Logourl black
From our private database of 13,300+ case briefs...

Davis v. Jacoby

Supreme Court of California
34 P.2d 1026 (Cal. 1934)


Facts

Caro Davis was the niece of Mr. and Mrs. Whitehead, but they were very close and the Whiteheads trusted her and loved her like a daughter. When the Whiteheads became sick in their old age, Mr. Whitehead wrote a letter to Davis and her husband (plaintiffs) requesting that they come live with and take care of him and his wife until their death. Mr. Whitehead offered to devise all of the Whiteheads’ assets to the Davises if they did so. Mr. Whitehead was depressed and desperately sought not only the Davises’ acceptance of his offer, but also a quick response to his offer, writing in a subsequent letter, “Will you let me hear from you as soon as possible.” The Davises wrote a letter back purporting to accept the offer and promising to leave their home soon to take care of the Whiteheads. Soon after, the Davises did abandon their home and Mr. Davis’s business and started the trip to the Whiteheads’ home. Right before they left, however, Mr. Whitehead committed suicide. When the Davises finally arrived at the Whitehead home, they cared for Mrs. Whitehead until she died in accordance with the contract. However, the written wills of the Whiteheads in effect actually devised their assets to their nephews, Geoff Doubble and Rupert Whitehead (nephews) (defendants). The Davises brought suit for specific performance of their contract with the Whiteheads. The trial court found in favor of the nephews on the theory that Mr. Whitehead’s offer to the Davises was for a unilateral contract and could only be accepted by performance, not a promise to perform, and thus the Davises did not accept Mr. Whitehead’s offer until after he had already died. The Davises 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 (The Court)

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.

What to do next…

  1. 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.

  2. 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 136,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,300 briefs, keyed to 182 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.