Law Case Brief Essay

1163 words - 5 pages

Last Name 5Student's NameSchoolBusiness Law IIFebruary 14, 2014Instructor's NameCIVIL LAW CASECase Title: The Bar Plan v. William Cooper, et al.Case Number: 290 S.W.3d 788 (2009)This case was located from the Lexis Nexis website.The case originated from the District Trial Court, to Missouri Court of Appeals and then the State Supreme Court.ISSUE: The issue in this case is whether or not the attorney Devereux of The Bar Plan (TBP) had been appointed to act as the agent for TBP when it consented to incur additional legal fees.RULING: The Supreme Court ruled that the attorney was not the agent for Appellant, TBP. The trial court ruled that lawyer Devereux had acted as the agent TBP when it offered assistance to the respondents to look for an appellate counsel. This provided the impression to respondents that TBP had approved and will pay for the legal services of Bardgett to respondents. In effect, the trial court ruled that TBP has the duty and obligation under the agreement to reimburse to the respondents the payments made to Bardgett for his legal fees. However, TBP argued that Devereux was not given the authority to act as their agent. As a result, any act the Deveruex entered does not bind TBP. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of TBP when it stated that Devereux was not given the authority to act as the agent for TBP.ANALYSIS: In this given case, in order to establish the existence of a principal-agent relationship, the respondents are required to present proof that: TBP had given its consent to Devereux to act on as its principal, whether expressly or impliedly; and that lawyer Devereux was subject to the supervision and control TBP. Agency is defined as the fiduciary relationship between the principal and agent, where the principal manifested his assent to the agent to act on his behalf and that the agent shall be subject to the control of the principal (Munday 1). Hence, the principal had initially had the intention to appoint the agent to act for him, and that the agent had accepted the authority and act on it. Agency may be established through a written contract or done consensually. Here in this case, there was no agreement to the effect that a fiduciary relationship existed between Devereux and TBP. Thus, the defense counsel cannot be considered as an agent of TBP. Although Devereux became the defense counsel of the respondents during the trial, he was not given the authority to make necessary amendments to the contract. Under the provisions of the contract, the respondents are required to produce a written authorization from TBP for the purpose of giving them the counsel of their choice. Hence, Devereux was not given the authority to amend such provision in the contract.Another argument of the respondents is that Devereux merely waived a single provision in the contract and that he did not change it. As a result, the express non-agency provision is not applicable in this case. In effect, the contract itself has to be maintained and that...

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