Collins v. Snow

CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
Writing for the CourtLORING
Citation218 Mass. 542,106 N.E. 148
PartiesCOLLINS v. SNOW et al.
Decision Date11 September 1914

218 Mass. 542
106 N.E. 148

COLLINS
v.
SNOW et al.

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk.

Sept. 11, 1914.


Appeal from Superior Court, Suffolk County; Edward P. Pierce, Judge.

Suit by John P. Collins against Seth P. Snow and others. Decree for plaintiff, and defendants appeal. Affirmed conditionally.


Michael J. Sughrue, of Boston, and Jas.
[218 Mass. 546]J. McCarthy, of Worcester, for appellants.

Chas. F. Smith, of Boston, for appellee.


[218 Mass. 543]LORING, J.

The plaintiff, who was a real estate broker, testified that he had a conversation with one of the defendant firm (who for convenience will be spoken of as the defendants), also brokers in real estate, in which (to quote his own words) he said:

‘I told him that I had a valuable proposition that could be worked, and if he would agree to go to the front and do the work and give me one-half of the commission I would give him the information that I had so that he could go ahead. Mr. Snow said that he would agree to that and do the work.’

The plaintiff further testified that he then disclosed to Snow that the owners of an estate then subject to an unexpired lease wanted to let it for 75 years on a ground rent of $70,000 a year. The defendants thereupon applied to the owners to be and were employed by them as their brokers, and succeeded in letting the estate, whereby they became entitled to a commission of $25,000. The defendants denied the contract testified to by the plaintiff, and this bill in equity was brought to reach and apply certain property of theirs in payment of the debt. The judge who tried the case believed the plaintiff and entered a decree in his favor. From this decree the defendants took an appeal; and the case is here on the evidence which was taken by a commissioner.

[1] The first contention made by the defendants is that the arrangement testified to by the plaintiff is too indefinite to amount to a contract. In support of that contention they ask what the damages would have been if the defendants had refused to make [218 Mass. 544]any attempt to negotiate a lease. The fact that there could be no recovery (if there could be none) in that event is not of consequence. The promise sued on was to pay the plaintiff one-half of the commission earned. It is like a promise by a manufacturer to sell to the plaintiff all goods manufactured by him during a specified time.

[2] The second contention is that when the arrangement testified to by the plaintiff and set forth above was made, it was expected that more definite terms would be agreed upon later on; that when the subsequent terms were agreed upon and the arrangement became a contract it was a contract which could not be performed within a year and so not enforceable by reason of the statute of frauds....

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17 practice notes
  • McDade v. Moynihan
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • September 21, 1953
    ...the original bill. There are many illustrations in our decisions. Fordyce v. Dillaway, 212 Mass. 404, 411, 99 N.E. 166; Collins v. Snow, 218 Mass. 542, 545-546, 106 N.E. 148; Bartlett v. New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Co., 226 Mass. 467, 471-472, 115 N.E. 976; Leavitt v. Dimond, 22......
  • Portner v. Tanner, 1060
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • July 17, 1923
    ...Co. v. Grays Harbor Co., 123 P. 32; Windmuller v. Pope, 14 N.E. 436; Central Trust Co. v. Chicago Assoc., 240 U.S. 581; Collins v. Snow, 106 N.E. 148.) Full payment was a condition precedent to respondent's right to receive an abstract and deed under the terms of the contract. (Loud v. Pomo......
  • Atlantic Nat. Bank of Boston v. Hupp Motor Car Corp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • April 8, 1938
    ...at the outset as it was after the amendment. Order accepting petition and bond for removal reversed.--------Notes: 1.Collins v. Snow, 218 Mass. 542, 545, 106 N.E. 148;Hanscom v. Malden & Melrose Gas Light Co., 220 Mass. 1, 9, 107 N.E. 426, Ann.Cas.1917A, 145;Bartlett v. New York, New Haven ......
  • v. Prosky, SJC–11449.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • May 29, 2014
    ...... may be made ... but failure so to amend does not affect the result of the trial of these issues”). 17 See also Collins v. Snow, 218 Mass. 542, 545, 106 N.E. 148 (1914) (where no amendment made to original bill, plaintiff given leave to amend to reflect evidence introduced after filing o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • McDade v. Moynihan
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • September 21, 1953
    ...the original bill. There are many illustrations in our decisions. Fordyce v. Dillaway, 212 Mass. 404, 411, 99 N.E. 166; Collins v. Snow, 218 Mass. 542, 545-546, 106 N.E. 148; Bartlett v. New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Co., 226 Mass. 467, 471-472, 115 N.E. 976; Leavitt v. Dimond, 22......
  • Portner v. Tanner, 1060
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • July 17, 1923
    ...Co. v. Grays Harbor Co., 123 P. 32; Windmuller v. Pope, 14 N.E. 436; Central Trust Co. v. Chicago Assoc., 240 U.S. 581; Collins v. Snow, 106 N.E. 148.) Full payment was a condition precedent to respondent's right to receive an abstract and deed under the terms of the contract. (Loud v. Pomo......
  • Atlantic Nat. Bank of Boston v. Hupp Motor Car Corp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • April 8, 1938
    ...at the outset as it was after the amendment. Order accepting petition and bond for removal reversed.--------Notes: 1.Collins v. Snow, 218 Mass. 542, 545, 106 N.E. 148;Hanscom v. Malden & Melrose Gas Light Co., 220 Mass. 1, 9, 107 N.E. 426, Ann.Cas.1917A, 145;Bartlett v. New York, New Haven ......
  • v. Prosky, SJC–11449.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • May 29, 2014
    ...... may be made ... but failure so to amend does not affect the result of the trial of these issues”). 17 See also Collins v. Snow, 218 Mass. 542, 545, 106 N.E. 148 (1914) (where no amendment made to original bill, plaintiff given leave to amend to reflect evidence introduced after filing o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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