Brown v. Finney
Pennsylvania Supreme Court
53 Pa. 373 (1866)
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
Holding and Reasoning (Thompson, 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 726,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead 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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 726,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,700 briefs, keyed to 983 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.