Law School Case Brief
Ruskin v. Rodgers - 79 Ill. App. 3d 941, 35 Ill. Dec. 557, 399 N.E.2d 623 (1979)
The services of a finder are defined as an arrangement by which an intermediary finds, introduces, and brings together parties to a business opportunity, leaving the ultimate negotiation and consummation of the business transaction to the principals.
Plaintiff Jerrold Ruskin, a real estate broker, and defendant James T. Rodgers, a real estate salesman, entered into an agreement to find, buy, and develop a property. Ruskin contacted an investor, who Rodgers initially refused, but accepted due to time pressures. After the seller stated that they would not take less than a certain amount, Ruskin made what he called an "informal inquiry" regarding lowering the price. The seller was insulted and declared the offer dead. Unbeknownst to Ruskin, Rodgers rescinded the contract between he and Ruskin and entered a new agreement with a new financier. Rodgers executed the sale of the property. Ruskin filed an action in Illinois state court seeking specific performance of the agreement with Rodgers. The trial court denied Rodgers’ motion for continuance on the eve of trial, and denied Rodgers’ motion to substitute counsel during trial. After a trial, the trial court entered a final order granting Ruskin specific performance of the agreement. In its final order and opinion the trial court found that Ruskin and Rodgers entered into a valid contract of partnership and that Rodgers failed to give due notice to Ruskin of an intent to dissolve the partnership. Rodgers appealed, contending that the trial court erred when it recognized a partnership between the parties and when it denied the his motions for continuances.
Did a partnership agreement exist between the parties?
The court affirmed the trial court's judgment. The court found that a partnership agreement existed between the parties and that Rodgers did not offer clear evidence of recission or mutual abandonment. The court found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Rodgers' late motions for continuances.
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