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Contract Law Legal Briefing on Lucy v. Zehmer Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia (196. Va. 493, 84 S.E.2d 516 (1954)

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Ti?Isha Edwards Business 10 Sec ON3 (21116) Briefing on Lucy v. Zehmer Lucy v. Zehmer Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia (196. Va. 493, 84 S.E.2d 516 (1954) BUCHANAN, J. (Justice) Plaintiff: W.O. Lucy (and wife) Defendants: A.H. and Ida Zehmer Facts One night, Lucy stopped in to visit Zehmer at Zehmer?s place of business. Lucy has known Zehmer for close to twenty years; Lucy has also made offers to buy Zehmer?s Ferguson Farm for $50,000 for eight years out of the twenty years of knowing Zehmer. During Lucy and Zehmer?s visit, both parties were engaging in drinking while conversing about Lucy?s interest in purchasing Ferguson Farm for $50,000 among other topics. ...read more.


Lucy filed an appeal. Issue Will the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia considers whether the lower court?s decision to deem the contract unenforceable due to Zehmer?s intoxication (a condition in which a person?s normal capacity to act or think is inhibited by alcohol or some other drug). Was Zehmer?s intention (a reasonable person in the offeree?s position would conclude that the offeror?s words and actions mean) concerning the offer was in jest (not a serious offer) for the sale of Ferguson Farm to Lucy? Decision Yes. Zehmer?s acts and words could be reasonably interpreted by Lucy as an offer to sell his farm. ...read more.


Zehmer and his wife both signed the agreement. These facts provided persuasive evidence that the execution of the contract was a serious business transaction. Reason In contract law, the court looks to the objective, outward expression of a person and not to their secret and unexpressed subjective intent. The test is whether a reasonable person would conclude that the party?s words and actions constituted an offer. In this case, Judgment for Zehmer reversed and remanded. Therefore, the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia reversed the ruling of the lower court and determined that the contract was an enforceable contract. Zehmer is required by the court to uphold is part of the contract (specific performance) and sale the property to Lucy for $50,000 as stated in the contract (the second draft). ...read more.

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