Articles Posted in Contracts

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In this dispute over contractual provision in a real estate purchase agreement (agreement) allocating future development rights for properties located near a new Metro rail station, the circuit court did not err in dismissing RECP IV WG Land Investors LLC’s (WG Land) suit against Capital One Bank (USA), N.A. (Capital One). WG Land, an assignee of certain rights of the seller under the agreement, sued Capital One, the assignee of the purchaser, alleging that Capital One breached the agreement and certain related covenants by developing the property acquired under the agreement without conveying a portion of floor area ratio rights to WG Land. The circuit court ultimately all three counts in the complaint and awarded attorney’s fees and costs to Capital One. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in sustaining Capital One’s demurrer as to Count I, sustaining Capital One’s plea in bar and granting its motion for summary judgment as to Counts II and III, and awarding attorney’s fees and costs to Capital One. View "RECP IV WG Land Investors LLC v. Capital One Bank" on Justia Law

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At issue was whether, during the sale of JB&A, Inc., a government contracting firm, to MCR Federal, LLC, another government contractor, MCR’s false statement of that a representation and warranty in the contract remained true was a fraudulent act independent of the contractual relationship such that JB&A properly brought actions for both fraud and breach of contract. The trial court held MCR liable for breach of contract and constructive fraud and awarded $12 million in compensatory damages. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) JB&A did not bring proper claims for actual or constructive fraud; (2) the evidence presented at trial established that MCR’s breach of contract caused JB&A substantial damages; (3) the trial court properly granted compensatory damages of $12 million and pre-judgment interest of $3.5 million; and (4) the trial court erred in awarding JB&A attorney’s fees in the amount of $1.9 million for prevailing on its claim of constructive fraud. View "MCR Federal, LLC v. JB&A, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court awarding a sales commission to a real estate broker (Broker) despite the fact that a contemplated sale ultimately never took place. The trial court concluded (1) the Broker was a third-party beneficiary of the sale agreement, (2) the parties to the agreement waived its time-is-of-the-essence provision, and (3) the Seller improperly prevented the closing. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the trial court erred as a matter of law by awarding the Broker a sales commission on the ground that the Seller improperly prevented the closing because the trial court misapplied the prevention doctrine. View "Rastek Construction & Development Corp. v. General Land Commercial Real Estate Co., LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded the judgment of the circuit court dismissing La Bella Dona Skin Care, Inc.’s (LBD) civil conspiracy claims, granting summary judgment on LBD’s claim for fraudulent conveyance, and applying a clear and convincing standard of proof to LBD’s mere continuation theory of successor liability. LBD filed this complaint against eleven defendants seeking damages and injunctive relief as a result of Defendants’ involvement in a series of allegedly fraudulent conveyances designed to avoid an outstanding judgment in favor of LBD. The court held that the circuit court (1) did not err when it dismissed LBD’s civil conspiracy claims on demurrer where a fraudulent conveyance under Va. Code 55-80 cannot serve as the predicate unlawful act needed to support a claim for statutory or common law conspiracy; (2) erred in dismissing LBD’s fraudulent conveyance claim on summary judgment where a prima facie case of fraudulent conveyance may be established when the recipient is a third party creditor with a higher security interest; and (3) erred by applying a clear and convincing standard of proof to LBD’s mere continuation theory of successor liability. View "La Bella Dona Skin Care, Inc. v. Belle Femme Enterprises" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court in denying Seller specific performance of a contract for the sale of real property after finding that Seller failed to establish that he held marketable title. The Supreme Court held (1) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion by denying Seller’s motion in limine and admitting a substitute trustee’s deed, which rebutted Seller’s evidence that any dispute over ownership of the property had been resolved; (2) the circuit court did not err by granting Buyer’s motion to strike the evidence; and (3) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion by awarding Buyer attorney’s fees. View "Denton v. Browntown Valley Associates" on Justia Law

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For nearly a decade, Petitioner, as a pro se litigant, has filed numerous pleadings in the Supreme Court, all of which have been meritless. In 2017, the Supreme Court issued a rule to show cause against Petitioner, directing her to show cause why she should not be prohibited from filing any future pro se petition for appeal, or other pleading in the court, without first obtaining leave of court. In the underlying case, Petitioner field a complaint against Defendant alleging breach of contract and gross negligence. The trial court dismissed the case with prejudice. Petitioner unsuccessfully petitioned the Supreme Court for an appeal. The Supreme Court denied Adkins’ petition for rehearing and instructed the clerk to comply with this order as it pertains to future filings, finding it necessary to impose a pre-filing injunction against Petitioner in this court. View "Adkins v. CP/IPERS Arlington Hotel LLC" on Justia Law

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Marshall Auto & Truck Center, Inc. executed a promissory note in favor of Middleburg Bank. Charles Chamberlain executed a guaranty of that Note. Marshall failed to make payments to Middleburg, and the Bank withdrew funds from Chamberlain’s account to satisfy Marshall’s obligations under the Note. Chamberlain filed a complaint against Marshall claiming that, pursuant to Va. Code 49-27, he was entitled to judgment against Marshall upon Marshall’s default and seizure of collateral by the Bank. Marshall argued that Code 49-27 did not apply because Chamberlain executed the Guaranty as a gift. The circuit court ruled that Chamberlain recover nothing from Marshall. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because there was no evidence in the record that Chamberlain made a gift or waived his statutory rights under section 49-27, he was entitled to judgment. Remanded. View "Chamberlain v. Marshall Auto & Truck Center, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Banking, Contracts

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Client entered into a written representation agreement with Attorney for legal services. An attorney-in-fact for Client later filed a confession of judgment against Client in the amount of $9,460.07, with interest at eighteen percent from a certain date. Attorney subsequently filed a garnishment suggestion against Client in an effort to enforce the judgment. Client moved the court to enter an order declaring the confessed judgment void nunc pro tunc because of failure to serve it on her as required by Va. Code 8.01-438. Attorney moved to suffer a voluntary nonsuit. The court (1) granted the nonsuit, (2) quashed the confessed judgment nunc pro tunc, (3) ordered payment to Client of all sums held by the clerk by reason of the garnishment, and (4) awarded sanctions to be paid by Attorney to Client as reasonable expenses she incurred by reason of the garnishment proceedings. Attorney appealed the order granting sanctions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Attorney breached his duty imposed upon him by section 8.01-438, and that breach resulted in harm to Client, justifying sanctions. View "Westlake Legal Group v. Flynn" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts, Legal Ethics

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The Funny Guy, LLC sued Lecego, LLC, claiming that it was not paid for work it did for Lecego. Funny Guy alleged that Lecego had agreed to pay approximately ninety-seven percent of the fees claimed in an attempt to resolve the dispute but later refused to do so. The trial court sustained Lecego’s demurrer, finding that no such settlement ever existed. Thereafter, Funny Guy again sued Lecego asserting two alternative theories of recovery - breach of contract and quantum meruit. The trial court dismissed this second suit on the basis of res judicata, concluding that these two alternative theories of recovery could have been, and should have been, asserted in the first suit. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court properly applied res judicata in this case. View "The Funny Guy, LLC v. Lecego, LLC" on Justia Law

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Shannon Walters sustained serious injuries when her 1995 Mazda Miata convertible overturned while she was driving it with the soft top closed. Walters filed negligence and breach of implied warranty of merchantability claims against Mazda Motor Corporation and Mazda Motor of American, Inc. (collectively, Mazda), arguing that the soft top’s latching system was defective and that she was injured after the windshield headed disconnected from the top and collapsed into the occupant compartment. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of Walters. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Mazda had no legally recognized duty to design or supply a soft top that provided occupant protection in a rollover crash; and (2) the opinion offered by Walters’ expert that the Mada Miata latching system was defectively designed lacked an adequate foundation, and therefore, the circuit court abused its discretion in admitting it. Final judgment entered for Mazda. View "Holiday Motor Corp. v. Walters" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts, Injury Law