Logourl black

Bak-a-lum Corp. of America v. ALCOA Bldg. Prods., Inc.

Supreme Court of New Jersey
351 A.2d 349 (1976)


Facts

ALCOA Bldg. Prods., Inc. (ALCOA) (defendant) is a manufacturer of aluminum siding products. Bak-a-lum Corp. of America (BAL) (plaintiff) became an exclusive distributor of ALCOA products through a verbal agreement with ALCOA in 1962 or 1963. ALCOA terminated the exclusive distributorship agreement with ALCOA in January 1970 by appointing four additional distributors in the same geographic area. At the time, BAL had recently entered a new lease for a significantly expanded warehouse facility for use in its distribution of ALCOA products. BAL brought suit for breach of contract in New Jersey state court against ALCOA. At trial, BAL introduced evidence that ALCOA’s termination of the exclusive distributorship agreement would cost BAL $10,000 per month in lost profits. The trial court held that there was a binding and enforceable agreement between ALCOA and BAL that was terminable only after a reasonable period of time and on reasonable notice. Additionally, the trial court found that ALCOA purposely kept its decision to break the exclusive distributorship agreement a secret from BAL because it did not want to discourage BAL from zealously selling ALCOA products. The trial court concluded that a reasonable period time had passed on the agreement, and concluded that a reasonable period of notice to BAL would be seven months. The trial court determined BAL’s monthly lost profits to be $5,000 and awarded BAL $35,000 in damages. Both parties appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Conford, J)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • 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.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Here's why 78,000 law students rely on our case briefs:

  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners not other law students.
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet.
  • 10,767 briefs - keyed to 141 casebooks.
  • Uniform format for every case brief.
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language.
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions.
  • Ability to tag case briefs in an outlining tool.
  • Top-notch customer support.
Start Your Free Trial Now