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Fischer v. Fischer

Supreme Court of Kentucky
197 S.W.3d 98 (2006)


Facts

In 1994, Richard Fischer formed a partnership with his son, Todd Fischer (defendant). The partnership agreement stated that the partnership was formed to purchase, lease, and sell real estate at a specific address in Florence, Kentucky. In 1995, Richard and Todd amended the partnership agreement to provide that if either partner died, the surviving partner would buy the decedent partner’s interest for $50,000 payable over five years with interest (buy-sell provision). Richard learned that he was terminally ill in 2000. Richard’s attorney sent a letter to Todd stating that Richard was dissolving the partnership because the buy-sell provision was financially unfair to Richard. Richard then executed a new will, leaving his entire estate to his second wife, Jacquelyn Fischer (plaintiff). After Richard died, Jacquelyn filed a suit individually and as executrix of Richard’s estate. Todd moved for partial summary judgment, seeking to enforce the partnership’s buy-sell provision. Todd argued that although Richard’s letter began the process of winding up the partnership, the partnership was still in place when Richard died. The trial court granted Todd’s motion, finding that the partnership had not been dissolved by Richard’s letter, and therefore the buy-sell provision was enforceable. Jacquelyn appealed. The court of appeals reversed, holding that Richard’s letter dissolved the partnership and extinguished the buy-sell provision. Todd appealed to the Supreme Court of Kentucky.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Lambert, C. J.)

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Concurrence (Cooper, J.)

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