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Emanuel Law Outlines, Inc. v. Multi-State Legal Studies, Inc.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
899 F.Supp. 1081 (1995)


Emanuel Law Outlines, Inc. (Emanuel) (plaintiff) agreed to sell legal study materials to Multi-State Legal Studies, Inc. (Multi-State) (defendant) over a three-year period commencing September 1, 1992. In exchange for the materials, Multi-State promised to pay Emanuel a yearly fee plus shipping and printing costs. Cancellation of the parties’ installment contract was permitted only after a material breach that remained uncured 30 days after the breaching party received notice thereof. One of Emanuel’s deliverables in the first year was a criminal procedure supplement scheduled to be ready at Emanuel’s warehouse by May 1, 1993. A few months before the deadline, Emanuel’s writer/editor underwent heart surgery and fell behind in his work. Emanuel notified Multi-State prior to the surgery of a potential delay. The parties dispute whether Multi-State agreed to extend the deadline, which Emanuel subsequently missed. Multi-State alleged that it sent two letters notifying Emanuel of its breach, but Emanuel denied receiving such letters. The criminal procedure supplement was ready on June 3, 1993, and Multi-State had it shipped out via regular parcel delivery. In August 1993, Multi-State informed Emanuel that its failure to deliver the supplement on time was a material breach that excused Multi-State from further performance. Emanuel sued. The trial court heard the case without a jury and issued findings of fact and conclusion of law.

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