oISSUE: does a quantum meruit exist?Must:1. services were rendered2. services were knowingly and voluntarily accepted3. services were not given gratuitouslyoDECISION: the court ruled in favor of Scheerer because it found that it had satisfied the rule for quantum meruitCase in Point– Qwest Wireless: oQwest Wireless, LLC, provides wireless phone services in Arizona and thirteen other states. Qwest marketed and sold handset insurance to its customers, although it did not have a license to sell insurance in Arizona or in any other state. Patrick and Vicki Van Zanen sued Qwest for unjust enrichment based on its receipt of sales commissions for the handset insurance. The court agreed that Qwest had violated the insurance-licensingstatute, but found that the commissions did not constitute unjust enrichment because the customers had, in fact, received the insurance. Qwest had not retained a benefit (thecommissions) without paying for it (providing insurance); thus, the Van Zanens and othercustomers did not suffer unfair detriment.INTERPRETATION OF CONTRACTSPlain language laws: enacted by federal government and a majority of the states to help avoid difficulty in which parties are not familiar with the legal terminology used in a contract (parties agree that a contract has been formed but disagree on its meaning or legal effectPlain meaning rule: when a contract’s writing is clear and unequivocal, a court will enforce it according to its obvious termsoThe meaning of the terms must be determined from the face of the instrument(from thewritten document alone)oIf a contract’s words appear to be clear and unambiguous, a court cannot consider extrinsic evidence(evidence not contained in the document itself)oIf a contract’s terms are unclear or ambiguous, extrinsic evidencemay be admissible to clarify the meaning of the contractCase 10.2– Wagner v. Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.oBACKGROUND: The Wagners had a contract to 50% of the profits. This contact was sold to Columbia Pictures and when they produced two new movies, they did not share profits with the Wagners. The court ruled against the Wagners and they appealed on the basis that during negotiation certain terms had been agreed upon.oISSUE: is extrinsic evidence to be considered when a contract breach is in dispute?Under the parol evidence rule, extrinsic evidence is not admissible to contradict express terms in a written contract or to explain what the agreement was. The agreement is the writing itself. Parol evidence cannot be admitted to show intention independent of an unambiguous written instrument5
Ch. 10 – Nature and TerminologyoDECISION: The court ruled against the Wagners. Parol Evidence does not matter in a breach of contract case, only the plain language of the contract itself.