Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Krasner v. Berk

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
319 N.E.2d 897 (1974)


Bernard Krasner (plaintiff) and Morton Berk (defendant) were doctors who shared an office space, splitting the rent equally. In September 1967, Berk’s wife and brother observed changes in Berk’s behavior. Berk had become forgetful and disoriented, neglecting his paperwork and missing his patients’ appointments. The following year, Berk began to talk with doctors about his health. By 1969, Berk would forget his car and hitchhike home. Berk missed more appointments and had other troubles. Berk’s wife talked with Krasner about these issues, but Krasner replied that he saw no change in Berk. In April 1969, after an unsuccessful search for a new office space, Krasner and Berk renewed their lease for three years. In a second agreement, written by Krasner’s attorney, Krasner and Berk stated that they would share the rent and taxes equally even if one of them left the office space for any reason, including disability. Berk read the agreement and said that it was fair. Berk also later dictated a letter complaining to the landlord. In June 1969, Berk saw a neurologist, who found that Berk was having short-term memory problems. Later that year, the neurologist found that Berk’s issues went beyond memory. Berk had presenile dementia, which had developed slowly and was irreversible. The neurologist advised Berk to stop practicing medicine, which Berk did in July 1970. Krasner sued Berk for Berk’s half of the rent and taxes under their 1969 agreement. At trial, Krasner asked the court to find that Berk could not raise a mental incapacity defense because Berk understood the agreement at the time it was made. The trial court denied Krasner’s motion, but the appellate court reversed. Berk appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Braucher, J.)

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 498,000 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 498,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 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.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial