Posts tagged "Goucher"

Goddard v. Goucher, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-013-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   15-P-19                                         Appeals Court   SCOTT GODDARD  vs.  RICHARD E. GOUCHER, trustee,[1] & another.[2] No. 15-P-19. Plymouth.     December 1, 2015. – February 2, 2016.   Present:  Kafker, C.J., Milkey, & Sullivan, JJ. Real Property, Purchase and sale agreement.  Contract, Sale of real estate, What constitutes.  Practice, Civil, Stipulation, Findings by judge.  Evidence, Credibility of witness, Best and secondary.  Witness, Credibility.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on October 25, 2011.   The case was heard by Robert J. Kane, J.     Isaac H. Peres (Richard W. Bland, II, with him) for the plaintiff. John D. Finnegan for town of Dover.     KAFKER, C.J.  The plaintiff, Scott Goddard, appeals from a judgment entered against him following a jury-waived trial in the Superior Court on his complaint seeking enforcement of a 2007 purchase and sale agreement.  The two issues on appeal are (1) whether the trial judge erred in concluding that Goddard and the defendant Richard Goucher failed to enter into a valid and enforceable purchase and sale agreement despite a pretrial stipulation regarding the contractual negotiations and their legal consequences, and (2) whether the trial judge erred in declining to admit secondary evidence of the purchase and sale agreement, in violation of the best evidence rule.  We conclude that the judge correctly distinguished the factual elements from the legal elements in the stipulation.  We further discern no error in his additional findings of fact and legal analysis regarding the validity of the purchase and sale agreement or in his weighing of the secondary evidence pursuant to the best evidence rule.  We therefore affirm the judgment. Background.  The trial judge made extensive findings of fact, which we summarize below.  Richard Goucher’s mother, Barbara B. Goucher,[3] owned property located on Wilsondale Street (property) in Dover (town).  In 2004, Barbara conveyed the property to herself as trustee of the Salt Marsh Farm Trust and executed a durable power of attorney naming Richard as her agent and attorney-in-fact.  Barbara and Richard attempted to sell the property, and in January, 2007, an interested party made an offer.[4]  Because of various wetlands on the property, Richard assembled a team, including Goddard, an environmental engineer, and Attorney Vincent O’Brien, to develop a proposal for potential permitting.  After the interested party withdrew his offer, Richard offered Goddard the property for one dollar plus the […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - February 2, 2016 at 6:49 pm

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