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Lilienthal v. Kaufman

Oregon Supreme Court
239 Or. 1, 395 P.2d 543 (1964)



In exchange for funds advanced by Lilienthal (plaintiff) to finance a joint venture to sell binoculars, Kaufman (defendant) executed two promissory notes in favor of Lilienthal. The notes were executed and delivered in California. Unbeknownst to Lilienthal, an Oregon court had previously adjudged Kaufman, an Oregon resident, to be a spendthrift and appointed a guardian. Under Oregon law, all contracts made by a spendthrift were voidable after the appointment of a guardian. Kaufman’s guardian declared the notes to Lilienthal void. Lilienthal sued for payment in an Oregon court, arguing that California law should apply. Under California law, spendthrifts were not relieved of contractual obligations. The trial court declined to accept Lilienthal’s position and decided in favor of Kaufman. Lilienthal appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Denecke, J.)

Concurrence (O’Connell, J.)

Dissent (Goodwin, J.)

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