Spring Semester 2013
Bona Fide Purchase Rules
(Equitable and Statutory Estoppel)
Questions for Thought for pages 146-162
1. Freyermuth steals Mitchell's computer, and sells it to Lambert for $500. Lambert is unaware that Freyermuth acquired it by theft. When Mitchell discovers Lambert has possession of the computer, he sues Lambert to recover it. What result and why?
2. Freyermuth offers to buy Mitchell's computer for $500. Mitchell agrees. Freyermuth hands Mitchell a check for $500. Unknown to Mitchell, Freyermuth had already placed a "stop payment" order on the check. Freyermuth takes possession of the computer, and sells it to Lambert later that day for $500. Lambert is unaware of Freyermuth's conduct in acquiring possession of the computer. When Mitchell discovers the check has been dishonored by Freyermuth's bank, he demands that Freyermuth return the computer, but learns that Freyermuth sold the computer to Lambert. Mitchell then sues Lambert to recover the computer. What result and why? Which of the opinions in West v. Roberts (the majority or the dissent) do you think provides the appropriate resolution to such a dispute?
3. Mitchell agrees to let Freyermuth borrow his computer for a business trip. Without permission, Freyermuth then sells the computer to Lambert for $500. Lambert is unaware of how Freyermuth acquired possession of the computer. When Mitchell discovers Lambert has possession of the computer, he sues him to recover it. What result and why?
4. Wells takes her Rolex watch to George's Jewelers for repairs. [The watch has a list price, new, of approximately $3,000.] By mistake, one of the jewelry clerks placed Wells' watch in the display case after it had been repaired. Later that same day, a different clerk sold the watch to Dessem, a customer in the store, for $2,000. When Wells discovered the mistake and learned that Dessem had purchased the watch, Wells sued Dessem to recover possession of the watch. What result, and why?
5. Lambert steals Wells' Rolex watch. When it later breaks, Lambert takes it to George's Jewelers to be repaired. By mistake, the jewelry clerk places Wells' watch in the display case after it had been repaired, and later that same day, a different clerk sold the watch to Dessem, a customer in the store, for $2,000. When Wells discovered that Dessem had purchased the watch, Wells sued Dessem to recover possession of the watch. What result and why?
6. In 2008, O conveyed Blackacre (a parcel of undeveloped land) to A by a warranty deed. In 2010, O purported to convey Blackacre (the very same parcel) to B by warranty deed. At the time of the deed to B, A's deed was not recorded. As between A and B, who has the better claim of title to Blackacre? Does it matter what type of recording statute applies in the jurisdiction where Blackacre is located? Why or why not? Is there any additional information that you would need to analyze this problem fully, and how would the additional information influence your analysis?