. Carter case brief summary

Sierra Pacific Industries v. Carter 
 
a.       Case History
                                                              i.      Trial court granted a motion for a new trial, Carter appeals
b.      Facts
                                                              i.      During the fall of 1975, Sierra purchased the property in question
1.      10 acre parcel with 5 duplexes and 2 single family homes
                                                            ii.      Sierra requested Carter, a real estate agent of 26 years, sell the property
1.      Carter was familiar with the property having tried to sell it before
                                                          iii.      Both parties agreed that the selling price would be $85,000 and Carter would receive $5,000 in commission
                                                          iv.      The trial testimony was in conflict over what would happen if Carter sold the property for more than $85,000
                                                            v.      In June of 1976, Carter sold the property to his daughter and son-in-law for $85,000 and took the $5,000 commission without informing Sierra that he had sold the property to family
                                                          vi.      Sierra initiated a fraud action
1.      A jury found for Carter and judgment was entered
c.       Ruling
                                                              i.      An agent has a fiduciary duty to disclose to his principle, all information in his possession relevant to the agency
                                                            ii.      And agent may not compete with the principle or act as an agent for another party whose interests might conflict with the principle’s
                                                          iii.      A real estate agent must refrain from dual representation during a sale, unless he has the consent of both principles
1.      This means that a real estate agent must disclose that the buyer is a family member if the relation is such that the agent could be said to be acquiring an interest in the subject property
                                                          iv.      Carter owed a duty to disclose whom he sold the property to
                                                            v.      Carter cannot receive the commission, and is liable for a minimum of $5,000
1.      The jury was in error
                                                          vi.      The order granting a new trial is affirmed with instructions to direct of verdict as to duty and breach. The only matter for consideration is the amount of damages

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