Scott v. Wall
Washington Court of Appeals
777 P.2d 581 (1989)
Glenn and Gloria Wall (defendants) entered into a contract to purchase a restaurant from Lewis and Janet Scott (plaintiffs). The contract conditioned the purchase on the Walls’ ability to re-lease the restaurant’s current premises on acceptable terms for a three-year period. If the Walls were unable to secure a lease, under the contract terms, the Walls would be released from their promise to purchase the restaurant. But when the closing date arrived, the Walls had not been able to get a lease. Nevertheless, the Scotts wanted the sale to go through. Thus, the Scotts made an oral promise to the Walls: if the Walls signed the agreement and paid the $15,000 down payment, and the Walls ultimately could not get a lease, the Scotts would release the Walls from the contract and return the $15,000. The Walls agreed. The Walls then signed the purchase paperwork, paid the $15,000, and signed a $45,000 promissory note for the remainder of the purchase price. But the Walls never could get a lease. When the Walls defaulted on the promissory note, the Scotts sued the Walls to recover the amount promised. The Walls argued that, under the oral promise the Scotts had made, the Walls’ inability to obtain a lease voided the contract. The Scotts argued that the parol evidence rule barred any evidence that the contract was subject to an external condition, like the Scotts’ oral promise. The trial court agreed with the Scotts. The Walls appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Winsor, J.)
What to do next…
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 97,000 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.
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 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.