Statute of Frauds
have purchased the Wicks’ house and 4% acres if they we were so inclined, overrule DeF}’iece, Bruce, and Ho!-
had known they could not also purchase the left 5 acres. man.” Finally, the Uphams raised additional arguments
The purchasing of the “left five acres” was determined on their appeal which contended that the statute of frauds
via oral testimon__v between the Uphams and the Wicks. does not bar their tort claims and that they have satisfied
The Uphams sued the Wicks and Oldfield and filed for the elements of promissory fraud. The court asserted that
breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, sup- the Uphams did not cite authority to support any of those
pression, and firzudulent inducement. The Wicks‘ and Old- claims. The corut concluded that “it is not the ftmction of
field raised a defense appealing to the Statute oflirauds. this Court to do a party’s legal research or to make and
They argued that the April 22 contract was void under the address legal argiunents for a party based on undelineated
Statute of Frauds because it did not suflieiently describe general propositions not supported by sufficient author-
the land to be purchased, that the Uphams ’ tort claims ity or argument.” Most important, the court noted that the
firiled because they were based on the void April 22 April 22 contract “does not describe the contract with such
contract, and that the Uphanis ‘ tort claims were not sup- certainty that it can be identified without resort to oral evi-
ported by sufficient evidence. The trial court ruled in dence ” and thatthis circumstance is subject to thestatute of
favor ofthe Wicks and Oldfield, holding that the April 22 frauds.
Zonliract was yogd under the Statute of Frauds. The DECISION AND REMEDY: The mun affimed the trial
P “ms app“ 8 ‘ co1nt’s judgment, stating that the April 22, 2008, contract
ISSUE: Does oral testimony constitute a writing that sat- was void under the statute of frauds.
“fies the Mn“ °f flaw‘? SIGNIFICANCE on THE CASE: This case demon-
REASONTNG: The court commented that the Uphams strates the requirements included in the statute of frauds
failed to show that the trial court erred in entering a that establish oral testimony as a writing.
How does this case demonstrate the importance of ensuring your argument is supported by evi-
dence? Is there anything the Uphams could have included in their argument on appeal to make
their position more convincing to the comt‘?
What ethical considerations do you think the judge relied on in making the decision in this case?