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Quote of the Day - Everything you have wants to own you. - Regina Eilert
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Handwritten Note may Force $16.5 Million Purchase

Be careful what you sign.

Although this case isn't over yet, it certainly took a turn for the worse for Lawrence Taylor, a general partner of the Santa Monica Collection (SMC). Who?

Well, apparently, Taylor asked Donald Sterling about purchasing real estate properties. Sterling agreed to purchase the properties. Sterling then prepared a handwritten document that listed three street addresses in Santa Monicaand a sales price of $16.75 million.

Got that? Handwritten.

Taylor never bought the properties. As expected, Sterling sued Taylor to enforce the agreement. A trial court decided that the handwritten document contained terms that were too uncertain to be enforceable under the statute of frauds.

In short, the statute of frauds requires that some contracts, including those for the sale of real property, be in writing and signed by the party that agrees to perform (here, Taylor).

To qualify, the handwritten note must at least include a description of the property and the price to be paid.

The California Court of Appeal, Second District held that the handwritten document met those qualifications, and sent the case back to the trial court for the judge to decide if the agreement was actually enforceable under the remaining requirements of the statute of frauds.

Taylor may have to buy the three properties yet. With his luck, though, the value will have dropped, too.

Next time he wants to buy property, I bet he uses a lawyer to draft up the purchase agreement.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, November 28, 2003 at 16:49 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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