Posts tagged "1108315"

Barrie-Chivian, et al. v. Lepler (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-083-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   14-P-780                                        Appeals Court   NANCY BARRIE-CHIVIAN & another[1]  vs.  MARK LEPLER. No. 14-P-780. Middlesex.     March 2, 2015. – July 31, 2015.   Present:  Katzmann, Milkey, & Agnes, JJ. Contract, Promissory estoppel.  Estoppel.  Guaranty.  Frauds, Statute of.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on June 24, 2010.   The case was tried before Peter B. Krupp, J.     David B. Stein for the defendant. James A. Schuh for the plaintiffs.     MILKEY, J.  After the defendant admitted at trial that he orally agreed to guarantee a loan, a jury found him liable for  nonpayment of that loan based on a theory of promissory estoppel.  On appeal, the defendant argues that the plaintiffs’ claim was barred by the Statute of Frauds.  We affirm. Background.[2]  In 2003, several months after he and the plaintiffs’ daughter had married, the defendant approached the plaintiffs about the possibility of investing in his real estate company, Russell Development, LLC.  They agreed, and lent the company a total of $ 150,000 in capital.[3]  In 2004, the defendant solicited additional loans from the plaintiffs.  Neither of the plaintiffs would have agreed to the loans if the defendant had not promised to provide written personal guaranties.  Both of the plaintiffs repeatedly asked the defendant to execute written personal guaranties; the defendant agreed to do so, but never did.  As of 2010, they had not received any repayment, and soon thereafter the plaintiffs filed the action that is the subject of this appeal.  At trial, the defendant admitted that he had promised to provide personal guaranties of the loans, but asserted that the Statute of Frauds barred recovery on the personal guaranties absent a writing.[4]  On special verdicts, the jury rejected the plaintiffs’ contract claim, while awarding them $ 357,565 in damages based on their promissory estoppel claim. Discussion.  On appeal, the defendant claims that because the Statute of Frauds bars recovery in contract on a personal guaranty absent a sufficient writing, it was error for the trial judge to send the case to the jury on a theory of promissory estoppel.[5]  We review the judge’s legal conclusion de novo.  Anastos v. Sable, 443 Mass. 146, 149 (2004). According to the defendant, where enforcement of a contractual promise would otherwise be barred by the Statute of Frauds, a plaintiff can prevail on a theory of […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 31, 2015 at 9:19 pm

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