Wieck v. Hostetter

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Contract Law
  • Date Filed: 10-21-2015
  • Case #: A155659
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Flynn, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Where the substantial terms of a contract have been agreed on and there is nothing left for future settlement, the fact that the contract has not yet been put into writing does not leave the transaction incomplete and without binding force unless the parties had a positive agreement that it should not be binding until so reduced to writing and formally executed.

Plaintiffs brought an action for professional negligence. Plaintiffs alleged that Defendant, their former lawyer, committed malpractice through a course of dealing with Plaintiffs that eventually forced them to sell off a valuable property, resulting in $2 million in damages. The trial court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment, ruling that Plaintiffs’ malpractice claim was barred by the statute of limitations and, alternatively, that it was barred by a settlement agreement between the parties that had included a mutual general release of all claims. The Court agreed with the trial court’s conclusion that Plaintiffs and Defendant entered into a valid and enforceable settlement agreement that bars Plaintiffs’ action. The Court explained that although the agreement indicated that a written release would follow; every indication from the parties’ actions objectively manifested their mutual understanding that their dispute had been settled, notwithstanding the lack of a written release agreement. Affirmed.

Advanced Search