Robinson v. Gould

Decision Date29 November 1933
Citation284 Mass. 495
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
PartiesLEO ROBINSON v. JOSEPH S. GOULD & another.

March 13, 14, 1933.

Present: RUGG, C.

J., WAIT, FIELD DONAHUE, & LUMMUS, JJ.

Broker, Commission. Release.

A defence to an action by a broker for a commission earned in procuring a mortgage for the defendant was a writing, purporting to have been signed by the plaintiff under seal, reciting that he acknowledged receipt of a certain sum from the defendant and that he released and discharged the defendant of all demands and causes of action "resulting from any claims of broker's commission in placing any mortgages on the premises" in question, and concluding, "In witness whereof, I set my hand and seal." There was evidence that the writing, at the time when it was signed by the plaintiff, did not bear a seal nor contain the words,

"I set my hand and seal." There was conflicting evidence as to what was done by the plaintiff and as to whether the plaintiff signed the writing as a receipt for the sum in question, intending to dispose of a claim for procuring another mortgage on the premises and not attaching any importance to the use of the plural word "mortgages" in the writing. The trial judge denied a motion by the defendant that a verdict be ordered in his favor. Held, that it was proper to deny the motion and to submit the action to the jury.

CONTRACT OR TORT. Writ dated July 29, 1929. The action was tried in the Superior Court before Beaudreau, J. Material evidence and exceptions saved by the defendants are described in the opinion. There was a verdict for the plaintiff in the sum of $1,399. The defendants alleged exceptions.

The alleged release mentioned in the opinion was as follows: "I, Leo Robinson, hereby acknowledge receipt of $100 paid to me by . . [one of the defendants], and in consideration thereof I hereby release, discharge, the . . . [defendants] of all demands, actions, causes of action, damages, liabilities resulting from any claims of broker's commission in placing any mortgages on the premises. . . .

"IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I set my hand and seal this seventh day of January 1929. [Signed] LEO ROBINSON [Seal]"

W. Hartstone, (H.

N. Hartstone with him,) for the defendants.

E. M. Dangel, (J.

L. Crowley & L.

Aronson with him,) for the plaintiff.

WAIT, J. This is an action to recover a real estate broker's commission for securing a mortgage....

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