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Unformatted text preview: man constituted a full settlement between them. Sherman filed
a lawsuit against Burton to collect the remaining $310 under the agreement. The circuit judge ruled in
favor of Burton on the ground that the agreement was against public policy, and Sherman appealed.
Issue: Was this contingency fee contract between a doctor and his patient enforceable? (continued) rog80328_05_c05_089-110.indd 107 10/26/12 5:37 PM Section 5.6 Chapter Summary CHAPTER 5 Case Study: Sherman v. Burton (continued)
Discussion: The appellate court concluded that the contract was unenforceable because it violated
public policy. The court stated that a “contract must be measured by its tendency, and not merely by
what was done to carry it out.” At the time of the contract, Sherman and Burton were contemplating
Burton’s lawsuit against the railway company, and the payment for Sherman’s services was proportionate to any award Burton would get. In order to win money at trial, an expert witness like Dr. Sherman
would be critical and the two men were considering that Sherman would testify at the trial. Sherman’s
direct interest in the case provided him with a strong motive for misrepresentation and exaggeration
to the jury. The appellate court concluded that “a t...
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