April 5, 2020

Mattei v. Hopper | Case Brief - Supreme Court of California - 51 Cal.2d 119, 330 P.2d 625 (1958)

FACTS: Plaintiff was to buy a piece of land. Defendant had in the contract inserted a clause "subject to Coldwell Banker and company obtaining leases satisfactory to the purchaser." 

The plaintiff then didn't sell the land even after a satisfactory lease had been obtained.

HISTORY: Court concluded agreement was illusory and lacking in mutuality. In favor of the defendant.

ISSUE: Is there a contract?

HOLDING: Yes

RATIONALE: 2 standards used to determine what is satisfactory

1) reasonable man's standard

2) those involving fancy, taste, or judgement

This case falls under #2. It must be shown that the dissatisfaction with performance is genuine by making the plaintiff's performance dependant on his satisfaction with the lease.

DISPOSITION: Judgement reversed.