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Lechner v. Halling

Washington Supreme Court
216 P.2d 179 (1950)


Facts

Leslie Lechner (plaintiff) hired C.A. Donahue of Donahue Realty Company to assist in selling his real estate. Lawrence Halling (defendant) agreed to purchase the property and paid escrow money to Donahue for the purchase. Lechner gave a warranty deed to the property to Donahue to be held in escrow. Upon taking possession of the property, Halling wrote a letter release, authorizing Donahue to pay the purchase price from the escrow account to Donahue. Donahue delivered the deed to Halling and informed Halling that he needed to record the deed. Halling asked Donahue to record the deed, which she agreed to do on his behalf. However, before Donahue made full payment to Lechner from the escrow account, Donahue lost her realtor license and was later convicted of embezzlement, including embezzlement of funds related to the Lechner sale. The warranty deed to the property and any purchase money recovered went into receivership. Lechner brought suit against Halling seeking payment of the full purchase price from Halling, or alternatively a return of the property. The trial court ruled in favor of Halling, ordering that the warranty deed be given to Halling and that Lechner must seek his money through the receivership proceeding. Lechner appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Robinson, J.)

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