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Smith v. Kirkpatrick

Court of Appeals of New York
111 N.E.2d 209 (1953)


Facts

H. Gordon Smith (plaintiff) sued William S. Kirkpatrick (defendant) for breach of an employment contract. Kirkpatrick moved for summary judgment on the ground that there was no agreement between the two in compliance with the statute of frauds. The court granted summary judgment to Kirkpatrick but gave Smith leave to amend his complaint in order to bring a claim for the “value of his services.” Smith filed an amended complaint in which he alleged that he and Kirkpatrick had established a partnership or joint venture as to which profits were to be shared equally. After a nonjury trial, the court dismissed the complaint for lacking sufficient evidence to establish Smith’s causes of action. Smith did not appeal. He later brought a second lawsuit against Kirkpatrick in which he sought to recover the reasonable value of services provided under a quantum meruit theory. Kirkpatrick moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it was barred by res judicata. The trial court denied Kirkpatrick’s motion. On appeal, the Appellate Division reversed and dismissed Smith’s complaint. Smith appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning

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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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