Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wood v. Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon case brief

Wood v. Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon case brief summary
222 N.Y. 88

SYNOPSIS: Plaintiff marketer sought review of a judgment of the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court, First Judicial Department (New York), which reversed the trial court's order denying a motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by defendant fashion designer and which granted the motion. The marketer asserted that the designer was bound by an implied contract.

OVERVIEW: An agreement existed between the fashion designer and the marketer, which gave the marketer authority to make sales and advertising decisions. Essentially, the marketer had the power to license the fashion designer's products to other marketers. The fashion designer subsequently marketed her own products but did not share in the obtained revenue. The marketer filed a lawsuit for breach of contract and damages resulting from the lost profits.

The trial court denied the fashion designer's motion for judgment on the pleadings, which was reversed on appeal. On final appeal, the court affirmed the ruling of the trial court, holding that an implied contract existed between the parties.

HOLDING: The court reversed the judgment on the grounds that the marketer gave valuable consideration by promising effective marketing and the splitting of profits pursuant to an implied contract.

Specifically, the marketer's implied promise to faithfully market the designer's products amounted to fair consideration creating performance obligations by both parties.

-In determining the intention of the parties the promise has a value.  This helps to enforce that the plaintiff had some duties.
-Unless he gave his efforts, she could never get anything.
-A promise may be lacking within a contract, and yet the whole writing may be instinct with an obligation, imperfectly expressed. If that is so, there is a contract.

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