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Oliver v. Campbell

Supreme Court of California
273 P.2d 15 (1954)


Facts

Campbell (decedent) hired Oliver (plaintiff), an attorney, to represent him in divorce proceedings. Campbell and Oliver executed a written contract stating that Oliver agreed to represent Campbell in exchange for a fee of $750.00. The divorce case went to trial. At the close of the trial, Campbell became dissatisfied with Oliver’s performance and informed Oliver that he was discharged. Campbell had paid Oliver $450.00 on the contract. Oliver told Campbell that he expected to be paid the reasonable value of his services. At this point, Oliver had rendered legal services worth $5,000.00. Campbell refused to pay and discharged Oliver. Subsequently, Campbell died. Oliver brought suit in California state court against the administratrix of Campbell’s estate (Campbell’s estate) (plaintiff) seeking damages of $10,000.00. The trial court held that Oliver was not entitled to damages, and Oliver appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Carter, J.)

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  • 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.).

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