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DiGuiseppe v. Lawler

Texas Supreme Court
269 S.W.3d 588 (2008)


Facts

In October 1998, Nick DiGuiseppe (defendant) contracted to purchase land from Richard Lawler (plaintiff). The purchase was conditioned upon the city’s approval of a rezoning application to support DiGuiseppe’s building plans. The contract provided that closing would occur 15 days after successfully rezoning, and that DiGuiseppe would deposit $100,000 upon contract signing, $100,00 upon submission of the rezoning application, and $400,000 upon the city’s approval of the rezoning “as applied for.” The city council approved the rezoning application on January 4, 2000. Taking the position that the rezoning had not been approved “as applied for,” DiGuiseppe did not make the third deposit. Lawler filed suit, contending that DiGuiseppe defaulted on the contract, and seeking a declaration that the contract was terminated and damages for breach of contract. DiGuiseppe counterclaimed for breach of contract and specific performance. A jury found in DiGuiseppe’s favor, awarding damages and specific performance. Lawler appealed. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that DiGuiseppe had not proven that he was ready, willing, and able to complete the purchase that the time the transaction would have closed, as is required for a successful claim for specific performance. DiGuiseppe appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Waldrop, J.)

Dissent (Green, J.)

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