Attorney Syd Saloman of Melick & Porter – part of Themis Advocates Group – has successfully defended a Rhode Island real estate agency in summary judgment. The client was accused of violating an oral contract between the agency and a real estate buyer, leading to a professional liability claim. By arguing for the Statute of Frauds in contract cases, Attorney Saloman was able to close the case in his client’s favor without needing to take it to costly litigation.
Details of the Professional Liability Summary Judgment Case
Attorney Saloman’s clients were a real estate agency and brokers who acted as listing agents for a party that was selling a condominium. Two potential buyers, each represented by their own real estate agents, came forth with purchase offers at essentially the same time. A bidding war began between the two interested buyers.
The seller eventually accepted a promising offer from one party – called party A for simplicity. Party B felt jilted and claimed that there had been an oral agreement to purchase the condominium before it was officially sold to party A. In a wide-sweeping move, party A attempted to sue practically everyone else involved in the real estate transaction.
Party A’s lawsuit targeted the following as defendants:
- Seller’s real estate agent
- Buyer’s real estate agent
Recognizing the unofficial nature of an oral contract, Attorney Saloman moved for summary judgment, arguing that the Statute of Frauds protected all of his clients from any professional liability argued by the plaintiff. The Statute of Frauds is a cornerstone legal rule in contract law that essentially states certain legal agreements must be put into writing to be valid and actionable, including real estate transaction agreements. Given that there was never a written agreement between party B and any other party to purchase the condominium, the Statute of Frauds quickly took the plaintiff’s argument out from under their case.
The summary judgment was passed in favor of Attorney Saloman’s client. The court made a note that upholding the Statute of Frauds was not only necessary for a fair conclusion of the current case but also to prevent countless future lawsuits from being filed based on nothing other than an alleged oral agreement between a buyer and a real estate seller.
Interested in seeing if the attorneys of Melick & Portner or another law firm belonging to Themis Advocates Group can help you with a complex case or lawsuit? We are a legal network comprised of more than 26 law firms across more than 45 States and U.S. territories. Contact us today to find a Themis Advocates Group member nearest you.