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Fleming v. Morrison

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
72 N.E.2d 499 (1904)


Francis Butterfield had his attorney, Sidney Goodrich, draft a will leaving his entire estate to Mary Fleming (defendant) as a ploy to induce Mary Fleming to have sex with him. After Butterfield signed the will and Goodrich signed as one of three required attesting witnesses, Butterfield disclosed to Goodrich that he did not intend this will to be a real will, and that it was “made for a purpose.” Butterfield then had the will signed by two additional witnesses, but he did not tell those witnesses that he did not intend the will to be used as a real will. Mary Fleming’s attempt to enforce Butterfield’s will was challenged and the lower court admitted extrinsic evidence. The case ultimately was appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning

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