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Posts tagged Statute of Frauds.

The Virginia Supreme Court recently gave us yet another example of a breach of contract case that couldn’t rise to a fraud in the inducement claim in Station #2, LLC v. Lynch, et al., Record No. 091410.

In Station #2, the Lynches owned a three-story building in the City of Roanoke. They sold the top two floors to 237 Granby LLC in order to convert the floors to condos. The Lynches then leased the ground floor to Station #2 so it could operate a restaurant with live music and other entertainment. The lease between the Lynches and Station #2 required Station #2 to install soundproofing material in the void space between Station #2’s ceiling and the lower level of 237 Granby’s condos. 237 Granby’s agent agreed to allow Station #2 access to the void space, but the company hired by the agent to renovate and develop the condos closed off the void space before Station #2 could soundproof.

will and trustThe Supreme Court of Virginia issued an opinion last Friday in the case of Virginia Home for Boys and Girls v. Phillips  that reads like a law school examination question.  The court ruled that a man had no claim against an estate because he had no written contract and no independent verification.  

The basic principles are easy.  The statute of frauds in Virginia generally provides that all contracts for the sale of real estate must be in writing.  The so-called "Dead Man's Statute" provides that in cases where the opponent is incapable of testifying, no judgment shall be rendered if it is founded solely on uncorroborated testimony.  Both of these statutes make it incredibly difficult for a party to make a claim against an estate based on oral contracts, particularly claims involving real estate.