Articles Posted in Contracts

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In this case in which Debbie Worsham was awarded damages on her breach of contract action the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court denying Worsham's motion for attorney's fees and costs and Worsham's motion for reconsideration, holding that Worsham's motion for attorney's fees was untimely. On appeal, Worsham argued that she was entitled to attorney's fees pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. 16-22-308 and that the circuit court erred in denying her motion for attorney's fees because it was timely under Ark. R. Civ. P. 54(e). The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's denial of Worsham's motion for attorney's fees, holding (1) the circuit court correctly found that the attorney's fees motion was untimely; and (2) Worsham's argument that she was entitled to attorney's fees under section 16-22-308 was without merit. View "Worsham v. Day" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

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The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's order granting summary judgment in favor of Appellee in this contract dispute, holding that the circuit court did not err in concluding that Appellee's loan to Appellant was payable on demand because the loan agreement did not have a maturity date. After Appellee demanded repayment of his loan and Appellant refused Appellee sued for repayment of the loan and attorney's fees. The circuit court granted Appellee's summary judgment motion, concluding that because the loan did not have a maturity date it was payable on demand. The court also awarded Appellee attorney's fees. The court of appeals reversed, holding that genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether the loan agreement was an on-demand contract. The Supreme Court vacated the opinion of the court of appeals and affirmed the judgment of the circuit court, holding (1) because the loan agreement was silent as to the maturity date, it was payable on demand; and (2) the attorney's fees and costs award was proper. View "Miracle Kids Success Academy, Inc. v. Maurras" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

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A jury found for Plaintiff on her claim for breach of contract and on her promissory-estoppel claim. The jury rendered verdicts against Defendants on their counterclaims. Defendants filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) or for a new trial. The trial court granted the motion, concluding that the jury verdicts were improper and inconsistent and that they should be set aside in favor of granting a new trial. The circuit court denied Plaintiff’s motion to reconsider. Plaintiff appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction because Defendants’ motion for JNOV or a new trial was filed prior to the entry of the judgment. Therefore, the circuit court’s order granting a new trial was a nullity, and the posttrial motion was deemed denied thirty days after its filing date. Because neither party filed a notice of appeal after the judgment was entered the court had no timely or effective notice of appeal from the disposition of the posttrial motion. View "Worsham v. Day" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

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The circuit court determined that appropriations made by ordinances or resolutions of the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock (Appellants) to the cities’ chambers of commerce and related economic development entities were in violation of article 12, section 5 of the Arkansas Constitution. The court concluded that Appellants had appropriated city funds to private corporations using “service contracts” that violated article 12, section 5 and were invalid due to lack of consideration and absence of benefits to the taxpayers. The court permanently enjoined Appellants from passing such ordinances or resolutions. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the circuit court with instructions to lift the injunction and dismiss Appellees’ complaint, holding that an amendment to article 12, section 5 rendered the basis for the circuit court’s injunction moot. View "Stodola v. Lynch" on Justia Law

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In 2013, Felicia Farris filed an amended complaint alleging that, in 2005, she entered into a contract with Cynthia Conger, d/b/a Conger Wealth Management (Conger), entitled “Wealth Management Agreement.” In 2008, Farris sought to have Conger transfer sufficient funds from Farris’s Fidelity Investment Account to Farris’s personal checking account so that Farris could purchase certain property prior to a foreclosure sale. Conger failed to transfer the funds, and the property was sold to a third party. Farris ultimately obtained the parcel at additional costs. Farris brought this action against Conger in 2013. Conger moved for dismissal and for summary judgment, asserting that the cause of action sounded in the tort of negligence and, therefore, was barred by the three-year statute of limitations for tort actions. Farris argued that her cause of action was for breach of contract, and thus the five-year statute of limitations applied. The circuit court granted summary judgment, finding that Farris’s complaint sounded in negligence and, consequently, was time-barred. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court erred in failing to apply the five-year statute of limitations for contract claims, making Farris’s cause of action timely. View "Farris v. Conger" on Justia Law

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Drew May worked for Integrated Direct Marketing, LLC (IDM) as an executive vice president until his termination. May later began working for Merkle, Inc., a competitor of IDM. IDM filed a complaint against May and Markle alleging breach of contract and conversion, among other claims. The federal district court granted summary judgment for Defendants on all claims except conversion. The court then certified to the Supreme Court the question whether, under Arkansas’s tort of conversion, intangible property such as electronic data, standing alone and not deemed a trade secret, can be converted. The Supreme Court answered the question in the affirmative, holding that, under Arkansas law, intangible property such as electronic data, standing alone and not deemed a trade secret, can be converted “if the actions of the defendant are in denial of or inconsistent with the rights of the owner or person entitled to possession.” View "Integrated Direct Mktg. Inc. v. May" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts, Injury Law

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Appellants sued Appellees in circuit court, alleging causes of action for civil conspiracy, intentional interference with a contractual relationship or business expectancy, fraud and fraudulent inducement, and violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA). Appellants later voluntarily dismissed their intentional interference and ADPTA claims. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Appellees on the remaining claims. Appellants appealed, arguing that there remained genuine issues of material fact that precluded summary judgment in this case. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellees failed to present sufficient proof to raise a question of fact with regard to the claims before the trial court on summary judgment. View "Muccio v. Hunt" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts, Injury Law

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Appellants filed a complaint for breach of contract, non-disclosure, rescission, damages, and negligence against Appellees. Appellants obtained a default judgment. Appellees moved to set aside the default judgment on the grounds that the summons was defective on its face. The circuit court granted the motion and set aside the default judgment due to the defective summons and resulting lack of personal jurisdiction over Appellees. Appellees then filed a motion to dismiss the case with prejudice on the grounds that service was never completed and that the savings statute did not apply. The circuit court granted the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the circuit court’s ruling setting aside the default judgment, as the summons failed strictly to comply with the requirements of Ark. R. Civ. P. 4(b); and (2) reversed the dismissal with prejudice, holding that Appellants were entitled to the benefit of the savings statute. View "Jones v. Douglas" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case were three different versions of an account agreement between Appellees, who are customers of Bank of the Ozarks, and Ozarks, which holds the accounts. The agreements included an arbitration provision. Appellees filed a class-action complaint against Ozarks, and Ozarks filed a motion to compel arbitration. The circuit court denied the motion, concluding that the arbitration provision in the account agreement was unconscionable. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded for a determination as to whether there was a valid agreement to arbitrate. On remand, the circuit court determined that there was not a valid agreement to arbitrate. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in finding that the agreement lacked mutuality of obligation and in thus denying Ozarks’s motion to compel arbitration. View "Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. v. Walker" on Justia Law

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Appellees, former residents of certain nursing homes and special administrators, guardians, or attorneys-in-fact of former residents, filed a class action complaint against Appellants, GGNSC Holdings, LLC and related entities and employees. GGNSC moved to compel arbitration of claims asserted by five particular residents who, at the time of their admission into nursing homes, entered into arbitration agreements. The circuit court ultimately denied arbitration, finding that three of the five arbitration agreements were invalid because they were signed by individuals who lacked authority to agree to arbitrate and that the remaining two agreements were not enforceable to compel arbitration based on the defenses of impossibility of performance and unconscionability. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court erred by refusing to enforce the valid arbitration agreements based on the defenses of impossibility of performance and unconscionability. Remanded for the entry of an order compelling arbitration. View "GGNSC Holdings, LLC v. Lamb" on Justia Law