4-1 Discussion Show Me My Money.docx - Why does the court...

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Why does the court see this case as involving a quasi-contract as opposed to an actual contract? Builders Square, Inc. ("BSI") was interested in selling, subletting or leasing vacant K Mart stores. It entered into an agreement with a commercial real estate broker called Network Group ("Network") to carry out this process in the Ohio area. Network then entered into an agreement with Reisenfeld, a real estate broker that represented Dick's Clothing & Sporting Goods ("Dicks"). Reisenfeld eventually subleased two stores from BSI.Reisenfeld's commission agreement with Network was that Reisenfeld would receive $1 per square foot if a deal was concluded between Dick's Clothing & Sporting Goods and Builders Square, Inc. Dick's did complete the deal, and Reisenfeld's commission share would have been $160,320 in commissions from the Dick's/BSI sublease. In the agreements, BSI stated that it would pay a commission to Network and that Network would pay a portion of that commission to Reisenfeld "pursuant to a separate written agreement between Network and Reisenfeld." Meanwhile, Network's sole shareholder, Mark Aronds, was defrauding BSI in various ways, amng which he was accused of taking commissions from both sides in some of the subleases andaccepting below-market subleases on BSI's behalf. After being convicted of criminal behavior, a court ordered Network to pay the funds back, with interest to BSI who was affected by the shareholder's actions and relieved BSI of the duty to pay any unpaid commissions owed to Network.The result was that Reisenfeld was left high and dry, since there was no commission to split.Reisenfeld brought suit against Network and BSI as it stated that under the law of restitution (unjust enrichment), a party is liable to pay the value of a benefit granted when it is aware that another party is providing that benefit and it accepts the benefit. Reisenfeld argued that it fit this description. BSI argued that Reisenfeld had to demonstrate that BSI was guilty of some unjust conduct to justify imposing the burden of restitution.

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