Spring Semester 2013
Gifts (Inter Vivos Gifts and Conditional Gifts)
Reading Assignment — Pages 205-219
1. In the Evans case, the majority judges and the dissenting judge are all in agreement on one thing: they all think (or at least they SAY they think) Mr. Evans subjectively intended to make a valid gift to Vivian Kellow of the contents of his safe deposit box. If the majority is absolutely convinced about Mr. Evans's intent, why not conclude that he made an effective delivery when he handed her the key to the safe deposit box? What purpose does it serve to take such a strict view of the delivery requirement? Do you think the majority gets the decision right? Why or why not?
2. Consider the three examples in note 3 on page 210. In which of these examples did Key make an effective gift of Blackacre, and why?
3. After years of heartbreak and financial stress, Lambert finally manages to get his compulsive gambling under control. As a reward, I give him a Rolex watch, saying to him "This is yours, unless you start gambling again." He says "Thanks." Within a week, Lambert falls off the wagon. After I discover that he's spent four successive nights at the craps table at the Isle of Capri, I sue him to recover the Rolex. How should the court rule? Does it matter whether Lambert admits that he accepted the gift subject to the oral condition? Why or why not?
4. The court in Lindh v. Surman treats the gift of an engagement ring as a conditional gift. Why? What is the basis for the court's "no-fault" ruling? Are you persuaded by the majority's reasoning? Would it be preferable to treat the gift of an engagement ring as an unconditional gift? Why or why not?