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Alaska Democratic Party v. Rice

Supreme Court of Alaska
934 P.2d 1313 (1997)


Facts

In 1991, Wakefield (defendant) was a candidate for the party chair of the Alaska Democratic Party (the Party) (defendant). At that time, Wakefield contacted Rice (plaintiff) to inquire about her interest to serve as his executive director. After Wakefield was elected in May 1992, Rice claims Wakefield confirmed his decision to hire her for at least two years, as well as an additional two years if he was re-elected. Rice would begin working in February 1993. In August 1992, Rice accepted an offer to work for another politician in Maryland. However, in September or October 1992, Rice accepted Wakefield’s offer. Rice moved to Alaska in November and resigned the Maryland position. Rice claims she could have continued in the Maryland position indefinitely. Rice did not enter into written contracts for either position. In February 1993, Wakefield was advised by the Party that he could not hire Rice. Rice claims Wakefield continued to inform her that she would be hired. However, Wakefield finally informed Rice that she was not hired. Rice filed suit. Rice was awarded damages at trial. The Party and Wakefield appealed to the Supreme Court of Alaska.

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Holding and Reasoning (Rabinowitz, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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