Trenholm v. Ratcliff
Supreme Court of Texas
646 S.W.2d 927 (1983)
George Trenholm, Jr. (plaintiff) and Robert Trenholm owned a business that built custom homes. The Trenholms and other similar business owners attended a presentation by Raymond Ratcliff, Jr. (defendant), a land developer and owner of an investment corporation. At the meeting, Ratcliff solicited the attendees to purchase lots in a new subdivision called Greenhollow. Ratcliff told the Trenholms and others that: (1) a mobile-home park located near Greenhollow would be a future shopping center, (2) the mobile-home park had already been sold, (3) its tenants would be instructed to move, and (4) the land would be bulldozed in the coming months. The Trenholms purchased 18 lots in Greenhollow. However, Ratcliff’s statements concerning the mobile-home park were false; the property had not been sold for the purpose of building a shopping center. The Greenhollow subdivision failed financially, and homes in Greenhollow were sold at a loss. Robert Trenholm sold his interest in the company to George Trenholm. Afterward, George Trenholm sued Ratcliff and others for fraud. After a trial, the jury found that Ratcliff had made false representations to Trenholm with the intent to induce Trenholm and others to purchase Greenhollow lots. Additionally, the jury concluded that Ratcliff made the statements recklessly, with malice, and that Trenholm relied on the false statements in purchasing the 18 lots. The jury awarded Trenholm nearly $144,000 in compensatory damages and over $250,000 in exemplary damages. Trenholm and Ratcliff each moved for a directed verdict. Ratcliff alternatively moved for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The trial court held for Ratcliff. Trenholm appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court. The Supreme Court of Texas granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Spears, 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.