Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

King v. Trustees of Boston University

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
647 N.E.2d 1196 (1995)


Facts

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made the decision to deposit correspondence, manuscripts, other papers, some of his awards, and other materials with the Trustees of Boston University (BU) (defendant). Accompanying the deposit was a letter. The letter included the following statement: “I intend each year to indicate a portion of the materials deposited with [BU] to become the absolute property of [BU] as an outright gift from me, until all shall have been thus given to [BU]. In the event of my death, all such materials deposited with [BU] shall become from that date the absolute property of [BU].” When the materials were deposited, BU indexed the papers, made them available to researchers, and hired trained staff to take care of the papers and assist researchers. BU also held a ceremony for the receipt of the papers. Dr. King spoke at the ceremony about why he placed those papers in BU’s custody. Upon Dr. King’s death, his wife (Mrs. King) (plaintiff), as administratrix of his estate, sought the return of the materials from BU. Mrs. King filed suit. At trial, the jury determined that King made a charitable pledge to BU. Mrs. King filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The trial court denied the motion. Mrs. King appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Abrams, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

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 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.

  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. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 218,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 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.