Energy Resources Corporation, Inc. v. Porter

14 Mass. App. Ct. 296, 438 N.E.2d 391 (1982)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Energy Resources Corporation, Inc. v. Porter

Massachusetts Appeals Court
14 Mass. App. Ct. 296, 438 N.E.2d 391 (1982)

  • Written by Haley Gintis, JD

Facts

In 1976, James Porter (defendant) served as vice president and chief scientist for Energy Resources Corporation, Inc. (ERCO) (plaintiff). Porter worked on the ERCO initiative to develop an energy efficient coal-fired furnace. In 1977, Porter met with two Howard University faculty members, Cannon and Jackson. Cannon and Jackson agreed to submit a joint proposal with ERCO to the Department of Energy (DOE) to receive a grant for fluidized-bed-combustion development. Porter and the faculty members decided that Howard University would be listed as the primary applicant for the grant and ERCO would be listed as a proposed subcontractor. This decision was based on Jackson’s belief that the DOE would be inclined to support Howard University because it was a minority institution. After five months of collaboration, Jackson informed Porter that he had concerns about ERCO using Howard University to receive money intended for minorities. Porter tried to alleviate Jackson’s concerns but was unsuccessful. Jackson told Porter that Howard University would not collaborate with ERCO. Jackson spoke to the DOE about obtaining another subcontractor. The DOE informed Jackson that Porter had to be the subcontractor, regardless of whether he was affiliated with ERCO. Porter, Jackson, and Cannon then decided that Porter would create his own company for the project but, upon seeking advice from outside counsel, would not work on the proposal itself. Following this meeting, Porter told the ERCO president on two occasions that ERCO was not going to be awarded the subcontractor position and no further questions were asked. Shortly after DOE awarded Howard University the grant, Porter resigned. Porter told ERCO that was starting his own corporation to focus on computerized cars. However, ERCO then became aware that Porter’s new company, Energy & Environmental Engineering, Inc. (EEE), took the subcontractor opportunity with Howard University. ERCO sued Porter for breaching his fiduciary duty to ERCO by diverting a corporate opportunity for his own benefit. Porter claimed that because Jackson refused to work with ERCO, there was no corporate opportunity. The trial court agreed with Porter and returned a verdict in his favor. The matter was appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kass J.)

Concurrence (Brown J.)

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 736,000 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
  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.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 736,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 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.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 736,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership