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Duggin v. Adams

360 S.E.2d 832 (1987)

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Duggin v. Adams

Virginia Supreme Court

360 S.E.2d 832 (1987)

Facts

Kenneth Duggin (plaintiff) entered into a contract to purchase land from Betty Williams. C. Douglas Adams (defendant), an attorney, represented Williams in connection with the purchase. After Duggin disclosed to Adams that Duggin would be selling the land to a third party willing to pay an assignment fee, Adams informed Duggin that Duggin had breached his contract with Williams and forfeited his deposit. Adams then had Williams give Adams the right to purchase her property and cancel her contract with Duggin. Adams prepared a letter that Williams sent to Duggin canceling their contract. Duggin sued Adams, alleging that Adams tortiously interfered with Duggin’s contract rights with Williams. Duggin alleged that when Adams learned that a third party was willing to pay an additional fee to purchase the land, Adams induced Williams to cancel her contract with Duggin and enter into a contract with Adams that Adams would then sell to the third party. Duggin alleged that Adams, who represented himself as acting as Williams’s attorney, willfully and maliciously concealed his true role and that he was acting on his own behalf, and Duggin would not have shared confidential information with Adams had he known Adams would use the information for his own personal gain and to Duggin’s detriment. Duggin moved for judgment, and the trial court sustained Adams’s demurrer to the allegations. Judgment was entered for Adams. Duggin appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stephenson, J.)

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