Harold Fail owned a plot of land in Georgia known as Ebenezer Landing, where he operated a


Harold Fail owned a plot of land in Georgia known as Ebenezer Landing, where he operated a public boat ramp and parking lot. In 1999, Fail and Steve Bodiford entered into an oral agreement stipulating that Bodiford would reside on and maintain the property, manage the operation of Ebenezer Landing, and use the money collected from the boat ramp to make improvements and pay all necessary expenses. In exchange, Fail would split the profits of the operation with Bodiford, and Bodiford would receive either a one-third interest in Ebenezer Landing or one-third of the proceeds upon its sale. Bodiford resided on and managed the operation of Ebenezer Landing until Fail’s death in September 1999. Fail’s children inherited the property and orally agreed to allow Bodiford to continue to live on, manage, and share the profits derived from the property. Bodiford did so until 2015, when Fail’s son Jimmy served Bodiford with notice to vacate the property.

Bodiford filed a suit to enforce the oral agreement he made with Fail in 1999. Fail’s children moved for summary judgment, arguing that the agreement was unenforceable under Georgia’s statute of frauds. Bodiford conceded that the contract was oral and not in writing, but invoked a Georgia statute that holds that the statute of frauds is inapplicable “where there has been such part performance as it would render it a fraud of the party refusing to comply if the court did not compel its performance.” What do you think of Bodiford’s argument? Did he partially perform on the oral agreement, and should that preclude a statute of frauds defense?

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Dynamic Business Law

ISBN: 9781260733976

6th Edition

Authors: Nancy Kubasek, M. Neil Browne, Daniel Herron, Lucien Dhooge, Linda Barkacs

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