Logourl black

Kramer v. Caribbean Mills, Inc.

United States Supreme Court
394 U.S. 823 (1969)


In 1959, Caribbean Mills, Inc. (defendant) entered into a contract with the Panama and Venezuela Finance Company (Panama). The contract provided that Caribbean Mills would pay Panama $85,000 down and an additional $165,000 in 12 annual installments, for 125 shares of corporate stock. Caribbean Mills failed to make any installment payments, despite requests for payment by Panama. In 1964, Panama assigned its interest in the 1959 contract to Kramer (plaintiff), an attorney in Texas. In a separate but related agreement, Kramer promised to pay Panama 95% of any net recovery on the assigned cause of action. Soon thereafter, Kramer brought this diversity suit against Caribbean Mills in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Kramer prevailed at trial and was awarded $165,000 by a jury. Caribbean Mills appealed on the grounds that the district court lacked jurisdiction because the assignment was “improperly or collusively made” under 28 U.S.C. § 1359. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit agreed, and reversed the judgment of the district court. Kramer appealed on the grounds that the undisputed legality of the assignment under Texas law rendered it valid for purposes of federal jurisdiction.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.


The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Harlan, 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, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Here's why 90,000 law students rely on our case briefs:

  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners not other law students.
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet.
  • 12,195 briefs - keyed to 164 casebooks.
  • Uniform format for every case brief.
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language.
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions.
  • Ability to tag case briefs in an outlining tool.
  • Top-notch customer support.
Start Your Free Trial Now