Articles Posted in Contracts

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court entering an order enforcing a merger agreement between two churches, holding that the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate this dispute. The two churches in this case entered into a merger agreement memorializing a merger between the churches. When one of the churches (Defendant) decided it wished to withdraw from the “proposed” merger, the other church (Plaintiff), instituted this action. The jury returned a special verdict in favor of Plaintiff, finding that the parties had reached a merger agreement and that Plaintiff had performed its obligations under the merger agreement. The trial court entered a final order in accord with the merger agreement and the jury’s verdict. Defendant sought to vacate the trial court’s order, arguing that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to enter it. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the trial court had subject matter jurisdiction either to adjudicate a breach of contract claim or to issue a declaratory judgment on the merger contract, and a pending bankruptcy did not foreclose the trial court’s adjudication of the merger contract. View "Pure Presbyterian Church v. Grace of God Presbyterian Church" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court vacated in part and reversed in part the decision of the circuit court reducing the amount due on a deed of trust note (note) and entering a confessed judgment for the reduced amount without the agreement of Catjen, LLC. Hunter Mill West, L.C. (HMW) executed the note payable to the predecessor in interest to Catjen. HMW failed to repay the note in full by the date of maturity and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Catjen’s predecessor filed a claim for the amount it asserted was due on the note. The bankruptcy court sustained HMW’s objections to the claims and accepted HMW’s calculations. Catjen subsequently foreclosed on the property that was used as collateral for the note. The attorney in fact then confessed judgment against HMW in favor of Catjen. Citing Va. Code 8.01-433, HMW moved to set aside the confessed judgment. The trial court modified the confessed judgment, awarding Catjen the amount based on HMW’s calculations despite Catjen not agreeing to the amount due. The trial court denied the motion. The Supreme Court vacated the confessed judgment and reversed the trial court’s judgment on the amount due, holding that the trial court erred by failing to place this case on the docket for a trial on the merits. View "Catjen, LLC v. Hunter Mill West, L.C." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the the judgment of the circuit court setting aside the jury’s verdict awarding CGI Federal Inc. $12 million in damages for its fraudulent inducement and breach of contract claims against FCi Federal, Inc., holding that the circuit court did not commit reversible error in its judgment. This lawsuit related to a teaming agreement entered between the parties to obtain a federal government contract. After the jury rendered its verdict, the circuit court set it aside on the grounds that the teaming agreement did not obligate FCi to extend a subcontract to CGI and that CGI did not prove fraud damages. The court further granted FCi’s motion for summary judgment on CGI’s alternative claim for unjust enrichment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in (1) overturning the jury’s verdict on the breach of contract claim; (2) vacating the jury’s award of damages for the fraudulent inducement claim because CGI cannot recover any lost profits on this claim; and (3) entering summary judgment for FCi on the unjust enrichment claim because CGI may not recover on a quasi-contractual claim that is otherwise precluded by a contract which CGI has affirmed. View "CGI Federal Inc. v. FCi Federal, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

by
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

by
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

by
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

by
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

by
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

by
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

by
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