Supreme Court of Virginia
186 S.E.2d 79 (1972)
At an auction for the foreclosure sale of real property held by trustees for the benefit of the owners Howard Horton, Ralph Kaul and their wives (defendants), Hubert Hoffman (plaintiff) submitted a bid of $177,000. With no further bids apparently forthcoming, the auctioneer paused and then said, “going once for $177,000, going twice for $177,000, sold for $177,000,” at which point he struck his right fist down onto his left palm. A trustee immediately approached the auctioneer and reported that he had missed a bid of $178,000. The auctioneer had neither seen nor heard such higher bid, but he reopened bidding against the objection of Hoffman. The auction then continued until the property was ultimately awarded to Hoffman for a winning bid of $194,000. Hoffman paid that amount under protest and sued the property owners and trustees for the $17,000 difference between his bids of $177,000 and $194,000. The trial court found, as a matter of fact which was not disputed on appeal, that the $178,000 bid was made “prior to or simultaneously with” the fall of the auctioneer’s fist upon accepting the bid of $177,000. The trial court held that the auctioneer properly exercised his discretion to reopen bidding, relying on a Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) section that provides that an auctioneer may reopen bidding or declare the goods sold, at his option, in the event a higher bid is made while the auctioneer’s hammer falls during acceptance of a lower bid.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Carrico, 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 240,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 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.