California Court of Appeal
214 Cal. App. 3d 356 (1989)
In 1963, Gates Rubber Co. (plaintiff) leased the subject property from Louis Lesser Enterprises, Inc. (Lesser) for 20 years with four successive options to extend the terms for five years each. Lesser also gave Gates an option to purchase the property during the twentieth year of the lease. Both the lease and the option were not recorded. Lesser and Gates did record a short-form lease stating the basic terms of the agreement. The document referenced the long-form lease, stating that it was the sole agreement of the lease between the parties. It did not mention the purchase option. The lease required Lesser to build an office and warehouse building on Gates’s behalf. In 1969, Charles Ulman took present ownership of the property through a series of conveyances starting from Lesser. None of these deeds referred to the option agreement. In 1983, Gates exercised its option to purchase, but Harry Ulman (defendant), administrator and executor of Charles Ulman’s estate, refused to convey the property because there was no evidence that Charles was ever aware of the purchase option when he purchased the property in 1969. Gates sued to seek specific performance of the option, declaratory relief, and damages. The trial court ruled in favor of Ulman, holding that Gates’s possession of the property, while open, notorious, and exclusive, was insufficient to impose on Charles a duty of inquiry because Gates’s possession was wholly consistent with the recorded title and lease. Gates appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (George, J.)
What to do next…
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 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
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. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 204,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.