Bernkrant v. Fowler
Supreme Court of California
360 P.2d 906 (1961)
Nevada residents Louis, Florence, and Alfred Bernkrant (plaintiffs) owed John Granrud $24,000 on the purchase of a Nevada apartment building. In Las Vegas in 1954, Granrud orally offered to forgive the Bernkrants’ debt in his will if they made a partial payment and refinanced. The Bernkrants agreed. They made a payment, the debt was reduced through refinancing, and Granrud used the proceeds to buy a trailer park in Las Vegas. Less than two years later, Granrud died while living in California. There was no evidence of his domicile at the time of the oral agreement with the Bernkrants. His will made no provision for the forgiveness of plaintiffs’ debt. The Bernkrants filed an action in California state court against Granrud’s executrix, Dorothy Fowler (defendant), seeking to compel cancellation of the debt and reconveyance of the Nevada property by which the debt was secured. The trial court ruled in favor of Fowler on the grounds that the statute of frauds barred the Bernkrants’ suit under both Nevada and California law. The intermediate appellate court upheld the trial court’s decision with respect to California law. The Bernkrants appealed, arguing that Nevada law should apply and that Granrud’s promise was enforceable thereunder.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Traynor, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 168,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.