ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS BASED ON THE TWO ASSIGNED CASES FROM WEEK 9. AS ALWAYS, THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS ARE FOUND IN THE CASES THEMSELVES AND NOT ON THE INTERNET.
Lucy v. Zehmer
- What is the isuue that the Court is asked to decide?
- What principle of law does the court apply to the facts to decide the case?
- List five facts that you think were good for Lucy.
- List three facts that you think were good for Zehmer.
- Change 5 facts so that the result would have been for Zehmer.
- Would it have made any difference if Lucy had been the pone to write the agreement? What does the Court say that supports your answer?
- Would it have been a harder or easier case for the Court to decide if Zehmer was the one trying to enforce the contract?
- Taking into account all of the facts, do you think it was reasonable for Lucy to have believed Zehmer was serious? Why or why not?
Wright v. Newman
- What is the issue that the Court says it must decide?
- Promissory estoppel operates to allow one party to enforce a contract that would otherwise be unenforceable. Without promissory estoppel, Newman’s claim would fail because what required element of an enforceable contract is missing?
- Note that Newman was not seeking to collect back child support from Wright, only to establish a court ordered child support obligation going forward. Also, Wright had not been paying child support in the seven years since Newman cut off contact with him. How does this affect your view of the majority’s opinion that Newman relied on Wright’s promise to her detriment? Should the Court have given more weight to what happened in the intervening seven years? Why or why not?
- Fatherhood and supporting children carry substantial moral weight. Do you think Newman’s case would have been weaker if the promise involved something like the repair of a fence? Why or why not?
- Which specific part of the majority opinion does Justice Benham disagree with in his dissenting opinion?
- Why does Justice Benham say Newman has not relied on Wright’s promise to her detriment?
- What does Justice Sears specifically take issue with from the dissenting opinion?
- The Court makes clear that promissory estoppel is used only when the failure to impose it on the parties would create an injustice. What does Justice Sears see as the injustice to the child if the contract is not enforced?
- Do you believe that injustice would result if the Court failed to enforce Wright’s promise? Why or why not?
- What is your one sentence summary of the Court’s holding in this case?