United Farm Agency of Florida, Inc. v. DKLS, Inc., 89-1953

Decision Date13 March 1990
Docket NumberNo. 89-1953,89-1953
Citation560 So.2d 1212
Parties15 Fla. L. Weekly D696 UNITED FARM AGENCY OF FLORIDA, INC., a Florida corporation for profit, Appellant, v. DKLS, INC., a dissolved Florida corporation for profit, Herbert H. Cameron, Trustee, and Herbert H. Cameron, individually, Appellees.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Faerber & Miller and Nelson A. Faerber, Jr., Naples, for appellant.

Cunningham, Albritton, Lenzi, Warner, Bragg & Miller and Alfred O. Bragg, Marathon, for appellees.

Before SCHWARTZ, C.J., GERSTEN and GODERICH, JJ.

PER CURIAM.

The Plaintiff, United Farm Agency of Florida, Inc., appeals the trial court's order granting the defendants' motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. We reverse.

Clifford Wilson, a real estate agent for plaintiff, entered into an open and nonexclusive listing contract with Herbert Cameron on April 30, 1982. At that time Cameron was the president of DKLS, Inc. The plaintiff advertised the property nationwide in trade publications. Hotel Properties of America [HPA] contacted the plaintiff and, as a result, was put in contact with Cameron. HPA was in the process of analyzing resort and hotel properties for potential purchase. James Cohee, an employee and vice-president of HPA, was responsible for reviewing that particular property. In November 1982, Cohee went to inspect the property for HPA. During the meeting, Cohee asked if there would be any brokerage fees owed to Wilson. Cameron responded that there would not be any brokerage fees. Cameron told Cohee not to communicate further with Wilson. On December 23, 1982, HPA wrote Cameron informing him that they were no longer interested in the property. On December 26, 1982, Cohee wrote Cameron to inform him that he had left HPA, and was now interested in leasing the property. The December 26th letter was on Assets Development Group's [Assets Development] stationery. Assets Development then made an offer to purchase, but it was later withdrawn. Cohee once again contacted Cameron, but at this point Cohee was working for Mr. Barrington, a shareholder of Duck Key Club Ltd. [Duck Key]. The property was purchased by Duck Key on June 21, 1983. No real estate commission was ever paid to plaintiff. Thereafter, the plaintiff filed suit.

At trial, the court drafted an interrogatory type question that was presented to the jury. The question was whether the plaintiff was the procuring cause of the sale between the defendants and Duck Key. The jury was instructed that " 'procuring cause' means that the broker must have brought the purchaser and seller together and effected a sale through continuous negotiations inaugurated by him unless the seller and buyer intentionally exclude the broker and thereby eliminate the need for continuous negotiations." The jury answered the question in the affirmative.

The defendants' counsel moved for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict arguing that when Cohee resigned from HPA this severed the basis for the procuring cause and left Cameron free to negotiate with Cohee. Counsel for defendants also argued that the "continuous negotiations" requirement was not met by the real estate broker, Wilson.

The issue on review is whether the trial court erred in granting the defendants' motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, thus overturning the jury's determination that the plaintiff was the procuring cause of the sale of the property to Duck Key. Motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict should be resolved with caution because the granting of the motion holds that one side of the case is without probative evidence. See Stirling v. Sapp, 229 So.2d 850 (Fla.1969); Heyman v. Weinstein, 333 So.2d 548 (Fla. 3d DCA 1976), cert. denied, 342 So.2d 1104 (Fla.1977); Yacker v. Teitch, 330 So.2d 828 (Fla. 3d DCA 1976); Deese v. White Belt Dairy Farms, Inc., 160 So.2d 543 (Fla. 2d DCA 1964). In fact, the party which moves for the judgment...

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  • Miller v. Paul M. Wolff Co.
    • United States
    • Washington Court of Appeals
    • January 16, 2014
    ...Scheduling Corp. of Am. v. Massello, 119 Ill.App.3d 355, 74 Ill.Dec. 796, 456 N.E.2d 298, 305 (1983); United Farm Agency of Fla., Inc. v. DKLS, Inc., 560 So.2d 1212, 1213 (Fla.1990). Because Washington courts have not expressly required an employee to be terminated to be eligible for relief......
  • Easton-Babcock & Associates, Inc. v. Fernandez
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • February 18, 1998
    ...821, 822 (Fla. 3d DCA 1992); Salam v. Benmelech, 590 So.2d 1008, 1009 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991); see also United Farm Agency of Fla., Inc. v. DKLS, Inc., 560 So.2d 1212, 1213 (Fla. 3d DCA 1990) ("[motion] should be resolved with caution because the granting of the motion holds that one side of the......
  • Siegel v. Cross Senior Care, Inc.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • January 17, 2018
    ...be granted only when there is no evidence or inferences to support the opposing party's position."); Unit. Farm Agency of Fla., Inc. v. DKLS, Inc., 560 So.2d 1212, 1213 (Fla. 3d DCA 1990) ("Trial courts may grant motions for judgments notwithstanding the verdict only when there is no eviden......
  • Collazos v. City of West Miami
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • December 18, 1996
    ...Inc. v. MacFarland, 662 So.2d 710, 712 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995), rev. denied, 670 So.2d 939 (Fla.1996); United Farm Agency, Inc. v. DKLS, Inc., 560 So.2d 1212, 1213 (Fla. 3d DCA 1990). A trial court may not reweigh the evidence and substitute its judgment for that of the jury. Stirling, 229 So.2d......
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