Duncan-Case Activities Week 5-2.docx - Jennifer Duncan...

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Jennifer Duncan Business Law 211 Case Activities – Week 5
Case Activity 19.8 – A Question Of Ethics: Remedies In this case, comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his wife Jessica were looking to rent a few apartments for their family and staff. After looking at a few places, they decided to buy a brownstone. The Seinfeld’s estate manager, Steven Galistinos, was being shown properties by real estate broker Tamara Cohen. Cohen claims she told Galistinos that depending on what the Seinfeld’s purchased, her commission would be five or six percent. A few months later Cohen found a place on 82 nd Street in Manhattan, she contacted the listed broker Maximillan Sanchez. During their conversation, Cohen claims that Sanchez told her that the commission was six percent and that he would co-broke with Cohen and each to would receive three percent. Sanchez claims that him and Cohen had a verbal agreement about the commission, but that nothing was ever put into writing and that he never told her the commission was six percent. Sanchez had a five percent commission agreement with the owners of the property. Cohen also claims she told Sanchez that she would be unavailable to show the property on Friday evenings and Saturdays before sundown due to her observing Sabbath. It wasn’t long after, Cohen showed the Manhattan property to Galistinos, along with Sanchez and the owners. Cohen said that she spoke with Galistinos about the six percent commission. A little later Cohen showed the property again to Galistinos and Jessica Seinfeld. Once again commission was claimed to be discussed, Cohen claims she told Seinfeld that the commission on that said property would be six percent, and also discussed the three percent split between her and Sanchez in pursuant to the co-brokerage agreement. During this visit, Jessica Seinfeld was not able to see all of the units, so the owners suggested she reschedule to see the rest. After trying to schedule a visit amongst a couple different people, the Seinfeld’s ended up going to see the property while just the owners were available. It was during this visit they agreed to purchase the property. According to the Seinfeld’s, they tried multiple times to get a hold of Cohen to view the property, but did not have luck, they also claimed they did were not aware that Cohen observed Sabbath. Because Coen was not available to show the Seinfeld’s the property, they felt Cohen was not entitled to her full commission. This caused Cohen to file a lawsuit. Regardless if Cohen was available to show the property to the Seinfeld’s on the weekend, she is still entitled to her half of the commission. Under a quasi-contract, a court is allowed to act as if a contract exists when there is no actual contract or agreement between the parties. Quasi- contractual recovery is often granted when one party has partially performed under a contract that is unenforceable. Sanchez and Cogen entered a contract when they agreed to go in on selling

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