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The analysis of the aforementioned case led to the finding that there is indeed a breach of contract because the parties in this situation entered into a valid contract, after being asked to first examine whether there was a breach of contract and then the cause of action based on specific performance. Pearl, the plaintiff, experienced a breach of contract, so she is also entitled to the remedy of specific performance. The defendants in this instance would be Cassie Cardigan, an auctioneer for World Wide Auction House. Jade and Candie should also be sued not under the breach of contract but colluding to interfere with a business transaction. However, the role of this memorandum is to delve into the violation of contract exhibited by Cassie Cardigan against Pearl.
Breach of Contract
According to "The Law of Auctions | Stimmel Law" (2017), a sale by auction is the sale in a public place where the various buyers offer their bids for the goods with the aim of outbidding each other. The goods are in most cases sold to the highest bidder, and the auction is fully complete when the auctioneer makes an announcement on its completion by the drop of the hammer or any extra routine method. The sale by auction is in most cases subject to a reserve price. However, the auctioneer should ask the seller, in this case, Candie if they have set the reserve price and the auctioneer is bound to announce to the bidders of the existence of a reserve price at the start of the auction. The auctioneer should also announce when the bidding reaches the reserve price. In the case where the seller fails to set a reserve price, they should be obliged to accept the highest bid ("The Law of Auctions | Stimmel Law", 2017).
Determining whether a contract is with or without a reserve is one of the determining factors of the existence of a contract. The seller of the good also has the right to reject the sale even after the fall of the hammer, and if the auction does not have a reserve, then the good should go to the highest bidder. Unless the auctioneer and the seller’s terms of the auctions are stated to be devoid of reserve, all other auctions proceed like auctions with reserve. According to Miller (2012), the auctioneer entered into a contract with the bidders during the entire bidding process and into another contract with Pearl once she determined the highest bid.
In this case, therefore, there is the breach of contract between Pearl and World Wide Auction House auctioneer Cassie Cardigan the moment Cassie fails to show fairness in the bidding process. Cassie states that Jade outdid Pearl during the bidding process, whereas Cassie accepted Pearl’s $8500 offer when Cassie smiled and nodded at Pearl. It is implicit when the hammer fell that the auction was complete and the sale completed at $8500 for Pearl. Therefore, Pearl has a claim for breach of contract.
Remedy for Specific Performance
Pearl may request for specific performance if the good is unique and in this case, the dress in question was used in a movie filmed in S. Africa thus making it fall under the category of unique goods. Further, the dress has been displayed in the midst of other illustrious dresses in the Silkadonia Actors Guild museum, and the dress is made of silk, satin with velvet markings thus the dress is not massively produced thus the uniqueness. Therefore, Pearl can satisfy the requirements to seek specific performance.
Pearl's case may in both instances prevail as; first there is the evidence of the breach of contract on the part of the auctioneer and Pearl can also prove that the dress is unique. However, the defendants can argue against the case on whether the auction was with or without reserve. If the auction was not stated it’s without reserve then, Candie could claim that the auction was with reserve and as such it was permissible for her to discard Pearl’s offer and therefore, remove the outfit from the auction.
Miller, R. (2012). Cengage Advantage Books: Fundamentals of Business Law: Summarized Cases 9th Edition (9th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.
The Law of Auctions | Stimmel Law. (2017). Stimmel-law.com. Retrieved 19 September 2017, from http://www.stimmel-law.com/en/articles/law-auctions
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