State v. Burns
Supreme Court of Washington
297 P. 212 (1931)
A company hired Mr. Burns (defendant) to determine if money was being embezzled by any of the company’s employees. Burns confronted Leland Frease, an employee of the company, and accused Frease of embezzling $6,800. Burns threatened that Frease would be imprisoned unless Frease confessed to stealing $5,000 and also repaid the $5,000. Even though Frease denied taking the money, Frease signed a confession and paid $4,000 to Burns. Burns was charged with extortion on the basis that, with the intent to extort and gain $5,000, Burns had threatened to accuse Frease of larceny and that Burns had extorted $4,000 through these threats. The statute that Burns was accused of violating provided that any person who extorted or obtained money by force or threat to accuse another person of a crime was guilty of extortion. At trial, Frease testified that he had not embezzled any money from his employer. Burns proffered documentary evidence meant to show that Frease had, in fact, taken money from his employer. The judge rejected Burns’s evidence, stating that whether Frease had actually embezzled money from his employer was irrelevant to the issue of Burns’s guilt. Burns was convicted and appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Beeler, 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.