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Brown v. Finney

53 Pa. 373 (1866)

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Brown v. Finney

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

53 Pa. 373 (1866)

Facts

William Brown (defendant) was a coal dealer. Brown ran into Robert Finney (plaintiff) in a bar, and the topic of conversation became Brown’s coal business. According to a witness, McKee, Finney began trying to convince Brown to deliver him coal. The parties discussed terms, and Finney began to write a check. At that point, however, Brown said “Never mind that, I’ll have the papers drawn up tomorrow.” Ultimately, the parties disputed the terms, and never reduced the contract to writing. Finney sued Brown for breach of contract. The trial court instructed the jury that if a party wanted a contract to be in writing, the party had to affirmatively reserve that condition when entering into the contract. The trial court thus presumed in its instructions that the parties had formed a valid contract. The jury found in favor of Finney. Brown appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Thompson, J.)

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