The reality test - how does it work? : LUSENET : Lessig's Contracts : One Thread

In reviewing the past several cases, I was trying to understand how the courts determine the express intent of the parties, if they are silent on an issue.

The ruling in the Cofman case was that although the contract didn't address the question of a stock split, the idea that the parties would have entered into such an agreement doesn't pass the "reality test."

In the Mitchill case, the court ruled that in an integrated contract that is silent on an issue, parol evidence is not admissable. As such, the defendant didn't have to remove the ice-house.

But what would happen if we washed the defendant's contentions in "cyncial acid"? If this ice-house is such an eyesore, no reasonable person would want to buy the property for use as a vacation house unless it was removed. If this is the case, it seems to me that it wouldn't pass the reality test and the plaintiffs should be obligated to remove the ice-house.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting the intent of this test. If anyone can help me out, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks -


-- Anonymous, November 12, 1998


I'm not sure that you can assume that the summer home would not be purchased by a reasonable person w/out the expectation that the ice house would be removed. The seller obviously dealt w/the ice house's existance. Maybe the summer home was purchased for its location, or for some other value. If that was what was discussed during the negotiations, maybe the seller didn't even consider the ice house an eyesore and hadn't considered moving it. Merry

-- Anonymous, November 16, 1998

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